My Review: The Thorn Bearer

This review was originally published almost 3 years ago, but some things are worth repeating. In light of Pepper Basham’s upcoming historical romance release, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge – Laurel’s Dream, I thought it timely to recall her first historical romance (the one that made me an instant fan).

Thorn Bearer Review Image

I discovered The Thorn Bearer by Pepper Basham via an Instagram post by RachaelReadsFiction. I followed the link to her blog where she was so enthusiastic about The Thorn Bearer and its upcoming sequel, The Thorn Keeper, that I was compelled to add The Thorn Bearer to my TBR list.

The Story

English born, American raised, nurse Ashleigh has plans to return to her home country and serve in a hospital treating wounded soldiers in war ravaged England. Already harboring a soul-crushing secret, she suffers personal loss and heartbreaking betrayal before setting off across the Atlantic on the doomed Lusitania.

Much to her consternation, she is joined on this journey by her best friend, Sam Miller, who is traveling to England to reunite with his fiancé, Ashleigh’s sister.  “As they travel across the Atlantic, neither is prepared for the life-altering and heart-breaking journey of their friendship.”

When Ashleigh’s secret is thrown into the light, she is forced to deal with the aftermath and struggles to find her hope in God.

The Experience

Most of you will be familiar with the famous poem about God carrying us through our darkest times. As the reader, I could truly see this happening for Ashleigh. The spiritual aspect of this novel is completely organic and seamlessly woven into the story. Wonderfully written, this book has an almost poetic feel to it. The characters are so rich and the setting so real you’ll question whether you’ve actually lived through these significant events in history.

Having said that, I do feel compelled to issue one warning:  If you have a history of abuse, please be aware this book may contain triggers for you.

Whether you’re looking for a true love story, a strong character arc, a page-turning plot, a taste of history, spiritual encouragement, or a sensory feast, The Thorn Bearer has what you’re looking for.  I highly recommend this book!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!

As if reading a fantastic book isn’t awesome enough, I was blessed to win an Advance Reading Copy of the upcoming sequel, The Thorn Keeper!

Materials Note:  I purchased my own copy of this book, for my own reading pleasure.

Updated:

Read my review of Book 2, HERE!

Read my review of Book 3, HERE!

First Line Friday – 8.17.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from a novella I recently read and loved: Facade by Pepper Basham. But before I share that line, can we just pause a moment to drool over this cover? I mean . . . it’s just gorgeous!

Facade

*discretely wipes mouth with napkin* Okay, now that that’s done, here is the first line:

Yet another grand display of extravagance and the idiosyncrasies of the social dance. 

about-the-book-2

A reclusive academic who would do anything to save her brother.

A reluctant spy who’d risk is life to save the woman who broke his heart.

Olivia Rakes has almost mythic observations skills when it comes to facts, figures, and details, but she stumbles through matters of the heart. When her brother goes missing over German-occupied France, Livy enlists her services with a group of search-and-rescue spies, who not only thrust her toward espionage, danger, and deceit, but the most frightening of all…romance.

Agent Christopher Dawson has avoided Livy Rakes since she broke his heart three years ago. Which is probably for the best, since, as a British spy, he could very well die any day and pursuing a romantic relationship is not on the agenda for him. But when the search for a downed-pilot brings them together on a secret mission, the heart takes on a mind of its own.

In a world where war changes the rules of life and love, can Christopher and Livy work together to complete their rescue mission before the enemy catches them first.

My Thoughts

Okay, so I don’t normally share a review in my First Line Friday posts, and this isn’t going to be my usual type review, but I can’t help sharing my thoughts with you!

Perhaps it is because I’d just finished watching Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits, or perhaps it’s because I’m such a fan of PBS’s Sherlock and Basham’s heroine reminded me of a female version of the infamous detective, but this book simply fascinated me from the first scene to the last page.

The heroine is unlike any other I’ve ever read. For that reason, her relationship with the hero is also unlike any I’ve read before. Despite its uniqueness, or rather, I think, because of it, the love which the two of them share is deep and special. You just want to wrap yourself in their romance like a soft, warm blanket on a wintery day. (CLICK to TWEET)

When you combine this with a plot that throws twist after twist at you and keeps you turning pages to see what will happen next . . . this isn’t a book to start if you want to get any sleep.  But it is not a book you want to miss out on! I highly recommend adding this novella to your TBR!

