Five Fall Favorites: Hope

Whoa! This week has been flying by. Can you believe that it’s really October? I can’t… I’m still kinda stuck in like August or maybe July! *starts a bonfire* Sadly, I’m only going to fictionally have a bonfire right now because it is still too hot. Some days this week it will even be in the 80s! Arrrgh! 😉 *pretends it is nice and cool weather as it should be in Autumn* I am waiting and hoping that it will be cool soon so I can read books in the cool air by a fire side.

Playgrounds & Black Markers

Playgrounds and Black Markers by Libby May

Nineteen-year-old Jake Jett always knew what he wanted as his career, but time runs short as his chances to follow his dream seem to disappear. The constant pressure to attend a prestigious college pushes out any hope of pursuing his own desires.
Feeling unheard, Jake sinks into his hidden addiction.

Rose Johnson has the best adoptive family she could imagine. . . until they receive a new set of placements. Add that to her unexpected reunion with Jake, life is thrown completely off balance. Overcoming his repulsive attitude towards her, she’s compelled to convince him he has the power to quit his addiction and follow his dreams.

When hearts get in the way, confusion settles in. Life is more complicated than anyone could have realized. Is it possible to leave all of the steps and outcomes at the throne of God? Does everyone truly have a destiny?

Get your copy here!

My Thoughts

Oh, man! Wow… This book… Okay, it is so good, but hard. Bad, but wonderful. Wonderfully sweet and horribly painful. I highly recommend this story to anyone who likes contemporary stories with redemption.

Warning: deals with abuse, suicide, and such.

All That Really Matters

All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese

Molly McKenzie’s bright personality and on-trend fashion and beauty advice have earned her an impressive social media following, as well as a big paycheck each month. When her manager-turned-boyfriend says she has an audition to appear as a host on a makeover show that nominates underprivileged youth, her dream of further fame seems to be coming true. There’s just one catch: she has little experience interacting with people in need.

When her manager-boyfriend convinces her to partner with a local organization, she begins volunteering with a summer youth program. The program’s director, Silas Whittaker, challenges her at every turn, but she swiftly grows more attached to the kids–and him–every day.

As Molly experiences an acceptance unlike anything she’s known, she wrestles with the lies she’s been believing about herself for years. She thought she knew what mattered most in life, but maybe she’s had it wrong this whole time, and there’s more to being truly seen than what she’s built her entire life on.

Get your copy here!

My Thoughts

I’m not even sure where to start.

Nicole Deese has this a.m.a.z.i.n.g ability to pull on readers’ heartstrings with a story that may look like it is all fluff but it is so much more, so deep, and so powerful.

The lessons in “All That Really Matters” are spot on in this age of social media and Deese did it in a way that showed just how vulnerable social media can leave you yet it also showed how social media can be a good thing.

Silas and Molly are just so adorable, together and apart. And let me say that I am so looking forward to Deese’s next book because of the main characters.

Recommendation 18+ due to two things though they were shown in a bad light as they should be.

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

Pearl in the Sand

Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible’s answer is yes.

Pearl in the Sand tells Rahab’s untold story. Rahab lives in a wall; her house is built into the defensive walls of the City of Jericho. Other walls surround her as well–walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness.

A woman with a wrecked past; a man of success, of faith…of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another’s worth and find healing in God.

Get your copy here!

My Thoughts

The very fact I am rating this book five stars shocks me. You may know that I rarely enjoy/agree with Biblical fiction. I rarely read popular books. And I very rarely get on the bandwagon to read a book just because it is bigger.

But. This. Biblical. Fiction. Is. Splendid.

Yeah, it is super gritty, but not overly detailed except for a couple of war scenes.

The learning to love, forgive, and follow God all made this one very powerful story that I really just want to reread already!

Recommended: 18+

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

Broken Harmony

Missing Pieces Series by Hannah Grace Leake

Broken Harmony

Jackie Roberts is tired of always feeling stuck in life. Trying to save up for music school, she works day by day at her boring old waitressing job. Then enters Ryan. This boy won’t leave her alone! Everyday he comes to have lunch at the restaurant where she works, but he never talks to her more than as a patron. How is she supposed to turn him down if he never asks her out? When tragedy strikes, will Jackie truly find the man she needs in her darkest hour? Will she ever find the harmony her heart desires?

Get your copy here!

My Thoughts

This short little story is just so wonderfully done! So much power in such a short span of a story. I highly recommend anyone and everyone check it out!

Also check out Broken Words on Goodreads here or get your copy from Amazon here!

And there’s also Broken Steps which you can find on Goodreads here or get your copy from Amazon here!

Until I Met You (Restoring Heritage, #2)

Until I Met You by Tari Faris

When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.

All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town’s new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints–and possibly even his heart?

Novelist Tari Faris invites you back to the small town with a big heart in this second book in the Restoring Heritage series.

Get your copy here!

My Thoughts


I was in love with this book before I even knew what it was going to be about. Before I knew the title, and before I knew who it would be about.

From the book’s description, I expected “Until I Met You” it seemed that the story would focus on Libby and Austin, and I was pleasantly surprised that we also get to follow Nate’s and Olivia’s story and we finally get to see what happened with them and where they go from “You Belong With Me” which I loved!

“Until I Met You” has so many things I love … Broken guys, brothers who are at odds and must figure that out, two girls who become fast friends, a librarian, and so so many more things.

After finding several new favorite books this year, I have quite the list to break down to find my top five or ten favorites this year … And, this one? Well, it parked itself in the first place.

I love, love, love the changes we see in Austin and Libby, they grow so much and their romance is very well done. There is a bit of kissing that isn’t graphic, just a warning, there is kissing.

Now, I’ve said I love this book, I want to be clear that this book is clean, but, it deals with hard topics.

Warning!!! Spoilers!!! Warning!!!
Nate’s sins come to light. Since we knew that the tattoed pastor was a former bad boy we could expect this, I just want to say that I am impressed with how well Mrs. Faris handled Nate’s past. Among which was that he had a son with an old girlfriend, that he didn’t know about since the mom said she would get an abortion. This is clean enough and done in a way that my younger sisters were allowed to read it since the consequences of their sins are shown in a light that can help young readers to learn from the characters’ mistakes.

I’ll even go so far as to say that this can be a good book for moms and daughters (12 and up) to read together as a learning experience.

I will be on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book to come out … It is so far away!

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.

6 thoughts on “Five Fall Favorites: Hope

  1. I’ve never read any of these!! Playgrounds and Black Markers and Broken Harmony especially look very nice. Thanks for sharing! ❤

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  2. I did read Broken Harmony, but I haven’t read any of the other books on your list.
    And I’m in agreement. I’m ready for cooler weather so a bonfire would feel nice. 😀

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  3. EEEP!!! Six new books to read!!!!! *heart eyes* Thanks for these res, Abi!!! Dewdrops and Butterflies was sooo good, I can’t wait to read Playgrounds and Black Markers!! (I’d actually forgotten it had come out, but you just reminded me! XD)

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  4. I haven’t read any of these but I am going to put All That Really Matters on my list along with Pearl in the Sand. I’ve read other books by Tessa Afshar (Daughter of Rome and Jewel of the Nile) so I know I will enjoy this one.

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