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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.6 out of 5
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  • Intriguing Christian romance

    When I started this book, I was quickly immersed in the characters, scenery, and even the mystery that is dangled in front of the reader with only tidbits revealed here and there to keep the reader engaged and on the edge of their seats. There was so much to like about this book I don't know where to start! The setting is the Texas Hill Country which is beautiful today, I can only imagine what it was like when this book was set. Rolling hills painted with bluebonnets in the spring....sigh, a place I want to visit. The characters are diverse and complex and while we know some of the histories of the main characters, we don't know everything yet and it leaves much more to be discovered in future books in this series. But we do learn about their strengths, weaknesses, desires, and hopes for the future. There are even a few antagonists in this book that while they might have some redeeming qualities, are not portrayed in a positive light and it adds to the complexity of the story. Sam would be the biggest one in the book and I can only hope that a future book will focus on him and he is able to redeem himself. I love the town of Mesquite Springs and especially the diner that Evelyn opens in town. The description reminds me so much of the restaurant in When Calls the Heart. I loved that they would sit single people wherever there was an open seat. What a great way to get to know someone new in town, whether just passing through or a resident. And that Oatmeal Pecan Pie? I don't like pecan pie but now I am intrigued. Wyatt has so much going on in his life and I can feel his struggles with running the ranch and supporting his mom and sister. I don't think he gives them enough credit, but in his defense sometimes you can only go by past actions of people. I think a huge boost to his mom's wellbeing was bringing Evelyn and Polly to their ranch to dry out and stay for a few days. It gave her a purpose which is something she needed. There are actually three different storylines and the author weaves a suspenseful tale that kept me wondering who these characters were, what they wanted, and what the end result would be with the culmination of the book. Part of the story I was able to figure out, but part of it was quite a surprise to me. I really liked the suspenseful part of wondering who these other characters were since their story didn't flow with Evelyn or Polly's story. There are many faith-based parts in this book which include a character surviving a potentially fatal injury. I think that each verse or faith section only strengthens my belief that people are inherently good and will prove that in various situations. Or if they are evil that they will receive their just rewards. Overall this was a fantastic book and there is probably so much more I could say but then you wouldn't have anything left to read. We give this 5 paws up.

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  • Beauty For Ashes

    An impressive start to a new series that will keep you up way to late as you won’t want to put it down. With just enough mystery and intrigue to pull you in and a well developed story you will soon find yourself immersed in these characters lives. I love orphan stories as my mom was raised in an orphanage therefore Evelyn and Polly had my empathy from the start. Throw in a horse rancher and you then have a sweet romance develop but with many bumps along the way. This book is a complete package and will leave you eagerly anticipating book two. It shows forgiveness, second chances, and sacrificial love. The descriptive words will have you envisioning bluebonnet season in Texas and the tantalizing food that Evelyn cooks up. I recommend making this your next must read, as it is a perfect example of God giving beauty for ashes. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

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  • Out Of The Embers

    OUT OF THE EMBERS...Amanda Cabot Time of 1850 in Texas Hill Country, when life was tough for a young orphanage girl. To lose parents, and now her orphanage home, Evelyn finds refuge at a horse ranch. Thinking someone is always watching her, but why. Wyatt didn’t want or need woman on his ranch, there was always plenty of work. When she needs protection, he wants to protect her. Good beginning to a new series, showing how the west and times were back then. You will like the courage of Evelyn. Given ARC for my voluntary review and my honest opinion from Net Halley and Revell.

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  • Magnetic Mystery-Romance from Old West

    There’s just something magnetic about a light romantic tale from the Old West. Add some mystery and suspense and you have the ingredients for a very enjoyable read by Amanda Cabot, Out of the Embers. Evelyn Radcliffe and young Polly escape the orphanage fire that is deliberately set. How far must they run to find a new, secure life? Evelyn is a very mature, loyal young woman who will do anything to protect those she loves. Her “adoption” of Polly proves how unselfish she is. I liked how her unselfish helping at the Circle C eventually leads to her dream future. But the path to get there is rocky. Wyatt Clark is quickly interested in the young woman who comes to stay at the Circle C. However, the facts aren’t building a truthful foundation for a friendship, let alone anything more. Wyatt is a very responsible and caring individual who puts others above himself, as well. Which is why he is still present on the Circle C, a place he longs to leave. I love that Wyatt is not afraid to accept help and that he also listens to the voice of reason. These qualities go far in any relationship, be it friendship or love. Eventually, we see the far-reaching effects of lives lived for others. I am not as impressed with Polly, the child in this novel. However, she does seem to act true to her identity. Unless he shows up again in future books and bigger roles, I was unimpressed with the story thread of “the Watcher.” You’ll have to read the book to see if you agree. You may form a totally different opinion, which makes writing and reading these reviews fun. You get to read the actual text, write a review, then see what other readers think. One thing I know. I got a sneak peek at a few pages of the next book, and I am anxious to read the next volume, Dorothy and Brandon’s story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. This did not influence my opinions, which are solely my own.

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