Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Of Stillness and Storm by Michéle Phoenix was a good book.  I did find that it was kind predictable in the sense that I have read enough books in this genre that I pretty much knew what was going to happen but even with that being so I still really enjoyed this book and the authors writing.  The more books I read, I am okay with being able to see what is going to happen if I get wrapped up in the characters and if I am able to look at them like they are real people.  I had no problem connecting with these characters and falling in love with the book.   I loved that this book takes place in a different country and involves characters that aren’t commonly used.  Even though this book does follow a set pattern because it has enough things that are different about it I am sure that is why I loved it so much.  If you love Christian fiction novels than I am sure you will enjoy this book as well.  If you have read it what did you think of it?

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About The Book

Of Stillness and Storm (Thomas Nelson, December 2016)

“I felt torn between two worlds. Each with its own mystery. One more captivating than the other, but the other more real and breathing.”

It took Lauren and her husband ten years to achieve their dream—reaching primitive tribes in remote regions of Nepal. But while Sam treks into the Himalayas for weeks at a time, finding passion and purpose in his work among the needy, Lauren and Ryan stay behind, their daily reality more taxing than inspiring. For them, what started as a calling begins to feel like the family’s undoing.

At the peak of her isolation and disillusion, a friend from Lauren’s past enters her life again. But as her communication with Aidan intensifies, so does the tension of coping with the present while reengaging with the past. It’s thirteen-year-old Ryan who most keenly bears the brunt of her distraction.

Intimate and bold, Of Stillness and Storm weaves profound dilemmas into a tale of troubled love and honorable intentions gone awry.

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About The Author

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.

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Fraying At The Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall was such a fun twist to Amish fiction.  I have a huge fan of Amish fiction, and this book was such a fun twist on those types of books.  I loved that we got a look as to what it might be like if people were to switch places and live another person’s life.  This is the second book in the series, and I know that I am going to go back and read the first book because I have to find out what went on in that book.  From the first page right until the end of the book I didn’t want to put it down.  I loved everything about this story and the characters I literally can’t say anything bad about this author or this book.  If you love Amish fiction and are looking for a book that is a little bit different than the other books out there then I would tell you to pick this one up and check it out.

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About The Book

“Family, community, faith, and love. These “quilt blocks” sewn together made Ariana’s beautiful life. When they are pulled to pieces, will anything familiar remain? The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother, and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can help steady Ariana’s tilting ground between the two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals? At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life–no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family. New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they pray for the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures? Fraying at the Edge is the second novel in The Amish of Summer Grove series”–

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About The Author

Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times and CBA best-selling author who has written nineteen (and counting!) works of fiction and one of nonfiction. She and her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud, coauthored the nonfiction, Plain Wisdom: An Invitation into an Amish Home and the Hearts of Two Women. Cindy’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life. In June of 2013, the Wall Street Journal listed Cindy as one of the top three Amish fiction writers.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

Her real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity. Though she didn’t realize it at the time, seeds were sown years ago that began preparing Cindy to write these books. At the age of ten, while living in the dairy country of Maryland, she became best friends with Luann, a Plain Mennonite girl. Luann, like all the females in her family, wore the prayer Kapp and cape dresses. Her parents didn’t allow television or radios, and many other modern conveniences were frowned upon. During the numerous times Luann came to Cindy’s house to spend the night, her rules came with her and the two were careful to obey them—afraid that if they didn’t, the adults would end their friendship. Although the rules were much easier to keep when they spent the night at Luann’s because her family didn’t own any of the forbidden items, both sets of parents were uncomfortable with the relationship and a small infraction of any kind would have been enough reason for the parents to end the relationship. While navigating around the adults’ disapproval and the obstacles in each other’s lifestyle, the two girls bonded in true friendship that lasted into their teen years, until Cindy’s family moved to another region of the US.

