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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
When I first saw Spoken For, I was a little worried it might be too simplistic and not that deep of a read, just because it came across as though it’s geared towards a younger audience. But the more I learned about it, the more I realized it actually seemed to fit the stage of life I’m in right now almost perfectly (early 20’s, for those of you who don’t know 🙂 ). While it was a tad simplistic in parts, I would highly recommend this book for not only teens, but also for women in their 20’s and maybe even their 30’s, that’s how good it was! Spoken For has a message every woman can relate to, and that’s about our quest for love. Our need to be desired and cherished, to hold and be held, to love and be loved.
Who doesn’t adore a good romance? The thing is, we often miss the greatest romance of all: the one we have with our Savior.
How do I describe all that this book did for me at this stage in my life? Let’s just say it was a message I desperately needed to hear, and that it left me in tears. Authors Robin Jones Gunn and Alyssa Joy Bethke helped me understand God’s love in a way I never have before in such a raw, touching way, I can honestly say this is one book that has helped change my outlook on life and relationship with my Savior forever.
There aren’t many books that can do that!
I am adopted, and while I grew up with the two most amazing, loving people I know as parents, I’ve always struggled with some feelings of rejection. So when I read the chapter called, “You Are Wanted,” I cried. I’ve never been the girl to turn heads, have never had a boyfriend, and usually hid in a corner on prom nights. So when I read, “You Are Pursued,” I bawled. And what salve to my soul to hear “You Are Loved” after a season of isolation and pain that seemed to last forever.
I also appreciated the authors’ honesty about the down times in their lives and the study questions they had at the end of every chapter as well. I usually hate those, but somehow they managed to write them in a casual, non-annoying way.
So dear broken heart, if you’re reading this right now and need tangible proof of God’s love, please pick up this book, and may you know how high, how wide, and how deep His love reaches.
Even to you.
(I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.)
Let’s Talk Book: Have you ever read a book that completely changed you or how you viewed your relationship with God?
There’s a few things I love in life. One is books. Another is sharing about new books. And I’m a sucker for giveaways. Combine the three and what do you get? Author Dani Pettrey’s Rugged Romance Sweepstakes! Killer title, right? Wait until you check out the prizes!
Read on to find out how you can enter this super fun giveaway now through May 21st, and stay tuned for my review of Dani’s newest release, Silenced. I’m ridiculously excited about it, but you’ll have to stop by again to find out why. 😉 (And yes, mysterious foreshadow totally intended.)
Here’s the scoop:
In Silenced, Book 4 of author Dani Pettrey’s award-winning Alaskan Courage series, a relaxing day of rock climbing takes a dark turn when Kayden McKenna’s route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Was the climber’s death a terrible accident or something more sinister?
When the case is handed to Yancey’s overburdened sheriff, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With the truth of Jake’s past now revealed, Jake agrees to use his investigation skills for this one case–but nothing could prepare him for where the case will take him.
As Kayden and Jake work together to uncover the truth, will they also find a refuge in each other? Or will the deadly plans of a killer destroy their chance at love?
To celebrate the novel, Dani and Bethany House Publishers are pleased to present the RUGGED ROMANCE SWEEPSTAKES, and your chance to win one of three marvelous prizes, all closely connected to the story.
Timeframe & Notifications:
This giveaway starts May 1, 2014 and ends May 21, 2014 @ 11:59 pm (PST).
Entry is open to US residents only, age 18 and over. Winners will be selected Friday, May 23, 2014, and announced at DaniPettrey.com.
About the Prizes:
ALASKAN AIR ADVENTURE
In Silenced, Kayden’s adventurous nature and skills as a pilot come in handy as she and Jake race to uncover the truth. If you’ve always dreamed of hopping on a plane to chase your own adventures, but don’t have a well-trained pilot and a Cessna at your disposal, we’ve got the perfect prize for you.
Our Grand Prize winner will receive: a $250 gift certificate to Alaskan Airlines, good toward travel to multiple destinations across the Continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii
DENALI DEVOTION WALL ART
As Jake and Kayden crisscross the Alaskan wilderness looking for answers, they also see some of the most glorious scenery on earth: soaring mountains, crystal clear lakes, and incomparable wildlife. Could there be any better setting for a glowing romance? Now you can share in the romantic scenery, even if you don’t live in Alaska.
Our Second Prize winner will receive: The Kiss at Wonder Lake 31″ x 23″ Framed Art Print
RUGGED ROMANCE PICNIC PACK
If you, like Kayden, have secretly dreamed of a romantic mountain-top picnic, this is the prize for you.
Our Third Prize winner will receive: The ultimate picnic pack for a romantic afternoon. This insulated backpack includes silverware, plates, napkins, plastic long-stemmed glasses and a wide selection of gourmet picnic snacks
HOW TO ENTER:
Go to http://www.danipettrey.com/rugged-romance-sweepstakes/ and complete the entry box, anytime between May 1 and May 21.
Author: Steven James
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Boy, you better be ready for a ride with this one! The Pawn is somewhat of an older book, but since I’ve wanted to read James for a while now and this is the first in a series, I figured it would be better to start there. Based on the first book alone, I think it is the type of series where you have to start from the beginning to really get it. There were a few hints in this first book that suggested more of the story and main character would be revealed in the next. And good golly, that character! But let me give you a peek at the plot first before I get too carried away:
“Special Agent Patrick Bowers had only met one man who made him truly afraid. Until now. When he’s called to North Carolina to consult on the case of an area serial killer, he finds himself in a deadly game.
Cunning and lethal, the killer is always one step ahead of the law, and he’s about to strike again. It will take all of Bowers’s instincts and training to stop this man who calls himself the Illusionist. And just when the pieces start to come together, Bowers realizes they’re not quite adding up. Can he unravel the pattern and save the next victim? Or will the Illusionist win the game by taking one of his opponent’s pieces? Thrilling, chilling, and impossible to put down, The Pawn will hold suspense lovers in its iron grip until the very last page.” (Amazon.com)
Let me tell you, “thrilling and chilling” is one very apt description! The author goes so deep with his characters. Like, scary deep. Think Criminal Minds deep. On one hand, I was really impressed by that. His villain has a motive, and the motive is very plausible. His main character, Special Agent Patrick Bowers, is so well-developed he almost became like Sherlock Holmes, that’s how real and how heroic he became. A man with flaws but also almost otherworldly talent. If you’re going to name an entire series around a certain character, he better be a good one, and I’m pleased to say Patrick Bowers easily held up his end of the bargain.
The plot was also fantastic. The writing was superb. This will sound really strange, but my only complaint is that it was too real.
I got really freaked out by this book, I’m not gonna lie. There’s a scene at the very beginning of the book I just cannot get out of my head. It was grisly and creepy and just way too real. That’s where my struggle comes in. Because was it excellently written? Absolutely. The fact that it got under my skin so much shows how great of a writer Steven James really is. But can I recommend it? I’m not sure. Would I read him again? I don’t know.
I suppose it comes down to this: if this looks like your kind of genre, then by all means, read it! It’s very well-written. But if scary reads aren’t really your thing, you may want to avoid this book. It’s not that I wouldn’t recommend this author. I’d just recommend him with a caveat.
So! Here’s my question for you:
Let’s Talk Book: Weigh in and let me know what you think! Should I read the second book in the Bowers series? Comment on this blog post with your vote by clicking on “comment” on the top right-hand side. If you’re voting no, tell me why and what I should read instead! If yes, then a review of The Rook may be coming to a blog near you!