Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Painter's Daughter by Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen never disappoints me. The stories she weaves pick me up and pluck me right into the time period. The Painter's Daughter is no exception. Since the main character is a painter herself, I expected the descriptive language and scenes to be written as though through a painter's eye. I could vividly imagine seeing what Sophie was seeing. I wanted to climb the hill to Castle Rock and look at the north Devon coast, as she did. I could imaging walking through the halls at Overtree. As always, Julie Klassen's descriptions of the time period and dress were accurate and immaculate.

The cast of characters in this book made the story far more interesting. Winnie, Colonel, Kate, and the Overtrees made for an intriguing diversion from the seriousness of the situations Sohpie and Stephen encountered. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about Sophie Dupont. Her character seemed weak and a tad too gullible for my taste. Then, as I learned more about Wesley's character and her interaction with him, I could understand better how she found herself in such a precarious predicament. I envied her strength when she arrived at Overtree Hall, and her determination to do what was right, in the face of such strong temptation. As for Stephen Overtree, there were glimpses of "Captain Black" as Wesley was wont to call him, but I found him rather endearing. His strength of character and strong will showed me a great deal about him. I loved that they faced so many challenges at the beginning of the book. As Winnie states, they had already overcome so much to be together, their future looked bright.

One area I feel Julie Klassen excels in is weaving a strong message into the story. Asking God to help you is the first step in overcoming temptation and sin. That doesn't mean you won't face trials and even more temptation, it means that you have a never ending supply of help and comfort in your trials. As Wesley, Stephen, Captain Keith, and even Sophie learn, "all men struggle with some temptation or another, but God will help you." 

Overall, Julie Klassen weaves a tail of overcoming temptation and trials with God's help. I give this book 4 stars.

Read an excerpt.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*

About The Painter's Daughter: Sophia Dupont assists her father in his studio, keeping her own artwork out of sight. In private, she paints the picturesque north Devon Coast, popular with artists—including handsome Wesley Overtree, who seems more interested in her than the landscape.

Captain Stephen Overtree is accustomed to taking on his brother Wesley's responsibilities. Near the end of his leave, he is sent to find his brother and bring him home. Upon reaching Devonshire, however, Stephen is stunned to learn Wesley has sailed for Italy and left his host's daughter in serious trouble.

Stephen feels duty-bound to act, and strangely protective of the young lady, who seems somehow familiar. Wanting to make some recompense for his own past failings as well as his brother's, Stephen proposes to Miss Dupont. He does not offer love, but marriage "in name only" to save her from scandal. If he dies in battle as he fears, she will at least be a respectable widow.

Desperate for a way to escape her predicament, Sophie finds herself torn between her first love and this brooding man she barely knows. Dare she wait for Wesley to return? Or should she elope with the captain and pray she doesn't come to regret it?

Buy your copy: B&N | Amazon | CBD
 ISBN-13: 9780764210723 | Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/2015

About the Author: I worked in publishing for sixteen years (first in advertising, then as a fiction editor) and now write full time. The Secret of Pembrooke Park won the Minnesota Book Award. Three of my books, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Silent Governess have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Maid of Fairbourne Hall and The Girl in the Gatehouse also won a Midwest Book Award and The Silent Governess was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's RITA awards.

I graduated from the University of Illinois and enjoy travel, research, BBC period dramas, long hikes, short naps, and coffee with friends. My husband and I have two sons and live near St. Paul, Minnesota.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Cover Reveal | Sophia Redeemed by B. Benfield

Sophia Redeemed - Cover Reveal Banner1

Bouncing around the foster care system, Sophia has a horrible life until at the age of eighteen; she flees her abusive “father.” Trying to survive on the streets, she is taken in by a pimp, Jax. While she makes enough money to rent a rundown apartment, Jax’s percentage leaves her struggling to pay her own way.
While treating herself to a cup of coffee, she meets Matt. The persistent young man asks her out, not realizing her circumstances. When Sophia reveals her past and shares with him her current life, Matt is undeterred.
A violent, life-changing encounter with Jax brings Matt to her rescue. He takes her to his parents’ guesthouse, where she is welcomed and given a job in his father’s church. The only stipulation is she must attend church with the family.
Blossoming in her new life, Sophia and Matt begin to explore their relationship.

However, someone is not pleased with the changes in her life. Threatening calls and messages are only the beginning of the danger to Sophia. Corruption, lies, and betrayal threaten the couple and when the truth is revealed, many lives are left in turmoil. Can faith and love overcome the devastation in Sophia’s life and lead to her redemption and the life she deserves?
Sophia Redeemed Teaser


B. Benfield is a Contemporary Christian Romance author. She got her start writing New Adult Romance. She went on to self-publish four novels before ultimately deciding to take those books off the shelves, follow her heart, and pursue Christian Romance.
She’s a banker by day and a writer by night, spending all time in between hanging out with her husband, son, friends, and family! She loves to hear from her readers, so don’t hesitate to shoot her a message!

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