Five Fall Favorites: Top 5 Favorites of 2020!

Wow, this week has gone by so fast! Thank you so much for joining us once again for this wonderful advent!

Make sure to stop by the barn (aka Rebekah’s blog) tosee all of the other bloggers’ posts if you haven’t already!

The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin

In 1943, Private Clay Paxton trains hard with the U.S. Army Rangers at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, determined to do his best in the upcoming Allied invasion of France. With his future stolen by his brothers’ betrayal, Clay has only one thing to live for—fulfilling the recurring dream of his death.

Leah Jones works as a librarian at Camp Forrest, longing to rise above her orphanage upbringing and belong to the community, even as she uses her spare time to search for her real family—the baby sisters she was separated from so long ago.

After Clay saves Leah’s life from a brutal attack, he saves her virtue with a marriage of convenience. When he ships out to train in England for D-day, their letters bind them together over the distance. But can a love strong enough to overcome death grow between them before Clay’s recurring dream comes true?

My Thoughts

My Review Of The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin: Five stars.

I was not prepared for this book. I knew I needed to read it, I knew I would enjoy it, yet I did not know how much The Land Beneath Us would touch my heart. After reading the first two books in the series, The Sea Before Us and The Sky Above Us, — both of which I loved and even plan to reread in order — I was waiting in suspense for my copy of The Land Beneath Us.

What had me unprepared for this book was not the first books, rather the depth of The Land Beneath Us, the realness of the characters, reading about all what had happened to Clay at his brothers’ hands in the first books was sad, much like Joseph’s brothers treated him, made me think that Clay would have a simple and perhaps boring story of forgiveness where I would see forgiveness in the last pages but no true fruits, I could not have been more wrong. I am still unsure of what to say after a few days waiting to write my review and I just want to sigh in pleasure with the feelings I’m still reeling from caused by this book.

Sarah Sundin’s skill in weaving this breathtaking conclusion to the Sunrise At Normandy series shows that her works only get better and that readers should be on the lookout for her next book, read this one, and check to see if they have read her previous books.

I fell in love with Clay and Leah’s romance that was not the normal trope you would find in War World Two fiction rather westerns, Regencys, or such that quite commonly have marriages of convenience, the slow love, first of friends, until it softly grows into something much more.

Both of the lead characters are wonderful to read about and it’s sad to leave them especially after seeing them through such tragedy and into a Biblical growth of character.

The ending brings to mind Genesis 50:20 which I love, seeing as Joseph is something of a favorite in the Old Testament, and I love finding stories that have the same lessons and are their own story without being too close to the true story of Joseph, his brothers, and God’s goodness.

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group/Revell, through Interviews & Reviews.

Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason

Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when her convoy is attacked and she’s taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander–Sarah’s imposing father–to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.

Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she’s discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother’s suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah’s career–if she can survive long enough to write it.

Strap in for another breakneck nail-biter from bestselling romantic suspense author Lynette Eason that will have you up turning pages long into the night.

My Thoughts

Wow, I highly appreciate this series from Lynette Eason!

From the view of a Veteran’s daughter this series is so sad but so needed!

What I appreciate about this series is that Eason is showing the darker side of the military and yet she is still showing them the respect that our military should be shown.

Suicide is a very hard subject especially veterans’ suicide for me, and in Acceptable Risk the topic is handled in well for dealing with the topics it does.

Sarah’s growth of character was done in a natural way without any force in the writing style.

Gavin’s side of the story I enjoyed though at first I didn’t like him too much but after a while he showed that he was growing.

If you like suspense I hope you will get a copy of Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason!

Note: There is mention of past sins such as sleeping with guys, and there is a mention of a professor who is buying As with sex. He is sent to jail though.

This book was provided courtesy of Baker Publishing (Revell), through Interviews & Reviews.

The Lady and The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Two worlds collide when the circus comes to Victorian-era Virginia.

Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

Just then a child in the row behind Ella cried out, “Look, Mama!”

Charlie, dressed in his center ring finery, strode into the arena, as strong and strapping as ever. Face powdered and painted with two jagged teardrops under his eyes, he walked with stoic authority, tall boots forging a fresh trail straight toward his audience. Ella didn’t know a single man could hush a packed house with no words, but…then there was Charlie Lionheart.

My Thoughts

Woah, I have no words.
I had no idea what to expect, I had seen that several online friends liked The Lady and The Lionheart, I had seen that it won several awards, and I saw that the cover was perfection. I got it along with nearly twenty other ebooks with a twenty-five dollar Amazon gift card I got for Christmas, and was under strict orders to buy ebooks only. Wonderful, right? heart eyes

And so I bought it.

Then?

