December 26, 2016

Bespoke: a Tiny Christmas Tale

Bespoke: a Tiny Christmas Tale, by Amanda Dykes, is a very short novella that tells a tale of how God can bring something beautiful from a place that has been drastically destroyed!

As a young girl, Aria St. John, the daughter of the famous conductor Giovanni St. John, had been severely damaged in a fire.  When Giovanni and Aria return to the scene of the disaster that took away her ability to make beautiful music, Giovanni has no idea that Aria has plans to have the instruments, that she can no longer play, melted down to use to make a grand entrance at her father's Christmas Eve concert!

Aria works with her childhood friend, James Shaw, who is currently the village blacksmith, to design and build a gleaming bicycle out of her former instruments.  You wonder whether her father will be able to forgive the hardships of the past as you see Aria triumphantly ride toward her father on the final pages of this tale!

December 21, 2016

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill is the latest novel from Julie Klassen. The tale opens in the village of Ivy Hill, England, in the year 1820.  Jane Bell has been a widow for the past year.  Upon her husband, John's death, Jane discovered that he had left his coaching inn for her to manage.  She cannot believe her eyes, when one day she sees her former mother-in-law, Thora Bell, walking uninvited up to her front door!

After a employee contacts her by mail, Thora has decided that she cannot stand by and watch her former inn, The Bell, lose its high standing in her hometown of Ivy Hill.  Upon learning that John had left a large loan unpaid, Jane and Thora discover that The Bell is at risk of being turned over to the bank.  Now Jane and Thora know that they must forgive old grievances and work together to save the inn!

Sit back and watch Jane and Thora work with everything they have to save The Bell and in the process, save their relationship!  This opening novel to Julie Klassen's new series, Tales from Ivy Hill, leaves you looking forward to learning more about these characters, in the books yet to come!

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for my unbiased review.

December 11, 2016

Oh, the Weather Outside Is Frightful

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful is the latest holiday novella by Susan May Warren.  This tale is part of the Montana Fire series.  You will meet up with CJ St. John and Hannah Butcher as they are training to join a team of smokejumpers and you will see that through hard work, they are soon added to the group.  When the plane, that is transporting the team to fight a fire literally falls from the sky, many of the team are severely injured.  CJ, himself, is left amongst the wreckage, with a broken pelvis and fighting to stay alive!

After Hannah fights with everything she has to keep him warm and to keep the wolves at bay, CJ promises her that, if they are rescued,  they will dance at their friends upcoming wedding!  Once they are rescued, CJ does not know for sure if he has the strength and the willpower to go through a physical recovery again.  He had already had to learn to walk again after he was thrown from a bull and left to recover from a broken tailbone.  After failing at both bullriding and smokejumping, CJ does not know where to turn his focus for his future!

When Hannah turns up, at his family's ranch, to literally force CJ to attend their friends wedding with her, you will not believe the events that await them.  Both Hannah and CJ will have to trust in their God to bring them through a situation that will bring them to the end of their own abilities!

December 3, 2016

One Enchanted Eve

In Melissa Tagg's latest Christmas novella, One Enchanted EveRylan Jefferson, the instructor at the Denver Culinary Institute, must suddenly call 911. One of her students, Colin Renwycke, has accidentally set the classroom on fire!

Rylan has been looking for an opportunity to kick Colin out of her class; however, after Chef Potts, the owner of the school, seems to approve of Colin's variation to his assignment of "Baked Alaska," Rylan begins to have second thoughts about taking such an action.  Before you know it, Rylan has accepted Colin's offer to help her create an outstanding dish that could open the door for her to run her own kitchen!

Before you know it, Rylan and Colin are heading out to Colin's hometown of Maple Valley, Iowa.  As Rylan and Colin settle in and begin trying to develop a new dish for her, Rylan soon learns that Colin's family relationships are in dire shape.  When Colin's brother Drew suddenly returns from his honeymoon, these two brothers almost instantly get into a fist fight!

The One Enchanted Eve's story line follows Melissa's previous novella, One Enchanted Christmas, which told the story of Colin's brother, Drew.  Hang on to see where Rylan and Colin, as well as his entire family, end up by the final pages of this latest tale!