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Book Review: Northern Light by Annette O’Hare

Posted by Julie on August 5, 2016 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
Northern Light by Annette O'Hare

Northern Light by Annette O’Hare

Civil War has robbed Margaret Logan of all she holds dear, including her beloved New Orleans home and her fiancé. When her family moves to the desolate Bolivar Peninsula to manage a lighthouse that is no longer there, all her hopes for a normal future are dashed. Her world is rocked once again when a wounded Yankee soldier washes ashore needing her help. Despite her contempt for the North, Margaret falls in love with Thomas Murphy. As their love blooms, Margaret’s sister is overcome with neurosis, and her mind slowly slips away. Bitterness, psychosis and depression yield a decision fueled by contempt. Will one fatal choice cause Margaret to lose the man she loves and condemn Thomas to death?

I wish I could write historical romance, because I love to read it. When I learned that there was a review opportunity for a civil war romance, I jumped at it because that’s my favorite time period.

Northern Light did not disappoint.

Margaret is a single young woman living in Bolivar Peninsula grieving the loss of her fiancé who died in the war. It’s not her only loss. Her family had to leave New Orleans and her sister is falling ill, a consequence of the war. The last thing she wants to do is get involved in any aspect of the war, especially when it comes to anything yankee.

She then comes across a Yankee solider who is near death. Her family takes him in and nurses him back to health, something Margaret struggles with despite her Christian upbringing. Thanks to her parent’s example and their prayers, she overcomes her grief and bitterness, only to be threatened to go through it all over again.

This is a solid story that put me smack dab in the south during the war. It felt authentic and I could feel Margaret’s pain and conflict. The characters were all well-developed and well-researched, including Margaret’s attempt to make a meal for Thomas that is ripe of his Irish history. The secondary story of Margaret’s story is one I never thought about when it came to the war. It’s moving and heartbreaking and enhances an already great story.

If you love historicals, are a fan of the Civil War, and read romance, Northern Light is a must read.

To purchase Northern Light, click here

I received Northern Light in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review: The Christmas Bells of Cavazzale by Marian P. Merritt

Posted by Julie on December 16, 2015 in ACFW, Book Review, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

The Christmas Bells of Cavazzale Book Description:

When Charleston “Charly” Maynard loses her job just weeks after her fiancé calls off the wedding, she decides to visit the cottage in the quaint village of Cavazzale, Italy she’s inherited from her grandmother. She’s hoping the time there will help her to decide what to do about her future. When she meets André Lagneaux, a handsome man from Bayou Country, who is visiting his brother in Cavazzale, Charly ignores the attraction. After all, she’s not looking for romance. When André Lagneaux’s parents set up a family trip to Italy, André is eager to spend Christmas with his brother and godchild. Meeting the beautiful American woman at the airport adds to his excitement. He’d loved to get to know her, but her cool demeanor tells him she’s not interested. Will she let down her guard and allow them to get to know one another? When Charly finds a prayer in her nonna’s diary that makes her realize God may have His own plan for her future, she must learn to trust. But, what if His plan includes the dark-haired Cajun?

The Christmas Bells of Cavazzale is an enjoyable holiday read.

The Christmas Bells of Cavazzale is an enjoyable holiday read.

The Christmas Bells of Cavazzale is a quick holiday read that gifts you with the romance of Italy, as well as the budding one between Andre and Charly. Charly lost her job, grandmother, and fiancé. Her grandmother willed an Italian home to her, and off she goes to check it out. Andre’s family plans a trip to Italy so he can see his brother and godchild.

I enjoyed this because it gave me a destination I’ve never been to, and Christmas is always a fun time of year in fiction. I especially liked the side story regarding Charly’s grandmother and her journal. Between Charly’s hurts and the journal, a great faith message weaves into her and Andre’s lives, and it was a great takeaway message for me, too.

To purchase The Christmas Bells of Cavazzale, click here.

I purchased this on my own in order to promote it as part of my “Don’t Miss This” series.



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