Promptly forgot about it until my dad was at a doctor’s appointment, and I needed something to read, because I didn’t want to fall asleep as I had on the drive to the doctor’s. I started The Lady and The Lionheart with bated breath, it’s not often one comes across a book like this one. The amazing strength of character Charlie had, the sweetness of Holland, the brokenness of Ella, all of the other characters that were cast in this quiet little book that showed pain, love, sacrifice, grief, sin, forgiveness, and Christ’s love for his creation.

I truly do not know what to say.

This book … It is not something that I will forget soon. I was mesmerized by the descriptions, filled with love and grief for characters that were so real you would think you could touch them, and a romance that was beautiful.

This is not a book to be taken lightly, there is such pain in it; many sins are mentioned, many cruelties that could very well have happened in history. This is a raw, faith-filled historical romance that you will not be able to put down until the last page.

I now understand how so many enjoyed this book, how it won the awards it did, and why it is now a favorite historical romance.

Tempting Tait by Chautona Havig

He chose to be a dad before he realized he’d need a wife, too.

When Tait took in an abandoned girl, he had no idea it would change his life.

Tait Stedtmann–accountant, fledgling do-it-yourselfer, and all-around nice guy. He’d been more than a little interested in Bentley Girard and had finally worked up the courage to ask her out. That was before that fateful day at the rest stop when he saw a girl shoved from a car and abandoned there.

She’s not like any girl he’s ever met, and now she’s given him an ultimatum. Adopt her baby, or she’ll abort it.

Eden doesn’t think he’ll do it. She can have the abortion and move on with her life–far away from these creepy Christians in Fairbury. But when Tait agrees, she finds herself keeping her word… and the pregnancy.

Nine months later, Tait is wracked by guilt as relief sets in when Eden leaves and terrified as he decides he can’t do this daddy thing alone. Bentley figured out how to make marriage happen for her.

Would she help him, find someone, too?

When Tait gets married, one plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals three!

Tempting Tait is the second in the Marriages of Conviction Series.

My Thoughts

I absolutely loved the message for babies lives that this novel showed.

It was a hard book to read, with many mentions of abortion … After all it is about abortion. It was one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I’m not saying that lightly.

Since it deals with so many hard topics it is a book for older teens up … Unless the reader is looking into abortion, or has had/knows someone going through a teen pregnancy.

A Strand of Hope by Amanda Tero

Lena Davis is the daughter her mom never wanted.

But she survived. Through stories. Because books didn’t judge. Books weren’t angry she was alive. Books never expected her to be anything but who she was.

As she grows up, her beloved library becomes her true home.

So when the library is designated part of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project, Lena is determined to get the job of bringing books to highlanders, believing she’ll finally be free of her mom forever.

But earning the trust of highlanders is harder than she imagined, and her passion for books might not be enough to free her from her chains.

My Thoughts

Wow! This story has so much pain yet so much hope.

Tero did a wonderful job on this packhorse librarian story. When I first heard of President Roosevelt’s Packhorse Library Project I was intrigued, I have no idea how, but I didn’t hear about them until last year.

I’ve been looking forward to reading “A Strand of Hope” since I first heard that Tero was writing it, I had expectations of enjoying it, I just had no idea how much the story would pull me in and show an emotional journey filled with love that ends on the sweetest note.

I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

And the runner up that would have been in first place if it were out…

Stop the Rain by Kassie Angle

Stop the Rain: Never Leave a Fallen Comrade

He left his entire world in Iraq. So why did the war follow him home?

Harley Keane and his best friend Nigel were just kids when 9/11 rocked their world and changed their lives forever. When they’re finally old enough to join the Army, all their childhood dreams seem about to come true. But war wasn’t supposed to be like this. A kid’s dream isn’t supposed to become a living nightmare. Fellow soldiers aren’t supposed to bleed out in front of your eyes.

Back home, safe and unwounded, Harley feels anything but. Why would God spare him when so many others were taken? Why won’t the nightmares stop, even when he’s awake? And how long can he hide the truth that threatens everything he has left? When Harley’s invisible scars refuse to stay hidden, will he let anyone close enough to help? And how do you go on with life when “okay” isn’t okay at all?

My Thoughts

I’m not reviewing this book yet, I beta read it for Kassie and I am so so so in love with the story and all of the lovable pain that comes up in this story, it hurts so bad BUT THE HOPE!!!

I hope that you had as much fun as we did!

What books are you most eager to read now?

4 thoughts on “Five Fall Favorites: Top 5 Favorites of 2020!

  1. I have “A Strand of Hope” on my Top 5 list too. 🙂 I haven’t read any of the others, but I want to read “The Land Beneath Us.”
    Thanks for being a part of the Five Fall Favorites blog party this year. I’ve enjoyed reading about your favorite books. 🙂

    Like

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