As an adult, Cindy became friends with a wonderful Old Order Amish family who opened their home to her. Although the two women, Miriam and Cindy, live seven hundred miles apart geographically, and a century apart by customs, when they come together they never lack for commonality, laughter, and dreams of what only God can accomplish through His children. Over the years Cindy has continued to make wonderful friendships with those inside the Amish and Mennonite communities—from the most conservative ones to the most liberal.

Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in their now empty nest.

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Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons was a super interesting historical fiction book.  This book takes place during the civil war which has always been a time period that I have had a hard time getting into the stories but this book was different for me and I am not sure why that is.  I really enjoyed the characters in this book even though at times I would forget who was who so I would be super confused for a page or so and then I would remember who was who and it all made sense again.  There are a lot of characters which is why I kept getting confused I am sure but once I was into the book a good way I was able to keep them straight.  I really did enjoy this authors writing and I am going to add her to list of authors to read more books by them in the future.  If you love historical fiction books I would for sure recommend this book to you especially if you love civil war fiction.

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About The Book

With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis.

>With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.

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About The Author

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She’s a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today’s crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.

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The Remnant by Monte Wolverton

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

The Remnant by Monte Wolverton was an okay book to read. I did have a hard time getting into this book because it is a dystopian book and those types of books are hard for me to get into. This book was really well written but I found myself comparing this book to the book “1984 by George Orwell”.   I read that book back in high school and I always find myself comparing any dystopian books to that one.   In the end I really did enjoy this book. It was written well and it is a book that anyone who loves dystopian novels. It may take you a few chapters to get into the book so I would recommend giving it a couple of chapters before you give up on it.

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About The Book

In the year 2069 the Apocalypse came and went, but Jesus didn’t show up, as some expected.

Instead, a cataclysmic war, natural disasters and pandemics eradicated 90 percent of earth’s population. Now, in 2131, a totalitarian government rules the world from the majestic, opulent capitol of Carthage, Tunisia. Blamed for igniting the war, religion and religious books are banned. Citizens who will not renounce their religion are sent to work camps.

Grant Cochrin, imprisoned in a bleak petroleum camp in what was once North Dakota, leads his family and friends to escape and embark on a long, dangerous quest for a Christian community. Their resource in this journey? A cherished page torn from the now banished Bible—a remnant of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount handed down from Grant’s grandparents.

What if there were an Apocalypse and Jesus didn’t return? What if the survivors found themselves living in a world ruled by a totalitarian government, where religion is forbidden and all religious texts have been destroyed?

In The Remnant, award-winning author Monte Wolverton tells the tale of a band of concentration camp escapees who trek through the lawless American wilderness on a quest for authentic Christianity, only to come face to face with an unthinkable dilemma. The Remnant is a fast-paced story punctuated with dry satire, memorable characters and hard questions about religious institutions.

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About The Author

Monte Wolverton is an award-winning author and syndicated editorial cartoonist. He is associate editor of CWR magazine. He is an ordained minister and holds a MA from Goddard College in Vermont. Along with his wife Kaye, he makes his home in southwest Washington State.

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Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Trust My Heart by Carol J. Post was a sweet story. If I am honest, this book isn’t very memorable to me. I enjoyed it, but it was so much like so many other books I have read. There was nothing that made this book memorable to me which I hate saying because it was nothing special for me I know that other people will totally love this book. I did enjoy this book, and it was a sweet story, but it just doesn’t stick out in my mind. I finished this book a few days ago, and I already have trouble remember much about this book other than that it was sweet and well written. I would be willing to read more books by this author, but this book just didn’t stick out to me. If you love chick lit books, I would give this one a chance and see what you think. If you have read this book what, did you think of it?

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About The Book

Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible. The big-city lawyer has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing.

After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant’s fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs.

The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home…

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About The Author

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol’s resume reads as if she doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She currently pens fun and fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for a RITA® award and an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award.

