Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jenna's Cowboy

This book intrigued me from the beginning.  A lot of you may be wondering why, since it's about a soldier returning from war, and my soldier didn't get the chance to come home.  Well, ever since I dealt with the "horrors" of war on the home front, I've met a lot of soldiers. Most of them were suffering. They wouldn't admit it, but they were. I also did a project at school on PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and it really opened my eyes.

That being said, I read this book in about 3 days. I absolutely loved it. Sharon Gillenwater brought the characters and the issue the characters face to life in a way that made it real and believable.  This book intrigued me because it was about PTSD, something I think this country needs to recognize a lot better. It didn't disappoint. The author knew her stuff and did her research on the widespread trauma that our soldiers are facing.  The fact that it also portrays how God can heal your broken spirit and heart in a way that doesn't over power you is great too.

I felt I could relate to both characters, having gone through what I did. The main female character, Jenna Callahan Colby, is a beautiful mother with a broker, bruised spirit. Her husband, Jimmy Don, left her and her son.  She suffered from a deep depression, which only the Lord and her son could help bring her out of.  After moving back home, she never thought she would love again. I can relate to the depression and the feeling alone and helpless. When Jenna realized that there was only one person who could heal her, and that was God, I was right there with her. She has a strong faith, one which I admire greatly, and tried hard to be the mother, daughter, and woman she needed to be for those she loved.

The main male character in the book is Nate Langley, former cowboy, farmer, and Iraqi/Afghanistan war hero.  He is coming home after 10 years, 2 deployments, and a severe injury in the Army to help his parents on the farm.  He is also starting to noticed the signs of PTSD. I won't go in to detail about the plot of the book.  Suffice it to say that the author portrays the symptoms quite well. I know because I've heard stories and witnessed it first hand in some of the soldiers I've met since my husband died. His story ends happily, while many soldiers, in real life, will not.  He faces his problem and seeks what little help there is out there for him, and especially comfort from his God.

There is no action, mystery or great suspense.  Just a sweet love story about healing and the power of God to make things whole. I loved this book, bought the second and third book in the series and can't wait to read them!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Shattered by Dani Pettrey

Alaskan Courage Series, Book 2
Bethany House, Jan 2013
ISBN: 9780764209833

When her prodigal brother Reef's return to Yancey, Alaska, is shattered by his arrest for murder, Piper McKenna is determined to protect him.

Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he's also sworn to find the truth. And he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth puts Landon's career in jeopardy.

When Piper launches her own investigation, Landon realizes he must protect her from herself--and whatever complications await as the two follow clues deep into Canada's rugged backcountry. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.

Read an excerpt.
Grab Your Copy: B&N | Amazon | CBD

My Review: After the agonizing wait I endured for this book to come, Shattered by Dani Pettrey, did not disappoint.  Dani Pettrey is an excellent writer.  She makes the characters come alive.  I feel like they are real (or maybe that's just my wild imagination). I get so involved with the characters and the story she tells that I don't want the book to end. This book leads us back to the side story from book one, Submerged. Piper McKenna and Deputy Landon Grainger are the main characters in this exciting story of murder, mystery, and of course, God's love.

Deputy Landon Grainger has sworn to uphold the law, see justice done, and protect those he loves.  He was "adopted" into the McKenna family and has known them for years.  He is strong, protective, and honest.  He is also in love, and fighting it every step of the way. I don't really know how else to describe Landon, except that I would want him fighting for me and protecting me :) (haha).

Piper McKenna is the baby of the family. She is sweet, loving, and tenderhearted woman who loves adventure, and can be independent and stubborn to a fault. Her and Landon have a unique relationship, him always trying to keep her out of trouble and from harm, and her pushing him to the limits whenever possible.  I love how everyone in these two books tries to shelter Piper as much as possible. Whenever something happens, the characters first reaction is "this will kill Piper"  or something to that effect. It really brings to light her character and how much everyone in the community, and especially her family, loves her.

The plot starts moving from the first page! The McKenna's long lost brother, Reef, shows up covered in blood, shortly after a woman has been murdered. He is arrested as the most logical suspect, and the evidence is unreal.  It's up to Piper to prove his innocence.  The twists and turns of this story will keep you on the edge of your seat, while the romance and the blossoming love will make you yearn to get to the ending (because of course, it's a happy one!). The message in this book is the same as in the first. God's love is all encompassing, and when a person REALLY, TRULY submits their lives, their hearts, their whole beings to God, they can change, no matter what they've done in the past.

I read this book in three days. THREE! That's how much I loved it. I wish the next book in the series (because there HAS to be another one) was out already! I need to know what happens between Darcy and Gage, Kayden and Jake, and then Reef! READ THIS BOOK! You won't regret it, I promise! ;)

**I was provided a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers for an honest review**

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters.