Friday, August 5, 2016

Two New Reviews: "A Mother in the Making" and "A Heart Deceived"

Hey, everyone! It's Alicia here. If you follow me on Facebook or Google+, you know that I've been swamped! But I'm here today with two new book reviews! Check 'em out!

And what have you been reading this summer?

A Mother in the MakingA Mother in the Making by Gabrielle Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Appropriate for all ages. Best for 13+.

When I found out about the opportunity to jump on-board Gabrielle's street team for this book, I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when the book arrived at my door. Yes, I did jump up and down. I was made even happier by the story itself.

When an aspiring actress shows up as his new governess, Dr. Orton doesn't know what to think. Miss Marjorie Maren is way too beautiful, fun loving, and, well...impractical. How could she possibly be a good governess to his children? And what is she hiding from her past?

Marjorie wants to make people happy with her life. Before she leaves to fulfill that goal as a movie actress, she is determined to leave the Orton family in good hands. Dr. Orton needs a good wife so his children can have a mother again. But what if she never finds the perfect woman? Time is running out...and her heart is getting way too drawn toward the Orton children...and their father.

With a touch of whimsy, overall sweetness, and the occasional similarity to The Sound of Music, A Mother in the Making is a fun, quick read. I enjoyed the story, loved the ending, and liked the two POVs. While I would have preferred a bit more character growth and historical details, that is not easy to achieve with a limited word count. The book was written in the style I've come to expect with Love Inspired books, and it was the perfect length for a quiet afternoon of reading.

Recommended for sweet romance and light historical-fiction fans.

View all my reviews

A Heart DeceivedA Heart Deceived by Michelle Griep
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

16+ for adult and dark themes.

I received this book from the author a few years back. I've started it several times, but this is the first time I've managed to read it all the way through.

DARK is the word I'd use to describe A Heart Deceived. Think Charles Dickens. Think Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, and David Copperfield all rolled into one. Think of a time in English history that was very morbid, disease-ridden, superstitious, and godless. Think of all that, then add a touch of grace, John Newton, and a faint glimmer of hope.

The synopsis speaks for itself. There is no need to add to it. Read it, look at the cover, and you'll get the feel for the book.

This book gets four stars because of Michelle Griep's incredible attention to detail, historical accuracy, and tremendous ability to capture all of the senses in her word-weaving. You'll feel the pain, smell the filth, experience the darkness as you read. I was impressed by her knowledge of often little-known historical details.

The story in itself is a generally sad one, full of intrigue, a murder (?), all of the horrors of the time period, and the general ill effects of a godless society. Hope does break forth from time to time, but the light is far and few between the storm clouds. Expect to be intrigued and mystified, but still saddened and left moody or even depressed. 98% of the characters are downright creepy, unlovable, and wicked. The good ones are good, but understandable and very human (which I like).

I personally would have liked to see more focus on Christ and the gospel. Hope in God is there, but from a vague, almost ecumenical standpoint. This, perhaps, is perhaps because the author wishes to appeal to a wide variety of readers.

The bad do get their deserts, hope does shine forth to conquer, and the ending left me satisfied and warmed after the bleakness of the story. Warnings for sexual references (a nightmare, a man's callous remarks), violence, drugs (opium), and all of the godlessness that was known to that period in England's history.

Recommended for historical fiction fans.

View all my reviews

What have you been reading?

Alicia A. Willis is a home-school graduate, published author, and avid historian. She is a firm believer in the principle that one can accomplish anything by substantial amounts of prayer and coffee. Visit her at her blog to view her historical-fiction novels and all the goings-on between writing!

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