book cover review, book review, Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction, Uncategorized, WWII historical novel

Book & Cover Review of 'Through Waters Deep' by Sarah Sundin

ThroughWatersDeepF

Book Review 4BlogStars

Through Waters Deep is the first book in Sarah Sundin’s Waves of Freedom WWII romantic mystery series. Set in 1941, the U.S. is not yet at war, and a young Mary Stirling is working as a secretary at the Boston Navy Yard. Her secretarial skills and access at the navy yard come in quite handy when suspicious sabotage starts happening. A childhood friend, Jim Avery is an Ensign aboard one of the yard’s brand-new destroyers and assists in her amateur investigations. Will Jim be the only one to take her amateur investigations into the events of sabotage seriously?

The mystery and sweet romance will draw you into this WWII mystery novel. I would say women would enjoy this novel more than men, but anyone who loves fiction set in the WWII time period will find it a very enjoyable read. Both the female and the male leading characters are enjoyable, with personal character flaws that make them endearing to the reader.

Cover Review 5 Star Rating

Revell has done a wonderful job with this cover! By looking at the cover alone it is easy to tell this novel is a romance, that it is set in WWII, and that it involves the navy. The stormy grey sky also adds an air of turbulence and mystery.  Even the positioning of the two cover models hints that this is not just a simple love story – not all blue skies and rainbows to be read about in here. I additionally love the treatment of the title. The three horizontal, and partially translucent, white bars help to draw attention to the title, without blocking out any part of the photo. The spine is also attractively designed, and easy to match up with the correct genre of reader. The back cover design is not as strong as the front and spine, but it is still attractive, and the overall design is carried over effectively.

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance, inspirational fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Full Steam Ahead" by Karen Witemayer

Back Cover of book "Full Steam Ahead"Front Cover of "Full Steam Ahead"
 5 Star Rating

Book Review

“Full Steam Ahead” is the perfect book for those who love heroes and heroines that don’t necessarily fit the mold. Nicole Renard is deeply devoted to her father, but their relationship is strained due to one problem totally out of her control – she’s not male. Smart as a whip, and full of spunk, this heroine will capture your heart from the first page.

At the beginning of this story, Nicole has returned home because her father is deathly ill … and his business competitors know it. Attempts are made by his competitors to end her father’s business legacy, and Nicole is desperate to find a husband to give her father a male heir, and help hide what she thinks is her father’s greatest treasure – the Lafitte Dagger. (Yes, there is pirate lore in here too; a unique twist!)

During her adventurous journey to find a spouse among her father’s business partners, she bumps into a very unlikely spousal candidate – Darius Thornton. Darius is a man whose life has become totally obsessed with one thing – improving steamship boiler safety. His explosive experiments, and driven focus, have the entire town talking. Everyone avoids even being near his home except for a couple of loyal house staff members.

These two characters, on the surface, do not seem made for one another at all.  However, once Nicole begins applying her keen mind to Darius’s boiler experiments … he can’t help noticing Nicole is more than a pretty exterior; something her father has failed to do.

I would say that this story is written more with female readers in mind, but anyone interested in the history of US steamboats would enjoy this journey back to that era of travel.

5 Star Rating

Cover Review

I will state for the record, that Bethany House covers tend to be among my favorites. Their design and photography teams manage to capture the buyer’s attention, as well as the heart of the author’s story on a very consistent basis.

The expression of the female model, her body-language of arms folded about her mid-drift, her fly-away hair, and the blast of steam coming from the boiler the male model appears to be working on, all combine into one intriguing and rather fun cover. You know from the moment you look at this cover model, that this young woman is determined, and more than a little spunky.

On the front cover, we only catch a glimpse of the chin of our hero’s face, but he does look rather hunky. You already wonder what he’s up to with all of that steam?

The beautiful embellishment around the title is enhanced by a subtle embossing over both the title and the author name on this cover. I also love that they used the same steamy look behind the title and embellishment to help the title stand out from the background of the model’s vibrant green dress.