Carol lives in sunshiny Central Florida with her husband, who is her own real-life hero, and writes her stories under the shade of the huge oaks in her yard. Besides writing, she works alongside her music minister husband singing and playing the piano. She enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund

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Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Margaret Margaret

Christian’s Hope by Ervin R. Stutzman

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Christian’s Hope by Ervin R. Stutzman was a fantastic book.  This is the third book in the series, and I know that I will be going back and reading the first two books because I want to know the entire story from start to finish.  Even though this is the last book in the series, I still understood what was going on, so you don’t have to read the books in order or even read them all if the others don’t interest you.  I enjoyed this book because even though I have read tons of Amish fiction books, this book takes place in a different period.  It is also is one of the few books that I have read from this period in history as well, so I went in not knowing much of what happened during that period.  I have read other books where I didn’t know much about the period and I had a hard time getting into those books, but this book was one that I didn’t want to put down until the book was finished.  I loved this author’s style of writing and how he could make me understand what the characters were feeling and why they did the things that they did.  Once I was done with this book I went and bought digital copies of the first two books in this series because I want to know the whole story like I said before.   If you love historical and Amish fiction, I think you would enjoy this book and should check it out for yourself.  If you have read it, let me know what you think of it.

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About The Book

Christian’s Hope (Herald Press, October 2016)

When Christian Hochstetler returns to the Amish after seven years in captivity, he finds that many things have shifted.

Captured as a child during the French and Indian War, Christian has spent much of his life among Native Americans, who cared for him and taught him their ways. Now that Christian is home, his father wants him to settle back into their predictable Amish life of farming, and Christian’s budding friendship with Orpha Rupp beckons him to stay as well.

Yet Christian feels restless, and he misses his adoptive Native American family—who raised him as their own son. When faced with a life-altering decision, will Christian choose the Amish identity that his father desires for him? Or will he depart from his family and faith community yet again?

Christian’s Hope tells the story of the younger brother of Joseph and son of Jacob, whom readers have come to love in the first two books in the Return to Northkill series. Based on actual events and written by a descendant of the Hochstetler family, Christian’s Hope brings the sweeping epic of the Return to Northkill series to a soul-stirring end.

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About The Author

Ervin R. Stutzman is author of Jacob’s Choice,Joseph’s Dilemma, Tobias of the Amish, and Emma, A Widow Among the Amish. Born into an Amish home in Kalona, Iowa, Stutzman based the Return to Northkill series on the life of his ancestor, Jacob Hochstetler. He has been featured on TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are?

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An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray

 

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

An Amish Family Christmas by Shelley Shepard Gray was a great Christmas themed book. This is the fourth book in this series, and even though I did enjoy this book, I think I liked the third book more than this one. I had a hard time connecting with these characters which were something that caught me off guard. I did like the book, but it was harder for me to get through this book. I know that there always can be one book in a series that isn’t your favorite and this book was that for me. I liked Penny in this book, but I didn’t feel like I could connect with any of the other characters in this book. If you love Amish fiction, I would for sure check out this book but know that you may have a hard time getting into the book like I did. an-amish-family-christmas-by-shelley-shepard-gray

About The Book

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s fourth book in her Charmed Amish Life series, an unlikely Amish romance reveals that Christmas is a time for family, miracles—and love.

Ever since his father died in a tragic fire, Levi Kinsinger has felt adrift. Newly returned to Charm, Ohio, Levi is trying to fit into his old life, only to discover he seems to have outgrown it.

But when Julia, his young widowed neighbor, asks for his help with a Christmas project, Levi finds a sense of purpose for the first time in months. She and her daughter are new to Charm and could use a friend, a job Levi takes personally. Soon enough, friendship grows into attraction, but Levi can’t help having doubts. There’s something about Julia that doesn’t ring quite true…

Like Levi, Julia Kemps has survived her fair share of hardships—but only by hiding the truth of her past. Being an unmarried mother in an Amish community was unthinkable. Feeling hopeless, Julia did the only thing she could do: she moved to a new town and pretended to be a widow. But meeting Levi, she’s hopeful for the first time. Little by little, she begins to imagine telling him her darkest secret, and eventually…perhaps even sharing her life with him.

