Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review - "Here Burns My Candle" by Liz Curtis Higgs


Book Description
Stepping from a battered coach on a rainy April eve, newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr must begin again, without husband or title, property or fortune. She is unafraid of work and gifted with a needle, but how will she stitch together the tattered remnants of her life? And who will mend her heart, torn asunder by betrayal and deception?

Elisabeth has not come to Selkirk alone. Her mother-in-law, Marjory Kerr, is a woman undone, having buried her husband, her sons, and any promise of grandchildren. Dependent upon a distant cousin with meager resources, Marjory dreads the future almost as much as she regrets the past. Yet, joy still comes knocking, and hope is often found in unexpected places.

Then a worthy hero steps forward, rekindling a spark of hope. Will he risk his reputation to defend two women labeled as traitors to the Crown? Or will a wealthy beauty, untainted by scandal, capture his affections?

The heartrending journey of the Kerr women comes to a glorious finish in Mine Is the Night, a sparkling gem of redemption and restoration set in eighteenth-century Scotland.

My Review
Mine is the Night picks up exactly where Here Burns My Candle ended. For this reason, I do feel that it would be best to read them in chronological order. It's a story of redemption and restoration, following the biblical plot line of Ruth and Naomi with a different setting and era. 

Higgs does a wonderful job creating believable characters who will steal your heart and make you feel their heartaches, joys and disappointments. A new cast of characters are introduced with excellent characterization to set them apart and create their own places in the story. 

There are at least three romances that bloom and you see each character's growth from the first book to the second. For this reason, there aren't many character flaws in Elisabeth. She seems almost perfect. The flaws she once possessed where overcome in the first book. The hero is almost perfect as well. The only character flaw I could see in Lord Buchanan was the fact that he was unconventional for his station in society, which is a necessary ingredient for the the plot to be fulfilled with biblical accuracy. 

Romance readers may find themselves a bit impatient as Elisabeth doesn't even meet the hero until after 160 pages. Still, the pacing is quick and it flies once the two finally meet. I enjoyed how Higgs used the political conventions of 1746 Scotland to resolve the ending conflicts of the plot in a similar fashion to the biblical plot of Ruth and Naomi. It's a very enjoyable read and one I would highly recommend. 

To buy the book, go here.

Visit Liz Curtis Higgs.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: "Daughter of Joy" by Kathleen Morgan

Book Description
Set in the late nineteenth century outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, also tells a compelling, perceptive tale of one woman's faith journey. In the wake of losing both her husband and young son, Abigail Stanton is searching for a way to make sense of her losses. She takes a job as housekeeper for Conor MacKay, a confusing, often volatile man who also carries deep pain-and secrets-in his inscrutable heart. 

My Review
As a descendant of the MacKay family from Culdee, Scotland, Conor must come to terms with his painful past and the scars his father left on his life. Abby's arrival to his now successful ranch, is a constant reminder of his mother's memory and the deep roots of her faith. Once he realizes Abby's integrity and grit beyond his mere attraction to her, Conor is faced with taking risks he wouldn't ordinarily take, but he believes Abby is worth it. 

Abby is grieving from the loss of her husband and 5 year old son, but her attraction to Conor is unexpected and unexplained since she never shared these feelings with her late husband, a man 15 years older and chosen for her by her father. She is forced to make several decisions that put her in opposition against Conor, the town's judgmental convictions, and other ranch hands who don't understand her deep faith driving her forceful will to stand up for what is right.
Just when all seems to be settling down and coming together, the author throws in several plot twists to increase the stakes and tension. The romance is strong, but within the lines of biblical boundaries. The plot is full of suspense that will leave you wondering how the characters will react next. The characters are believable and unique in their own right. The ending is satisfying and I would highly recommend it. Definitely a page turner. 

Buy the book here