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

TWEETABLE:

Cover Challenge

Cover Challenge

They say covers sell books and designing them takes a special skill. So I’m curious:  How much attention do we actually pay to those slaved-over images?

Below are pieces of book covers from Christian romance books which have been released within the last 12 months (May 2017-May 2018). Can you name each book from just a tiny peek at the cover? To make things easier, there is a list to choose from below the images.

AAn Unexpected Redemption - Puzzle Piece

BThe Captured Bride - Puzzle Piece

CThree Words and a Kiss - Puzzle Piece

DNo Other Will Do - Puzzle Piece

EThe Backcountry Brides Collection - Puzzle Piece

FThe Lady and the Lionheart - Puzzle Piece

GThis Wilderness Journey - Puzzle Piece

HLove Held Captive - Puzzle Piece

ICharming the Troublemaker - Puzzle Piece

JA Heart's Revolution - Puzzle Piece

Your possible answers in no particular order:

  1. Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper D. Basham
  2. Three Words and a Kiss by Sondra Kraak
  3. The Backcountry Brides Collection by Angela K. Couch, Debra E. Marvin, Shannon McNear, Gabrielle Meyer, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Pegg Thomas, Denise Weimer
  4. No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
  5. An Unexpected Redemption by Davalynn Spencer
  6. The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep
  7. This Wilderness Journey by Misty M. Beller
  8. A Heart’s Revolution by Roseanna M. White
  9. The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
  10. Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

See the full covers HERE!

Let’s chat!

How did you do? Did you guess them all? Did any of them stump you?

10 Awesome Books on Audible

10 Awesome Books on Audible

One of the great things about reviewing books is getting to read fantastic works earlier than most readers. One of the downsides is that by the time the audiobook releases for some of my favorites, I’m often too busy reading the next new release to get a chance to enjoy the audio versions.

That said, I do love a good audiobook, so I thought I’d share with you 10 awesome books currently available on Audible.

Since I have read and reviewed each one of these, I’m providing links to my reviews to help you with deciding which you’re in the mood for.

Book #1:

Long Time Gone audiobook cover art

Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy

My Review5 Stars!

Book #2:

Heart on the Line audiobook cover art

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

My Review: 4 Stars!

Book #3:

The Thornbearer audiobook cover art

The Thorn Bearer by Pepper D. Basham

My Review5 Stars!

Book #4:

The Thorn Keeper audiobook cover art

The Thorn Keeper by Pepper D. Basham

My Review: 4.5 Stars!

Book #5:

A Name Unknown audiobook cover art

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

My Review5 Stars!

Book #6:

Love Held Captive audiobook cover art

Love Held Captive by Shelley Shepard Gray

My Review5 Stars!

Book #7:

The Lady and the Lionheart audiobook cover art

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

My Review5 Stars!

Book #8:

Against the Tide audiobook cover art

Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden

My Review5 Stars!

Book #9:

Never Forget audiobook cover art

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund

My Review5 Stars!

Book #10:

This one is newly released on Audible and I have enjoyed experiencing this story in a whole new way. I also recently reviewed this book on Goodreads and although I have mentioned it her previously (in a First Line Friday post and an interview with the author last summer), I never officially shared my review here. So below you will find the full text of my mini-review.

The Girl Who Could See audiobook cover art

The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

My Review5 Stars!

I picked up this fantastic novella at a writers conference in June of 2017. I started reading it that night thinking I would just read a page or two and go to sleep. WRONG! I couldn’t stop reading! This book had my attention from the start and didn’t let go until the last page. Almost a year later, I still think about it and with the recent release of its audible version, I am actually revisiting this story – an extreme rarity for me. Even if you don’t normally read this genre, I highly recommend giving it a try. I read a lot, but I have never read anything quite as unique and entertaining as this. There is a Christian message in there, but it is subtle (without being weak) and completely organic.

 

Let’s Chat!

Have you listened to any of these books? What did you think of the narration? Do you prefer printed, digital, or audiobooks?

