Friday, May 13, 2011

To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer

From the back cover:

Do they have a fighting chance at love?

After completing his sentence for the unintentional crime that derailed his youthful plans for fame and fortune, Levi Grant looks to start over in the town of Spencer, Texas. Spencer needs a blacksmith, a trade Levi learned at his father's knee, and he needs a place where no one knows his past.

Eden Spencer has sworn off men, choosing instead to devote her time to the lending library she runs in the town her father founded. When a mountain-sized stranger walks through her door and asks to borrow a book, she's reluctant to trust him. Yet as the mysteries of the town's new blacksmith unfold, Eden discovers hidden depths in him that tempt her heart.

Eden believes she's finally found a man of honor and integrity. But when the truth about Levi's prodigal past comes to light, can this tarnished hero find a way to win back the librarian's affections?

My thoughts:

I cannot begin to say how much I loved To Win Her Heart. Karen Witemeyer is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her characters are deep, and frankly unlike many in Christian fiction today.

I adored the relationship between Levi and Eden. The pasts of both characters were fascinating, and I especially loved Eden's character growth throughout the book. The supporting characters were rich as well. Honestly, I'd love to see Chloe and Duncan's story explored further. I loved them, and the way Chloe saw everything.

As for the villain, I simply must say Sheriff Pratt was aptly named. I cringed just about every time he was in a scene.

Levi's speech impediment was superbly handled. As someone who had a speech impediment as a child, I found his searching for the right word, and reluctance to say the sounds he found problematic to be touching. I loved his eloquence with written language though.

I could not put To Win Her Heart down, and I highly recommend it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Against the Wind by Brock and Bodie Thoene

Synposis from goodreads:

As Nazi forces tighten their net of evil over Europe in 1940, famed Jewish concert violist Elisa Lindheim Murphy escapes from Vienna to England. But both Elisa and her American newsman husband, John Murphy, are convinced that nowhere in Europe is safe from Hitler's seemingly unstoppable forces.

As Nazi U-boats patrol and sink Allied vessels in the North Atlantic, Elisa makes a desperate but brave decision—to accompany Jewish refugee children on a civilian transport through treacherous seas to seek asylum in America. At least there, in the land of freedom, the ragged remnant of the Jewish people can live on in peace and safety—or so she hopes. But as German torpedoes streak toward the refugee ship, Elisa will face the greatest trial of her life….

My review:

I would probably rate this about 3.5 stars.

My thoughts on Against the Wind are so jumbled right now. I loved the Zion Covenant series, it has a permanent place on my keeper shelves. Elisa and Murphy are two of my all time favorite characters, and one of my favorite couples.

I loved the first third or so of Against the Wind. There were moments that made me gasp, and it was wonderful to reacquaint myself with Elisa and Murphy. However once I was at the point where Elisa boarded the ship for America I found myself scanning through the pages.

My biggest issue with Against the Wind came from Elisa's diary. This diary covered the story of Vienna Prelude, and I felt there were serious continuity errors within the diary sections. Events were changed from how they occurred in Vienna Prelude, and there was one section of the diary where the dates used did not make sense at all.

I do wish to compliment Summerside Press on the cover art. The photos of Elisa and Murphy are pretty much the way I have always pictured them in my mind.