Deanna Love Gottreu

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Smashwords book reviews by Deanna Love Gottreu

  • Searching for Sara on Feb. 07, 2013

    Sara Little’s mother died when she was only twelve and for the next twelve years she worked as a servant for several different families who were members of the English aristocracy. Some of her jobs were somewhat enjoyable but the last one was terrible due to the cruelty of her employer. Sara kept hearing the whisper of God and she decided that she had to escape to America. The story began in London in early 1892 when Sara finally escaped from her employer. Christopher Lake was a widower who could not seem to get past the death of his wife. His five year old daughter Gwyn was the only bright spot in his life but he was beginning to neglect her in some ways. His wife had promised to help Sara and he was determined to keep that promise not knowing the toll it would take on his life. He had not painted since the death of his wife and had very little interest in the art gallery that he owned. Sara’s artistic ability, kindness, and faith was an inspiration to Christopher and through his sponsorship he was determined to protect her spirit and reputation. The author has a knack for writing romance novels and she did an excellent job of developing the plot, the characters, the dialogue, and the scenes. I enjoyed how the author incorporated the crafts of tatting and crochet into the story. These days it seems that quilting is about the only craft that gets mentioned. I was drawn into the story on the first page and was wanting to read more when I reached the end. I was touched by Sara’s ability to pray at any time and in any situation and she had a strong faith in God that never wavered and never let her down. Sara was such a gentle soul and was just what Christopher needed in his life to get through the grief of losing his wife. I became so involved in the story that I was feeling many of the things that Sara was feeling and I could also feel Christopher’s grief and confusion. Sometimes I was laughing with the characters and other times I was crying with them. The author did a commendable job of showing how Christopher overcame grief and Sara overcame self doubt. Through the story of Sara and Christopher, she also emphasized how one has to move on with life and let go of the past and welcome the future and whatever it may hold. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well written historical romance. There was even a little mystery in the book concerning some of Christopher’s charcoal drawings but don’t want to say more and give away any of the plot. I read the teaser for the second book in the series and I am really looking forward to reading the continuation of the story. Many thanks to the author for a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Innkeepers on March 16, 2013

    The Innkeepers by Russ Durbin is a delightful little book of less than one thousand words that is one author’s version of what happened the night Christ was born when Mary and Joseph tried to find an inn. Abigail and Simon own an inn in the town of Bethlehem and on this particular night the entire inn is rented to a rich merchant from Antioch. Simon wants to rent the attic room to Mary and Joseph but Abigail will not hear of it. Simon is determined to find a place for the couple and finally realizes they can stay in the stable on his property. The dialogue between Simon and Abigail after he takes Mary and Joseph to the stable is quite interesting. Would recommend as an enjoyable little read to make one think about what is really important in this life. Review of free eBook from Smashwords.
  • Christmas Legends on March 16, 2013

    Christmas Legends by Heather Hydrick is a very short little book but it still has a good message to present. The first part of the book deals with the birth of Jesus, the worship of the Shepherds, and the Magi bringing gifts. It also includes the legend of the first Christmas tree and the legend of the Christmas spiders. The last section of the book gives the meanings for all the days in the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. I would recommend this book for reading at anytime and not just during the Christmas season. Probably more suited for children but still a good read for adults. Review of free eBook from Smashwords.
  • Names on March 16, 2013

    Names by Francis Porretto is the story of a census taker at the time of the birth of Jesus. He is traveling back to Jerusalem with his tallies and decides to spend the night at an inn in Bethlehem rather than travel during the night. He is known to the owners of the inn and because of this he obtains the very last available room much to the annoyance of other people wanting rooms. This particular census worker liked his work and went to the towns where the people lived to take the census. As he was walking through Bethlehem he realized that the people were upset because they had to come to the census taker. His walk took him by the stable and as he stopped to listen he heard the cry of a newborn baby. He stepped inside the stable and looked into the eyes of Jesus. He knew immediately that he was looking into the eyes of a King. I would highly recommend this book and not just at Christmas but at any time. Review of free eBook from Smashwords.
  • Ruth's Sacrifice for Loyalty on March 16, 2013