 

TWEETABLE:

Check out these 10 Awesome Books on Audible! #BookReviews #Audiobooks #ChristFic @KathleenDenly

First Line Friday – 4.13.18

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Hi Everyone! It’s First Line Friday, so grab a book near you and share your first line in the comments below!

Today I’m sharing the first line from the next book on my TBR list: Charming the Troublemaker by Pepper D. Basham. I completely adored the first book in Pepper’s Mitchell’s Crossroads series, so I’ve been wanting to read this second book in the series for a long while now. I’m excited to finally get to do so.

Charming the Troublemaker

Here is the first line:

Loser ex-husbands and freezing January afternoons left a nasty chill.

about-the-book-2

When Dr. Alex Murdock is demoted to a university in rural Virginia, the last thing he expects to find is a future. But country charm never looked as good as it did on Rainey Mitchell.

Rainey Mitchell does not need a high-class flirt in her wounded world, but trouble and temptation wafts off the new professor as strong as his sandalwood-scented cologne. When circumstances thrust them together to save her tutoring clinic, can the troublemaker find the hero inside and encourage the reticent Rainey to open her heart again?

AMAZON

Click HERE to follow my blog and make sure you don’t miss out on any of my upcoming reviews and other fun posts!

Are you a Kathleen’s Readers’ Club member? KRC members receive exclusive content, are eligible for exclusive seasonal book giveaways, and more! Join Today!

Now it’s your turn to grab the book nearest you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 10.26.17

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Welcome to First Line Friday! Each Friday I pick a book and share the first line with you. In return, I hope you’ll share with me a first line from whatever book you have at hand!

This week I am sharing the first line from a book by one of my favorite authors, Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer.

Full Steam Ahead cover image

Here’s the first line:

Galveston, Texas
April 1851

Nicole Renard gripped her mother’s letter in her gloved hand as the carriage rattled down Bath Street, away from the docks.

Here’s the description:

 

Nicole Renard returns home to Galveston and finds her father deathly ill. Though she loves him, he’s only ever focused on what she’s not. Not male. Not married. Not able to run Renard Shipping.

Vowing to secure a suitable husband to give her father the heir he desires before it’s too late, Nicole sets out with the Renard family’s greatest treasure as her dowry: the highly coveted Lafitte Dagger. But when her father’s rivals come after the dagger, she’s forced to change her destination.

Darius Thornton has been a man obsessed since the fatal boiler explosion aboard the Louisiana that nearly took his life. He will do anything to stop such disasters. Even hire a female secretary. Sure he can ignore the distraction of her pretty face, he’s not sure how to proceed when drawn to her clever mind.

Nicole is determined not to let her odd employer scare her off with his explosive experiments, yet when respect and mutual attraction grows between them, a new fear arises. How can she acquire an heir for her father when her heart belongs to an unsuitable candidate? And worse, when her father’s rivals discover her hiding place, she will have to choose between that love and her family’s legacy.

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating:

First Line Friday – 10.13.17

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Welcome to First Line Friday! Each Friday I pick a book and share the first line with you. In return, I hope you’ll share with me a first line from whatever book you have at hand!

This week I am sharing the first line from the book I am currently reading, Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham.

Just the Way You Are cover image

Here’s the first line:

One step into the massive glass-walled waiting area was all it took.

Here’s the description:

Single mom, Eisley Barrett, prefers to keep romance housed within a centuries-old mystery, but when she travels to England to unearth the secret, an actor with a sordid past offers her heart a very different type of discovery.

Wes Harrison has a past he’s ashamed to confess. Suspicious and cynical, he’s managed to avoid romantic entanglements since a tragedy upended his career and life, that is until American Eisley Barrett comes along. Her authenticity and kindness upend his bitter assumptions and send his heart into unscripted territory.

When his past threatens to ruin a second chance at love, can some Appalachian matchmaking and letters from the grave salvage their unexpected romance?

Humor, love, mystery, cute kids, crazy families, and culture clashes make this Britallachian Romance a unique and delightful romantic comedy sprinkled with adventure.

Now it’s your turn! Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first (or your favorite) line!

Then head over to Hoarding Books to see who else is participating: