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On the night her 2 sisters died in a horrible accident Marianna Sommers was born. Raised in an Amish community in Indiana Marianna has tried her entire life to make up for the loss of her sisters.

Marianna is almost 20 and starting to think about having a home of her own. Aaron Zook has been taking an interest in her. He is building his own cabin and has dreams of one day living in it with Marianna.

Marianna’s brother Levi has left the community. He has caused embarrassment and heartache for his parents. When Uncle Ike comes to visit he talks about his life in Montana and how the Amish community there is not as strict as Indiana. Marianna’s father decides to move the family to Montana for a year to see what it is like. This causes Marianna great heartache at the thought of leaving Aaron and her brother behind. Her parents ask her to go with them for just 6 months as her mother is pregnant and needs Marianna to help with the younger children.

Marianna is determined to not like Montana. She is only there for 6 months to help her mother and then she plans to return to Aaron and her more strict Amish community. What she doesn’t count on is meeting Ben. He is not Amish, but he is a good friend to the Amish community. Hearing Ben talk about God as if he is a close friend raises all kinds of questions for Marianna. Marianna slowly learns to love the community of people, but she also realizes that she is coming to care for Ben and that cannot happen.

Meanwhile back in Indiana Aaron has tried to forget Marianna by trying to learn to love another girl. Naomi is heartbroken over Levi leaving, she too is trying to mend her broken heart. Will the two of them find comfort and love in each other’s company?

The story and characters grew on me as I progressed through the book. The second book in the series comes out in October and I am determined to get it so I can find out what happens. I am not normally an Amish fiction fan, but I did enjoy Beside Still Waters.

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The final installment to The Forest of Hands and Teeth Trilogy was not disappointing!

Annah has been surviving on her own in the Dark City for a long time. In fact she has been waiting for Elias to return to her for 3 years. Elias joined the Recruiters 3 years before and has not returned to the city. Annah still has hope that he will come back to her. Finally realizing that she cannot wait forever she is determined to go searching for him. On her way out of the city though she sees someone entering that looks very familiar. In fact she looks just like Annah! She knows immediately that it is her sister that she and Elias left in the Forest many years before.

While searching the city for her sister Annah meets Catcher. She is attracted to him but unable to let her heart care for someone else. At the same time a massive horde has attacked the city. Annah risks going back to her flat to gather personal belongings and weapons. When she arrives she finds Elias there waiting for her. They escape to the island that the Protectorate is living on. The Protectorate hold Annah, her sister Abigail(now Gabry) and Elias hostage and demand that Catcher in his immune state make trips into the city finding supplies to keep the island inhabitants alive.

Annah is elated to finally be reunited with her sister. With that elation comes heartbreak though as she sees the bond between Abigail and Elias. Their love cannot be denied.

The island is a nightmare for Annah. The Recruiters are cruel and heartless. Their commander Ox has stated that Annah and her group should stay clear of the Recruiters because if anything happened he would definitely side with his men. All seems hopeless. Annah begins to wonder why people continue to struggle to survive the massive hordes that are taking over the earth.

All is not lost though and Annah has to believe that all humanity will not be wiped out by the undead.

As with the other 2 books in the series The Dark and Hollow Places is a roller coaster ride of excitement and heart-stopping action. The last several pages had me biting my nails and reading as fast as I could to see the final outcome!

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Ariella was sold into slavery as a young girl to an evil Roman politician. She escapes him by disguising herself as a young boy and joins a gladiator troupe. They arrive in Pompeii to entertain the citizens who’s boredom and debauchery has turned into a demand for more and more bloodshed in the arena’s.

Cato has escaped to Pompeii after his failed political career in Rome. He is determined to live a life of leisure as a winemaker. What he doesn’t count on is the corrupt leadership of one man who is determined that Cato will not usurp his authority in Pompeii.

When Cato chances to meet the young “lad” Ari and discovers her secret he is determined that she will no longer fight in the arena. Sparks fly between the two. Ari’s heart has been hardened by years of abuse and she is determined not to let this Roman into her heart. When Cato’s sister is wrongly sent to jail he is determined to end the corruption that has been governing Pompeii. What he doesn’t count on is the evilness of this ruler, the support of local Christians, and the simmering mountain of Vesuvius. Will Cato find faith in the Christian’s Messiah or will all be lost to evil?

I have said before that I am not usually a fan of Historical fiction. But T.L. Higley writes in a way that captures and holds my attention. I loved her novel Guardian of the Flame and Pompeii City On Fire did not disappoint me. The characters and story have stayed with me even after the exciting ending of the book!

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Mona’s dreams of opening a coffeehouse/bookstore are about to be realized. She has just purchased an old Victorian house with every dime she has saved up for the last 10 years. Mona is stubborn and determined to do all of the work herself. She realizes after her first look at the place though that she is going to need a handyman to help her in order to get it ready for the opening of tourist season in 6 weeks.

It is not easy for Mona to hire Joe. Mona is independent and does not need any romantic entanglements in her life. Plus there has yet to be a man who meets all of her requirements. She has only found that man in Jonah, a character in her favorite author’s books. He is her ideal man and she refuses to settle for anyone less.

After she hires Joe several things happen to make her realize that someone is trying to sabotage her dream. She feels that she does not deserve to realize her dream. She feels that God could not possibly want to bless her with granting her dreams because of the deep guilt that she is carrying around.

