A Song of Joy: A Net Galley Review


Lauraine Snelling has been one of my favorite historical novelists for quite a number of years. I was first introduced to her through the Blessings Series, which I eagerly awaited new titles as soon as I completed one! Dakota Treasures and the Secret Refuge Series were both compelling sets as well. It has been a while since I picked up one of her novels, so I was really excited to start turning the pages in A Song of Joy, the fourth title in Under the Northern Skies. 

As with many of Snelling’s titles the story centers around a Norwegian immigrant. I love the setting and time period for this particular title. Set in 1911 in Minnesota, it is a time of simplicity and new innovations all at the same time. Nilda, originally from Norway and most recently from a small farm near Blackduck, MN, works alongside Mrs. Schoenleber. The older woman completely trusts Nilda, who acts a sort of personal assistant. She is also quite altruistic around town and with those whom she encounters, much to the consternation of her brothers who are more miserly and greedy with funds from the family business. It becomes increasingly apparent that these brothers are conniving. Nilda, meanwhile, is struggling with memories which haunt her of a man who attacked her. He is no longer living, but even in death he makes her life a nightmare.

I love how Snelling weaves truths from Scripture throughout the pages. We see the very real struggle of what it is like to live with the darkness which comes to someone who is attacked. I appreciate her ability to empathize and guide the reader through what the experience is like. I also appreciate the advice given by Nilda’s family and employer to help her through this time. 

I also find the struggle some of the characters have with English a truly beautiful thing! We learn a few Norwegian words along the way, but are reminded that those new to our country may need some help, not to mention patience and understanding, when they come to this country. It is easy to take our native language for granted. 

There are three novels previous to this which I have not yet read. Although I greatly enjoyed the book, I would recommend starting at the beginning of this series in order to fully appreciate the family structure and know the background of the characters. I myself intend to go to the beginning of the series and read them all!

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

A Noble Guardian: A Net Galley Review


Quality, clean historical fiction is my favorite genre. I don’t mind a little mystery as long as it isn’t too intense. Neither some romance, as long as it remains clean. A Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep filled these requirements well! 

This is the third title in The Bow Street Runner Trilogy. I have not read the first two titles, but this story stands alone and it is not necessary to have done so. I love that it is a pretty lengthy book! I love reading long books where there is plenty of time for character development. 

This particular title was peril-filled! Lots of action and adventure follow the heroine and hero along the way. I did have some trouble getting a good feeling for the setting, but I think this may have had to do with the nature of travel in the book. The heroine is traveling to meet her fiance and in the process the hero must accompany her for safety reasons after she is attacked. I do think if I had read the previous novels the setting would have been a little easier to grasp. 

I did like the heroine of this story. She is plucky, but also naive in many ways. At times I felt her reactions didn’t match other parts of her expressed character, but then I remember none of us is able to be exactly predictable in our natures. 

Like most romance stories there is a lot of will-they/won’t-they play back and forth. I appreciated that it was handled well and with tact. The more “romantic” descriptions were very tasteful, but were still a little deeper than I would have my daughters read until they are older, maybe college age. They aren’t interested in romance yet anyway, but I do keep that in mind as I am reading. 

I was pleased with the closure. There was miscommunication and misunderstanding, not all the fault of the characters, but it was cleared up eventually and everything tied up nicely. I do not like cliff hangers or unresolved endings and I was quite satisfied with how things tied up with both of the main characters as well as the young child who plays a significant role in their story. 

I would highly recommend this title, but I think going back and reading the first two in the series might be beneficial to getting the most enjoyment out of this one. 

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

A Perfect Silhouette: A Net Galley Review


It’s been a while since I picked up a title by Judith Miller. I have always enjoyed her writing and I was not disappointed with A Perfect Silhouette! 

One of the things I enjoy about Judith Miller’s storytelling is the constant theme of redemption. No one is ever beyond forgiveness or repentance and this is beautifully represented in her novels. 

The main character, Mellie, is a sweetly innocent girl thrown into the necessity of working in a mill town. She’s used to living a comfortable life, but she finds must help her sister meet financial needs because of her brother-in-laws misdeeds. Morgan, the hero, is not who he presents himself to be. Things become quite complicated faster than Morgan is able to deal with them, especially as the two begin to realize their feelings for one another.

I love how their innocence and honorable behavior is portrayed. We need more pure love stories that stir the emotions without leaving the reader blushing. Judith Miller does a wonderful job of this in a way I would be completely comfortable allowing my daughters to read her writing when in middle or high school. 

I also admire the progression of her characters. Even though both begin with high moral standards even in the beginning, they grow in their faith and maturity throughout the chapters. 

*Slight spoiler…but not too much!*
My favorite part of this books is as I mentioned before, no one is beyond forgiveness or repentance. Two characters in particular show this played out. One is Mellie’s roommate. I love how forgiveness leads to a repentant heart. I know it doesn’t always work out this way, but seeing this gives hope for a real-life answer to prayer such as is given in the story. 

The second character who shows this example is Morgan’s mother. I honestly was surprised at the turn of events at the end of the novel and it was nice to be surprised in a pleasant way! It is lovely to read a story where there not true villains in the sense of most literature, merely souls who need to be reminded of the love of the God most high. 

This is again and excellent read and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for something to capture your heart and give a happy ending. This is one I would love to see created into a television series or movie! 

Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

The Captain’s Daughter: A Net Galley Review


New books and new authors are like a treasure to me! I always have authors I love, but finding a new one to admire and enjoy is always a treat! The Captain’s Daughter, by Jennifer Delamere, is definitely one of those treats!

Image result for the captain's daughter jennifer delamere

I’m always a fan of historical fiction and especially of the time period of this novel, the Victorian Era. I was also intrigued by the premise of following one of the residents from George Muller’s orphanage. This was a new spin on this particular setting and I couldn’t wait to settle into the title!

I loved that this particular series would follow a set of three sisters who depart from the orphanage. Being a mother of three girls myself I found it fun to see their various personalities. This first title focuses on the oldest of the three sisters, Rosalyn. 

I found the characters in this story to be intriguing and compelling. I appreciated the personal journey Rosalyn moves through and how she grows as a person. This historical atmosphere and background including George Muller was a wonderful bonus! 

The hero of the novel, Nate, is another enjoyable character. The author effortlessly flows between the two character’s perspectives in a lovely example of 3rd person limited as is used in modern literature. He is a young officer who has earned the respect of his commanders. I appreciate the he was never presented as perfect, but definitely as honorable. 

If you enjoy historical fiction and a good, clean romantic historical story, this is a good one for you! 
Disclaimer: I was given this title through Net Galley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.