Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review: Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette

About the book:
Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette
Out of Egypt: Book 2
Bethany House
In the Depth of the Storm's Shadow, Only Truth Can Light Her Way

Having escaped Egypt with the other Hebrews during the Exodus, Shira is now living in freedom at the foot of Mt. Sinai, upon which rests the fiery glowing Cloud containing the shekinah glory of God. When the people disobey Yahweh and build a golden idol, the ensuing chaos gives Shira an unexpected opportunity to learn the arts of midwifery. Although her mother wishes for her to continue in the family weaving trade, Shira's gifts shine brightest when she assists with deliveries. In defiance of her mother, Shira pursues her heart's calling to become an apprentice midwife.

When a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself bound to a man who betrayed her, the caretaker of three young children, and the target of a vengeful woman whose husband was killed by Shira's people, the Levites. As contention between the Hebrew tribes and the foreigners fans the flames of another dangerous rebellion, Shira will come face-to-face with the heartbreak of her past that she has kept hidden for so long. How can she let go of all that has defined her to accept the love she's denied herself and embrace who she truly is?

My review:

I was obsessed with this series before it even released and it has lived up to my expectations. The writing is evocative and pulls you to the base of Mt. Sinai. The research Cossette puts into each story is apparent and the characters are so easy to care about.

Living in the Shadow of God’s glory, Shira is trying to find her place in this new life. Longing for a family of her own, she finds contentment in her new calling as a midwife. With tendrils of disquiet winding through the camp, Shira fights to hold on the broken pieces of her life. Will she have the strength to turn them over to the Lord?
 Shira was a favorite character since first meeting her in Counted With the Stars and I was so excited to finally unravel some of the hinted threads of her story. She has such a quiet strength, although she does not believe it of herself, and her struggle to navigate the new circumstances she finds herself in are captivating.
 I’m eagerly awaiting the conclusion to this series so I can meet Alanah the Canaanite and Tobiah the Hebrew warrior. I can’t wait to read what’s next from this author.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Review: Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette

About the book:
Counted With the Stars by Connilyn Cossette
Out From Egypt: Book 1
Bethany House

A Story of Love, Desperation, and Hope During a Great Biblical Epoch

Sold into slavery by her father and forsaken by the man she was supposed to marry, young Egyptian Kiya must serve a mistress who takes pleasure in her humiliation. When terrifying plagues strike Egypt, Kiya is in the middle of it all.

To save her older brother and escape the bonds of slavery, Kiya flees with the Hebrews during the Great Exodus. She finds herself utterly dependent on a fearsome God she's only just beginning to learn about, and in love with a man who despises her people. With everything she's ever known swept away, will Kiya turn back toward Egypt or surrender her life and her future to Yahweh?
My review:
I was hooked the moment I learned about Counted With the Stars. A novel about an Egyptian taking the Exodus with the Hebrews was an exciting premise that I was eager to dive in to.  I was not disappointed! Cossette’s writing was beautiful and captivating, her characters intriguing.
 Kiya’s life has spent her entire life in comfort and wealth, always attended to by slaves of her own. Her swift fall from mistress to slave is heart wrenching, as is the sense of total abandonment she feels from those who should have protected her. Her friendship with Shira slowly opens her eyes to the Hebrews’ strange desert God as he brings the plagues down upon Egypt and sets his people free.
The romance was quiet and much more secondary to Kiya’s love story with God. There is a satisfying end for Kiya and Eben along with a promise of much more to come with the other two books to follow in this series. The second novel is Shira’s story and a must read as far as I am concerned.
The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous and drew me to the story just as much as the fabulous synopsis. This debut was truly enjoyable and I’m so excited to read more from this author. I would absolutely recommend this book to fans of Tessa Afshar, Mesu Andrews and Jill Eileen Smith.

  *I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. *

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Review: Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund

About the book:

Hearts Made Whole by Jody Hedlund
Beacons of Hope: Book 2
Bethany House

After her father’s death, Caroline Taylor has grown confident running the Windmill Point Lighthouse. But in 1865 Michigan, women aren’t supposed to have such roles, so it’s only a matter of time before the lighthouse inspector appoints a new keeper–even though Caroline has nowhere else to go and no other job available to her.

Ryan Chambers is a Civil War veteran still haunted by the horrors of battle. He’s secured the position of lighthouse keeper mostly for the isolation--the chance to hide from his past is appealing. He’s not expecting the current keeper to be a feisty and beautiful woman who’s angry with him for taking her job and for his inability to properly run the light. When his failings endanger others, he and Caroline realize he’s in no shape to run the lighthouse, but he's unwilling to let anyone close enough to help. Caroline feels drawn to this wounded soul, but with both of them relying on that single position, can they look past their loss to a future filled with hope…and possibly love?

My review:

At this point it is a given that I will devour anything Jody Hedlund publishes and her new Beacons of hope series is no exception. For some reason I always seem to be start reading a series with the middle book but that was not a problem. Each of these beautiful stories can stand alone with only a little reference to the previous works.

Ryan Chambers is a beautifully flawed character who is looking to start his life over and make amends for past mistakes. When he discovers light keeper jobs are being offered to injured war veterans he sees the perfect opportunity. Caroline Taylor, after the death of her father, has been masterfully running the Windmill Point Lighthouse but soon finds herself being forced from the job she loves because of her gender. This is a touching story of healing and second chances told through captivating writing and in a setting I had never really given much thought to.

Tessa was such a fun character and I truly felt sad for her as she learned from her mistakes just a little too late but bravely faced the consequences of her actions. I am truly happy she has her own installment of this series as well.  

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. *