The spine features the same photo as the cover, only we do get to see the hero’s entire face (still hunky). The spunky theme is also cleverly carried into the back cover design, where our heroine model appears to be giving her hero an “I told you that wouldn’t work” speech, with one hand on her hip and the other pointing a finger in a commanding way. The hero has his arms slouched, palms up, as though conceding she is correct, or admitting he didn’t know something. I love that I can guess what their conversation is, and what they personalities are like by their body language. So often a cover is only a face staring into the distance.

This cover definitely draws you into the characters and into the story from first glance. Well done!

*This book was provided by the publisher for review under no guarantee of a positive review.

 

 

 

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, cover design, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, historical romance

Book & Cover Review of "Unrivaled" by Siri Mitchell

Front cover of book "Unrivaled" by Siri Mitchell Back Cover of "Unrivaled" by Siri MitchellBook Review

Lucy Kendall was sent abroad with the hope that she would return ready to take on the expected life of a lady – and hopefully snag a husband. However, as the daughter of a candy maker she instead finds inspiration in every decadent bite of Europe’s best confections and returns eager to jump into the candy making business with her father. Not exactly lady-like.

Set in St. Louis around 1910, this story surrounds the lives of Lucy Kendall and Charlie Clarke. Their father’s own competing candy manufacturing companies – though neither of them knows this when they first become attracted to each other. Sparks of a different kind fly once the truth is out! I found the story to be unique in that for once the heroine doesn’t make all the right choices. Motivated to protect her ailing father’s business you are at times shaking your head at some of the things Lucy chooses to do to try and save her father’s business.

Not that Charlie always knows the right thing to do either, but having grown up without his father he’s learned a few things about making choices that affect the people he loves. This is a sweet story, full of delectable descriptions and daring deceit. Will one family put the other out of business? Or, will the next generation of candy makers learn to work in harmony? You’ll have to read this enjoyable story to find out! 

Cover Review

The cover photo is the primary element of this cover and it is gorgeous! The models and wardrobe are wonderfully selected for this turn-of-the-century love story. Soft blues and ecrus set the tone for a sweet romance that only turns bitter when long-standing family rivalries get in the way. This cover will absolutely attract the right reader. It’s soft color palette, the body language of the cover models, and the historical dress reflect that it is a historical romance of the early twentieth century.The designer has let the photo do the talking, yet has still called attention to the book’s title and author name via unobtrusive and complimentary usage of matching ecru scrollwork and embossing/gloss coatings. The spine is also beautiful and easy to read and would also attract the same readership. So far, this is one of my favorite covers for the year. Great job!

* This book was received from Bethany House publishers for review under no promise of a positive review. 

 

Christian fiction, Christian historical, Christian romance, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction

Book & Cover Review of "Moonlight Masquerade" by Ruth Axtell

MoonlightMasqueradeBookCover Back Cover of Moonlight MasqueradeBook Review

The author does a great job of leaving the reader guessing from page one. Though I will admit that at first I found it to be a problem. It took me a little while before I was completely sucked into this novel (though I eventually was). I feel this happened because I wasn’t sure which character I should be rooting for? I didn’t know if I wanted Reese — the butler who is really an English spy — to discover Lady Wexham was a French spy … or not.

Once I knew the two characters better (a few chapters in) I was more solidly into the story … and I truly began to enjoy the historical Regency era backdrop. I’m glad I stuck with it and read to the end. It was a wonderfully written story, full of misdirect and intrigue. I had not previously read a spy novel from the Regency-era and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Though there is a strong male character in this story, I do feel female readers would enjoy “Moonlight Masquerade” more then men. There are too many details about dresses and socialite expectations of the era for me to feel it is written to appeal to both sexes equally.

This book was provided by the Publisher for review, with no guarantee of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

Wealth. Beauty. Power. These three elements are all present in the story, and also reflected well in this cover. The cover model looks down at the hem of her dress in a semblance of demurity. However, the elegance of her surroundings, and her dress, betray that she is a woman of great means. This woman knows how to direct your attention where she wants it. If she wants you to notice how well she is dressed, she knows all the moves. The blue color of her dress are the perfect compliment to the golden tones of her surroundings. She knew exactly which dress to where to this event to make herself appear as though she belongs here … yet still have her beauty stand out. A perfect spy? You’ll have to read the book to know!