    Ruth’s Sacrifice for Loyalty by Sandy Zabel is the author’s interpretation of the conversations that may have taken place between Ruth, Orpah, and Naomi. The husbands of all three women had died and Naomi told Ruth and Orpah that she intended to return to her people in Israel. Why each decided to go or stay made for interesting reading. The book continues the story of Ruth through her marriage to Boaz and the birth of their son, Obed. This book is well written and I would recommend to anyone. Review of free eBook from Smashwords.
  • Summer Storms on April 15, 2013
    (no rating)
    Summer Storms by Rebekah Lyn was a most enjoyable book about the ups and downs in the life of Lizzy Reynolds. She has finally moved on after the death of her mother and father and loves her work as the concierge at Hotel Lago in downtown Orlando, Florida. Lizzy lives outside the city but her dream is to own one of the historic houses in the downtown area. In searching for a more affordable place to live, she finds a house for rent in the historic district that she can afford. However, there is a big problem. The house has been vacant for years and is in need of a great many repairs and the yard could pass for a jungle. After praying, soul searching, and going over and over her budget, Lizzy decides to rent the house. One of the most touching parts of the book was the way that so many people pitched in to help Lizzy repair the house. Two of the main helpers were Emma and Ron who were “adopted” parents. Jeff Robbins has refused to enter the family business of real estate which caused a break with his parents. He is very happy as the contractor in charge of building a high rise in the downtown area. Jeff meets Lizzy when she brings cookies to the work site for the workers and he is intrigued by her and also somewhat attracted to her. He offers to help with the repairs on her home and through him she then meets Ian who does a great deal of work on the house. Ian is also quite attracted to Lizzy and they share a common bond in the fact that they are both Christians and they also want to see Jeff become a Christian. All the repairs were finally finished but then disaster struck when two hurricanes hit Orlando and did a great deal of damage to the house. Now Lizzy has to decide if she even wants to repair the damage or just give up on the house. The author did a great job developing the plot, characters, dialogue, scene descriptions, and describing the action taking place. I felt as if I were walking the streets of the historic district with Lizzy and I was standing on the sidelines watching as she was dealing with difficult people checking into the hotel or demanding a special services. There was some romance in the book but it was not the main focus. The book had enough suspense to keep any reader happy. I would think I had the plot all figured out and immediately it would change. I was a little surprised at the ending but it was a very good one. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written and easy to read book that is also a great Christian story. Thank you to the Author/Publicist for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  • Summer Storms on April 15, 2013

    Summer Storms by Rebekah Lyn was a most enjoyable book about the ups and downs in the life of Lizzy Reynolds. She has finally moved on after the death of her mother and father and loves her work as the concierge at Hotel Lago in downtown Orlando, Florida. Lizzy lives outside the city but her dream is to own one of the historic houses in the downtown area. In searching for a more affordable place to live, she finds a house for rent in the historic district that she can afford. However, there is a big problem. The house has been vacant for years and is in need of a great many repairs and the yard could pass for a jungle. After praying, soul searching, and going over and over her budget, Lizzy decides to rent the house. One of the most touching parts of the book was the way that so many people pitched in to help Lizzy repair the house. Two of the main helpers were Emma and Ron who were “adopted” parents. Jeff Robbins has refused to enter the family business of real estate which caused a break with his parents. He is very happy as the contractor in charge of building a high rise in the downtown area. Jeff meets Lizzy when she brings cookies to the work site for the workers and he is intrigued by her and also somewhat attracted to her. He offers to help with the repairs on her home and through him she then meets Ian who does a great deal of work on the house. Ian is also quite attracted to Lizzy and they share a common bond in the fact that they are both Christians and they also want to see Jeff become a Christian. All the repairs were finally finished but then disaster struck when two hurricanes hit Orlando and did a great deal of damage to the house. Now Lizzy has to decide if she even wants to repair the damage or just give up on the house. The author did a great job developing the plot, characters, dialogue, scene descriptions, and describing the action taking place. I felt as if I were walking the streets of the historic district with Lizzy and I was standing on the sidelines watching as she was dealing with difficult people checking into the hotel or demanding a special services. There was some romance in the book but it was not the main focus. The book had enough suspense to keep any reader happy. I would think I had the plot all figured out and immediately it would change. I was a little surprised at the ending but it was a very good one. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written and easy to read book that is also a great Christian story. Thank you to the Author/Publicist for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  • Winter's End on April 20, 2013