Christmas is a time for family, and as the holiday draws closer, Julia and Levi will have to face their pasts together…in order to find the healing, support and love they so desperately desire.

 Shelley Gray

About The Author

 Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

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A Sisters Wish by Shelley Shepard Gray

 

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

A Sisters Wish by Shelley Shepard Gray was a good book. This is the third book in the series, and I knew I would love it because I have loved all of the other books in this series. This author writes my favorite Amish fiction books, so I know once I find out she has a new book out that I will probably end up liking it. I think that these characters have to be one of my favorites in this series because I felt like I could relate to Amelia. I was able to get through this book pretty quickly which is something that I also love about this author. If you have never read Amish fiction before this would be a great series to start reading. This is the third book in the series, and even though they can be read as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading the whole series and reading them in order. If you love Amish fiction, I am sure will love this book as much as I did.

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About The Book

New York Times Bestselling Author

In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.

He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.

Shelley Gray

About The Author

Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

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Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall was a great book. I usually am not the biggest fan of historical fiction books but I loved this authors writing. She was able to make me feel like I was there with the characters and I understood everything that was going on. I am not sure how she was able to do that and not bog down the book with details but she did and I loved that. I would have to say that I think this is my favorite author who writes historical fiction.   You could tell when you are reading this book that the author really loves what she writes about. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series because I am hoping it will be just as good as this one is. If you like historical fiction, then you need to pick this one up because I am confident that you will love it as much as I did.

 

Starving Hearts by Janine Mendenhall

About The Book

Since her assault, Miss Annette Chetwynd has been plagued by nightmares and worries about an arranged marriage. But she yearns to find her anonymous rescuer. Unfortunately, her health and intellect prevent it. Both repel suitors and cause Annette to doubt God’s existence, at least until He answers her prayers in an unusual way …

Mr. Peter Adsley is joining the clergy, and he desires a godly wife by his side. After his failed attempt to obtain one, he engages in a clandestine meeting with the bewitching young woman who keeps crossing his path. But she is so unsettling.

Destined for disappointments, Peter and Annette endure disgraceful situations. Will Peter’s faith sustain him through overwhelming setbacks? Can Annette overcome her doubts? Or will their starving hearts yield to the machinations of a mad man?

Janine Mendenhall

About The Author

My interest in reading and historical ball gowns grew into a magnificent obsession with beauty and the Ultimate happily ever after.

I lose myself somewhere in time using: Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice or a number of other classics like Jane Eyre and Redeeming Love. I also cry over nearly everything Nicholas Sparks (because it ends sadly) and Amazing Grace, both the movie and the hymn, because they point to the Ultimate happily ever after.
(The crying could also stem from being lost in Austen one too many times, or because I’m a high school English teacher and the end of the school year is coming so quickly.)

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Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink

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FTC: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink was a super sweet story. I read this book in about a day because it is a shorter book and it was also an easy read. I did find that I was able to predict what was going to happen throughout most of the book, but that didn’t bother me because I liked the characters in this book. I loved all the crazy things that Sweetness would do throughout the entire book. I am a huge animal lover so when it comes to animals in books they usually end up being my favorite characters in the book. I couldn’t help but laugh at all the animals that Sweetness would bring home with him. My favorite would have to be the first cat he brought home because I could see my cat freaking out if a dog carried her home with him. If you are looking for a light-hearted summer read, I tell you to check out this book because it will leave you smiling. This is also a great book for any animals lovers out there as well.

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About The Book

Standing Between Stephanie and Her Dream
Is One Hundred Pounds of Lovable Trouble

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog…thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Dana Mentink

About The Author

Dana Mentink enjoys writing in many different capacities. She currently writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Harvest House Publishers.

Dana is the recipient of a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and an ACFW Carol Award as well as a Holt Medallion Merit Award winner.

Dana loves feedback from her readers. Contact her via her website atwww.danamentink.com.

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