Reviving the Commander by Nadine C. Keels

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Reviving the Commander
First in the Crowns Legacy series
(Sweet Historical Romance)
Five Stars from Indies Today and Readers' Favorite
“This book is a heart-gripping romance for the ages. Hands down the best romance novel of 2019 so far!” ~Indies Today
“Brilliant and beautiful in every way.” ~Readers’ Favorite

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2019 at The Book and Beauty Blog

She isn’t a beautiful young maiden hoping to erase the Commander’s memory. 

Opal Whilstead knows she has a reputation: a reputation as a bright, giving, upright woman—smiling and laughing her way through hopeless spinsterhood. It’s been so long since she’s had serious feelings for a man, but now she finds herself taken with the Commander Exemplar of Diachona’s army.

And she regrets it.

Not only is the Exemplar a widower still longing for his wife, but he’s the father of the reigning king. Even if a man of such prestige could find love again, he’d be unlikely to search for it among the kingdom’s old maids. Besides, Opal dreads being found, due to a grievous secret she carries…
~*~
Crowns Legacy is a historical fantasy series: fictional history in a completely fictional world.

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And don’t miss the next book in the Crowns Legacy series, Embracing the Outcast.

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Meet Nadine C. Keels

Another Homecoming by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Another Homecoming by Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With her husband off fighting in the Second World War, the last thing a woman like Martha wants to receive is one of those dreaded…telegrams. But its arrival leaves Martha with a heart-wrenching decision to make—one that will profoundly impact a number of lives in the years to come in Another Homecoming by authors Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn.

It’s been over twenty years since the first time I read this book. My return to it was purely for comfort reading, and even with the way that I and my preferences for Christian Fiction have changed over the years, sheer comfort is what I got from reading this a second time.

It’s a gentle drama, somber and grave in different ways but also infused with nostalgic Americana and, ultimately, hope.

I wouldn’t call the novel perfect, as some aspects are a little overdone, oversweet, or redundant. Some of the characters could have used more dimension, especially the key villain. Also, the story may tell about the heroine without showing enough about her, as she largely seems to be a rather passive part of the story until the last fifth or quarter.

Even so, books don’t have to be perfect to give me a meaningful experience, and there are reasons why this serious, warm, and life-affirming novel has remained in my memory. Though it’s unlikely that I’ll revisit the sequel, I’m so glad to have read this one again.

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“We Own This Place.” An Excerpt from World of the Innocent

World Innocence

A Contemporary Love Story

Mic World of the Innocent

World of the Innocent Second Edition 3D PlainMarcas went to rest flat on his back in the grass, and he advised me to do the same, but I wasn’t used to being on the ground without a blanket or anything, so I sat there with my knees up.

“Lie back, Jhoi. This is nature.”

“Yes, nature is lovely. But that doesn’t mean I want it all over my clothes or in my hair.”

“Your clothes? That’s my jacket you’re wearing.”

“I know. But, still.”

Marcas laughed, linking his fingers behind the hat on his head, and he went on to tell me about the stars and the distant planet we were looking at. I wasn’t sure if he was serious about everything he was saying or if he was merely making some of it up, but it all sounded knowledgeable enough, and it was a pleasure listening to him.

“You’re such a wiggly,” Marcas sighed in the middle of his discourse about the stars. “You worry too much.”

“Do I?” I asked, not moving my eyes from the sky, knowing he was right.

“You’re most Jhoiful when you’re being yourself, you know. Not being afraid. Letting people watch you, listen to your words.”

“My words.” I shook my head. “Yes, I have words, all right. I often wish I had so much more, though.” I turned to look at Marcas then. “Words are words.”

“Yes. They are.” Marcas sat up pretty quickly. “And words are power. Words change minds. Words can dominate. They bolster faith. Inability isn’t always the only reason why we fail to do things. A lot of times, we don’t do what we should because we don’t believe we can anymore.” Marcas reached up to lift his hat a ways, scratching at his head. “Not everyone we watch has to be someone we think must have already ‘arrived’ in every way possible. Sometimes we just need to see someone who still has the faith to tell us that we can get there. We just need someone who believes.”

I stared at Marcas as he stood to his feet, brushing blades of grass from his clothes. “I think our dinner has settled,” he said. “Let’s go for a run.”

“Go for a run?” I looked out at the field. “Now?”

“Of course now. Look around! What time would be better? Come on, Ladybug. This is our world,” Marcas answered, beginning to make his way down the hill. “We own this place.”

Watching Marcas take off through the grass, I thought to remain sitting there and to call after him. Ours? The Bible says the earth is the Lord’s. But I couldn’t ignore the sudden rush of restless vigor that shot through my legs, and before I knew it, I was up and giggling, chasing Marcas down the hill.

It was possible that any one in our audience of stars or distant city lights may have been wondering what these two, laughing adults were doing, running and playing in a field at night.

I’d never seen Marcas run before…

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Danger in the Canyon by A.T. Butler

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Danger in the Canyon: A Western Novella by A.T. Butler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Jacob always preferred to take in his targets alive, but if Corker wanted a fight, he would get one.

Bounty hunter Jacob Payne is tracking a bank robber through the Arizona desert, but the outlaw himself may not prove to be the biggest threat to Jacob out here. The heat is intense, water is scarce—and not to mention hazards like rattlesnakes and falling rocks in Danger in the Canyon by author A.T. Butler.

After enjoying the first Western novella (well, novelette) in this series, I looked forward to taking a break with the next one. I’ll admit I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first, as Jacob spends most of this story alone, trekking through the desert. Stories about traveling and surviving in nature without much dialogue tend not to be my favorites, and it does get a bit corny when the narrator blatantly praises Payne’s abilities, here.

Still, this is a quick, profanity-free read with some grit and Western flavor, and I plan on trying at least one more book in the series.

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Here’s my review of Book One in the series, Trouble By Any Name.

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The Note III: Notes from the Heart Healer (2012)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

The Note III: Notes from the Heart Healer (2012)
Not Rated. Drama

4 Stars New Blue Med

Description (from the film case): Genie Francis returns as advice columnist Peyton MacGruder in a new film inspired by Angela Hunt’s unforgettable characters. A romantic getaway for Peyton and husband King Danville (Ted McGinley) takes an unexpected detour when an infant is abandoned at their doorstep, transforming them into temporary parents.

My thoughts: “How often, dear readers, are we misled by the fear that broken hearts cannot be mended?”

The young mother’s desperation in this story is almost palpable without melodrama, and the returning actors playing Peyton and King portray such a natural, believable relationship onscreen.

The story deals with hard stuff in a way that’s real but not too dark, and it doesn’t resort to corn or oversimplification to be heartwarming. The movie does begin to rush a little toward the end, but it’s a nice conclusion to the series.

While it isn’t necessary to watch the first two movies first to understand this one, it’s well worth it to start at the beginning with The Note and to move on to The Note II: Taking a Chance on Love before this one. You’ll have a much better appreciation for Peyton, King, and their relevant backstories that way.

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