Joe has his own secrets to keep. He has been wandering around for most of his life. He can’t afford emotionally to become attached to Mona. From the moment they meet though he is drawn to care for her. Unable to forgive the father who left him and his brother and mother when he was 15 he can’t seem to grasp that he has become just like him. Always running away from his troubles.

Joe has come to Deep Haven to visit his brother that he hasn’t seen in years. He feels guilty about that but soothes his guilt with the fact that he has paid for his brother to stay at a group home. Even when he realizes he has feelings for Mona he cannot reveal to her the true nature of his brother’s handicap. But he is keeping another secret from her that may even be more damaging than that.

For the most part I liked the characters of the book. I did get a little tired of the constant battle that both Joe and Mona had within themselves to keep their “deep dark secrets” and to deny the attraction that they felt for each other. Also there seemed to be a lot of teary eyes in this one. I’m not a fan of a character that constantly cries. It seemed like both Joe and Mona were always welling up. It got kind of old. Not only did Mona and Joe keep secrets from each other, it seemed that the author wanted to keep these secrets from the reader too. Maybe if some of Mona and Joe’s reasons for keeping secrets had been revealed sooner in the story the tears and fears would have been more understandable to the reader.  

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Welcome back to Otter Bay! This is the 3rd book in the Otter Bay series. I have read A Shore Thing but haven’t read Sweet Waters yet. In Fade To Blue we read about Suzanne’s story. She is Gage’s(from A Shore Thing) sister who came with her son Jeremiah to live with him after her husband was sent to jail and divorced her.

Suz is working for a company that restores art. She is learning how to do the tedious job of restoring a piece of art to its original beauty. She finds out quickly though that this isn’t her passion. She loves to paint murals.

Suz’s world is set on end when she runs into an old flame. Seth was her boyfriend when she decided to marry Len her ex husband. It’s a small world when she starts running into Seth everywhere she goes. He has bought a window washing company and they seem to be working on the same places. Seth is bitter about their old relationship.

When Len is set to be paroled he writes Suz a letter letting her know that he is a changed man and he wants to be involved with Jeremiah’s life. Suz is confused about her feelings for Seth and her desire to give Len a chance to prove his new life.

Throughout all of Suz’s struggles, her brother and his fiance’ Callie are there to support her and offer advice and love. Also her friend Letty whom she works with. I’m hoping that there is another installment to the Otter Bay series and that it will be Letty’s story.

I enjoyed Fade To Blue. I did get a bit frustrated with Suz lack of seeing the true colors of her ex husband. I think that she should have been more searching into the truth of her ex’s conversion. For the most part I am becoming attached to the characters that make up Otter Bay.

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Brianna Stone has the perfect beach life. She has the perfectly hunky/lawyer husband, the perfect son, the perfect home on the beach and the perfect job. Things seem to be spiraling downhill though.

Bri’s perfect husband Douglas is working long hours. When a snide remark from one of her acquaintances points out to her that maybe her life isn’t so perfect, Bri begins to feel that maybe she needs to make some changes in her life to keep her husband interested in her.

Bri embarks on a mission to change things. She takes her mother-in-laws advice to remodel her livingroom to make it more presentable for Douglas as a rising lawyer. She buys a new wardrobe to make herself look more dignified instead of the beach/comfortable that she normally wears. She has her hair streaked with new color. She even takes some cooking classes so that she can present home-cooked meals to her family instead of the take-out fare that they are used to.

Things are not rosy at her work either. Bri loves her job as a tour guide. When the owner of the company decides to leave the business in her son’s hands things start getting weird there for Bri. She tries setting the son up with her best friend Gaby. She thinks that Gaby and Ty are hitting it off, but Bri misses the subtle hints that Ty is more interested in her.

Bri realizes finally that she needs to be who God made her to be. She needs to be herself. Bri’s spunk and sarcasm had me smiling and laughing throughout the story. I even shed a tear at a tender moment between Douglas and Bri. I especially enjoyed the sailing off into the sunset ending!

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Monica and her father are estranged. Her father gave up his family for his country. Now his job has put Monica in jeopardy. Terrorists have kidnapped 3 American citizens. They have now threatened to kidnap Monica if her father does not give in to their demands.

Mark and his partner Evan Cooper(Coop) are sent to protect Monica. They are part of the FBI’s HRT(Hostage Rescue Team). Monica thinks that everyone is overreacting and refuses to go to a safe house. She agrees to let Mark and Coop protect her in her home, but doesn’t see the need to disappear. Unfortunately these terrorists are serious about their need for revenge on both her father and on the United States.

Coop and Monica have an instant attraction towards each other. Coop is a man of few words though. Monica has written a book entitled “Talk the Walk” stating that words are necessary in relationships.  Monica has a faith in God that Coop does not understand or think is logical. But he is soon to learn that faith may be all that he can trust in when Monica’s life is thrown into even more danger.

I liked the action of this book. The story was suspenseful and entertaining. I thought that the issues of faith were portrayed very weakly though. I appreciate a spine-tingling story without all of the cursing and sex that you find in mainstream fiction. I look forward to reading Irene Hannon’s next two books in this Heroes of Quantico series.

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