Available March 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Moonlight Masquerade

By Ruth Axtell

In this new Regency Romance, Ruth Axtell deftly creates a world where black and white burst into a confusion of colors and no one is who they seem.  Axtell’s expert storytelling and attention to historical detail bring the Regency era alive with  intrigue and romance.

Lady Celine Wexham seems the model British subject. French by birth but enjoying life in 1813 as a widowed English countess, she is in the unique position of being able to help those in need–or to spy for the notorious Napoleon Bonaparte. When Rees Phillips of the British Foreign Office is sent to pose as the countess’s butler and discover where her true loyalties lie, he is confident he will uncover the truth. But the longer he is in her fashionable townhouse in London’s West End, the more his staunch loyalty to the Crown begins to waver as he falls under Lady Wexham’s spell.

Ruth Axtell is the author of thirteen novels, including Wild Rose, one of Booklist‘s Top Ten in Christian Fiction. Currently a resident of Downeast Maine, Axtell has lived in the Canary Islands, Miami, and the Netherlands.

Endorsements for Moonlight Masquerade

 

 “Intrigue, romance, a clandestine kiss . . . all cast in a Regency setting so magnificently detailed I could see the fabrics and feel the glow of another era. Secrets and past disappointments keep Céline and Rees apart, not to mention the largest chasm of all—class. A wonderfully romantic and memorable read!”—Maureen Lang, author of Bees in the Butterfly Garden

“The first paragraph drew me into the story, and the next twist held me there to the end.”—Laurie Alice Eakes, author of A Flight of Fancy

Moonlight Masquerade is a wonderful romance, graced with expert detail of the Regency period, as well as with Ruth Axtell’s usual flair for intensely romantic situations between characters so real I couldn’t stop thinking about them. Moonlight Masquerade is an exciting romantic adventure of spies, forbidden love, and happily-ever-after that I thoroughly enjoyed.”—Melanie Dickerson, two-time Christy Award finalist and author of The Healer’s Apprentice and The Merchant’s Daughter

Christian fiction, Christian historical, cover design, Historical, historical christian fiction, Historical Fiction, inspirational fiction

Book & Cover Review of "All for a Song" by Allison Pittman

366807oBook Review

“All For a Song” was a story about options. What if you dare to take the road less traveled? To take the unsafe road; the one where you can’t predict what will happen two steps ahead. Dorothy Lynn Dunbar is a small-town girl with a lot of talent. Her talent takes her on a wild journey — one which will help her discover if her current path of security and predictability, is the one she really wants to be on. It was also a story about family. How far will we go out of our comfort zone when our love of a family member is involved?

I won’t spoil all of the fun, but it was entertaining to get an insider’s glimpse of what life was like during the roaring twenties, both in rural areas and urban ones. I was also not very aware of the history of early female evangelists. Unfortunately for our heroine, she finds out all too easily how many temptations are present when you are living life on the road away from your family. You’ll have to read the story to see how she handles it!

* This book was received for review by the publisher with no promise of a positive review.

Book Cover Review

I like this cover, except for the very limited color palate. Because all of the tones are muted I don’t think it will stand out as well on the shelf and attract unfamiliar purchasers. I do feel that, if it does get noticed, it will appeal to the right reader. The style of dress and hat on the model is appropriate for a 1920s historical. I do wish they could have worked the musician or singer part of the story into the front cover a little more though. The tiny hint of a musical instrument at the top of the back cover is our only clue that this story is about an early female worship leader.

Book Description from the Publisher

Dorothy Lynn Dunbar has everything she ever wanted: her family, her church, her community, and plans to marry the young pastor who took over her late father’s pulpit. Time spent in the woods, lifting her heart and voice in worship accompanied by her brother’s old guitar, makes her life complete . . . and yet she longs for something more.

Spending a few days in St. Louis with her sister’s family, Dorothy Lynn discovers a whole new way of life—movies, music, dancing; daring fashions and fancy cars. And a dynamic charismatic evangelist . . . who just happens to be a woman. When Dorothy Lynn is offered a chance to join Aimee Semple McPherson’s crusade team, she finds herself confronted with temptations she never dreamed of. Can Dorothy Lynn embrace all the Roaring Twenties has to offer without losing herself in the process?

Link to discussion guides and further information.