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

Book & Cover Review of "Waiting for Spring" by Amanda Cabot

Back Cover of Waiting for Spring by Amanda CabotFront Cover of Waiting for Spring by Amanda Cabot

Book Review

Amanda Cabot’s second book in the Westward Winds series, “Waiting for Spring”, can be read as a wonderfully engaging stand-alone novel. I have not read the first book of this series and felt neither lost, nor unsatisfied.

Both the male and female leads are well-developed and unique characters I was both rooting for, and frustrated with for much of the book. (Will these two ever figure out they are meant for each other?)

Amanda has also brilliantly developed a bad guy you slowly love to hate. He starts off seeming only slightly untrustworthy … and eventually his true nature leaves you squirming with displeasure — earnestly turning pages to learn how his bad intentions will affect the hero and heroine.

A wonderful story — based in the early years of Cheyenne, Wyoming. It definitely makes it onto my favorites list for the year.

Book Cover Review

May I say that the dress steals the show on this cover? But … since the story is about a dress maker it totally works! The vibrant blue color draws attention, and the style of the dress establishes it is a historical set in the late 19th century. This cover will appeal more to women, but since that is the same target as the story, it is a great match.

One small factoid that I thought was fun about this cover design, is the fact that the title grouping is actually partially hidden behind the cover model’s shoulder. The designer was obviously aware the model and the dress ‘steal the show’ — they are purposely letting it, by giving the title grouping a secondary status in this design (though they did add a touch of gloss to balance it a little).

* This book was provided by the publisher with no guarantee of a positive review. Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Waiting for Spring By Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot explores themes of love, courage and sacrifice in the second book of the Westward Winds series.   With an authentic backdrop of 1880s Wyoming, Cabot creates characters whose struggle to forge a life in the old West ultimately win your heart.

After the loss of her husband and the birth of her baby, Charlotte has had a long, hard year. But when a notorious robber believes she knows the location of a long-lost treasure, she flees to Cheyenne and opens a dressmaker’s shop to lie low and make a living. When wealthy cattle baron and political hopeful Barrett Landry enters the shop to visit her best customer Miriam, Charlotte feels drawn to him.

If Barrett is to be a senator of the soon-to-be state of Wyoming, he must make a sensible match, and Miriam has all the right connections. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Charlotte holds the key to his heart and his future.

Soon the past comes to call, and Barrett’s plans crumble around him. Will Charlotte and Barrett find the courage to look love in the face? Or will their fears blot out any chance for happiness?

Amanda Cabot is an accomplished author under various pen names and a popular speaker. The author of Paper Roses, Scattered Petals, Tomorrow’s Garden, and Summer of Promise, she is also a charter member of Romance Writers of America, the cofounder of its New Jersey chapter, a member of the ACFW, and an avid traveler. She lives in Wyoming.

Endorsements for Amanda Cabot and Waiting for Spring:

“One thing I know to expect when I open an Amanda Cabot novel is heart. She creates characters that tug at my heartstrings, storylines that make my heart smile, and a spiritual lesson that does my heart good. Her stories are like the first sweet scents of spring—pure pleasure.”—Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of My Heart Remembers

“From the first page I found myself rooting for the young widow, Charlotte, who’s trying to forge a life for herself in Cheyenne while also caring for a disabled son. My heart beat with worry as trouble from the past found her. And it pattered with hope as sweet Charlotte caught the eye of handsome Barrett. Amanda Cabot offers a delightful read, and as I turned the pages I was swept away with a story of love, courage, and sacrifice. Recommended!”—Tricia Goyer, bestselling author of 32 books, including Beyond Hope’s Valley

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

Book & Cover Review of "Betrayal" by Robin Lee Hatcher

Special thanks to Zondervan and author Robin Lee Hatcher for providing me with not only the second title, “Betrayal”, in her Where the Heart Lives series, but also book one too! The first book, “Belonging”, sucked me in so deeply that I think I read through both books within three nights’ time. (Yes, they are that good!)

And the even better news is that they provided me with a second copy of each to give out to a lucky reader!! Comment on this post for a chance to have both of these great books mailed to YOU. 🙂

9780310411857Book Review

In the first book of the ‘Where the Heart Lies’ series we are introduced to a set of three siblings who, upon the death of their mother and knowing their father is a rarely present drunkard, have been sent out on an orphan train to find new homes. Unfortunately, all three were placed in different families and towns along the route. The first book is about the middle child, the eldest daughter. This second book is about Hugh Brennan — who unfortunately didn’t get far enough away from the influence of their father. As the eldest, and only boy, Hugh was kept by the first available family needing a worker, and later was retrieved by their father. With his father drinking up most of his money and rarely a steady home to stay in, Hugh ends up in prison for a short term for something his father actually did. This story starts once he is released. Determined to better himself, he has become a drifter in search of reuniting with his lost sisters.

Along the way he happens upon a widow named Julia Grace. Julia’s late husband was so abusive she does not ever want to marry again. However, with her late husband’s brother doing all he can to take her late-husband’s ranch from her, she may have to. Having been a bit of a ‘street rat’ thanks to his father’s influence, Hugh is surprised when he finds ranch life appealing, and the widow too.

This book is a sweet romance, featuring two main characters with pasts they would both rather forget. I feel it will appeal to both men and women who enjoy American historicals from the late 19th century – though slightly more to women.

Book Cover Review

The romantic cover photo of a fashion-model-level handsome drifter/cowboy in a small town depot setting will definitely appeal to women more than men, but it is very well done. Since Hugh is actually a city boy instead of a farm-raised cowboy his clean cut looks and the whiteness of his shirt ‘might’ be explainable? This cover follows well the ‘look’ of the series set by the first cover, so that even though it features a young man instead of a woman, it is obviously part of the Where the Heart lives series. Robin Lee Hatcher’s name is prominently displayed in the same manner, the color scheme is within the same pallet, and the handling of the one word title is also in keeping with the style of the series. I do wonder why the designer chose to use all lower-case letters for the titles, but they have called it out enough that you aren’t left wondering if it is indeed the title or not. Well done! It will reach the right readers, and matches the tone and story well.

Book Description

It’s the turn of the twentieth century and drifter Hugh Brennan is a man well acquainted with betrayal. Hugh finds himself drawn to the attractive widow, Julia, yet when he looks into her eyes, he recognizes the same hurt that haunts him.

Julia Grace has little reason to trust men, but she’s going to have to trust someone if she’s to keep her ranch from the clutches of her dead husband’s half-brother. Is it possible God had a hand in bringing Hugh to her door?

The latest historical romance from award-winning author Robin Lee Hatcher and the second book in the Where the Heart Lives series, Betrayal will take you to the high desert of western Wyoming, through the crags of the Rocky Mountains, and into the hearts of two seekers learning to trust God’s love no matter the circumstances.

Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher is the bestselling author of over sixty-five books. Her well-drawn characters and heartwarming stories of faith, courage, and love have earned her both critical acclaim and the devotion of readers. Her numerous awards include the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance, Romantic Times Career Achievement Awards for Americana Romance and for Inspirational Fiction, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award. Robin currently resides in Idaho.
For more information, visit www.robinleehatcher.com.
Write to Zondervan authors or their estates in care of Zondervan. Your mail will be forwarded as soon as possible, but please note that the author might not be able to respond personally. Email zauthor@zondervan.com or send postal mail to:
Robin Lee Hatcher
c/o Zondervan
ATTN: Author Care
5300 Patterson SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49530