    Winter’s End by Rebekah Lyn was just as enjoyable to read as the first book in the Season of Faith series. Stephen Longbottom is the acting concierge manager at the Hotel Lago while Lizzy is up in Vermont on a romantic vacation. One gets to wonder for a while just who she is with in Vermont. While Stephen is being driven to distraction by the demands of the board of directors of Silken Pleasures, a multimillion dollar company in New York, Lizzie is having a wonderful time learning to ski and being with the man she loves. Michelle Burton and her band, Tangled Web, have been trying for a very long time to break into the music field and finally they get to open for Wonderland in a club in down Orlando. The crowd goes wild for the band and when Michelle gets home she is too wound up to sleep so she decides to bake a batch of scones and go into work early. What had been the best night of her life quickly turned into the worse day of her life when she reached work and made a discovery. Jeff has become a Christian but is fighting the temptation to slip back into his old life. Ian, Emma, and Ron are also main characters in this second book. The ending of the book was heartwarming. The plot, characters, dialogue, and action scenes were all very well developed by the author. I was on that ski slope with Lizzy and was also feeling Stephen’s stress as he dealt with unreasonable people. Rebekah has a knack to pulling the reader right into the story. This book has more romance than the first and there were some great scenes with Lizzy and her man. Don’t want to give away which guy she chose. There was also a good mystery woven through the book. God’s love and forgiveness and faith and hope are an important part of the book and are seen in the lives of all the characters. They all learn that after God forgives, then one must forgive herself or himself. The author had one of the characters explaining God’s love and forgiveness in a way that really caught my attention. “God works on us one piece at a time, like putting together a broken vase, because we are all broken when we come to Him. He works with patience and tenderness, fitting the pieces back together. Sometimes a piece needs extra time for the glue to dry so it will stay in place, but He will hold onto that piece until it does finally stick. So today one more piece of your vase has been repaired.” I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a well written romantic story with a good bit of mystery and that is also a Christian story. I definitely hope that Rebekah Lyn will write at least two more books in this series, Spring and Fall. Thank you to the Author/Publicist for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  • Amish Romance Boxed Set on April 21, 2013

    Amish Romance Boxed Set by Becca Fisher contains four separate novels titled, Heavenly Blessing, Heavenly Temptation, Heaven Sent, and Heavenly Desire. Heavenly Blessing is the story of Abigail who is the oldest daughter in the family and is the favorite of her father Samuel. Her father has plans for her to work in the family quilt shop and to marry Nathan Jones, a local Amish man, but Abigail wants more than Nathan is able to give her. She leaves home and goes to Philadelphia where she meets Isaac who is a pastor’s son. He loves Abigail and offers to become Amish. Isaac is just what Abigail wants for he brings a smile to her face every time she looks at him. Will she decide to leave the Amish life and become an Englisher or will Isaac become Amish? Heavenly Temptation introduces us to Allison the middle child who has always felt as if she were second best. Allison is in love with Jacob, an Amish man, but he only cares for her as a friend for he is still in love with Abigail. Allison is working at the family quilt shop one day when Lucas, a handsome Englisher, comes into the shop to buy quilts for his aunt’s hotel guest rooms. He has come to live with his aunt to destress from his life in the English world. He and Allison fall in love more or less at first sight. Allison is very devout in her Amish faith and now she has to make the most important decision in her life. Lucas has offered to become Amish so the question is will he become Amish or will she become an Englisher? Heaven Sent is the story of Miriam the youngest daughter in the family who lives a life that is true to her Amish upbringing. Miriam has always planned to marry Jed, the only man she has ever loved, but he wants to experience things outside the Amish community. When Daniel, a handsome Amish man, moves to the community from a neighboring town, Miriam falls for him. Daniel is a widower and quickly falls for Miriam and now she must make the hardest decision of her life. Does she marry Jed or Daniel? Heavenly Desire deals mainly with the upcoming fortieth anniversary of Samuel and Emma the parents of Abigail, Allison, and Miriam. Miriam is somewhat surprised that she is finally married and her life is an Amish dream come true. However when she looks at the marriage of Allison, she sees that Allison is unhappy. Miriam decides that she will find out what keeps a marriage happy and loving. The anniversary party for Samuel and Emma brings Abigail home from Philadelphia and during her visit Samuel finally apologizes to Abigail for his words and actions when she left home and married Isaac. All the stories were interesting but somehow they just did not seem Amish. There were no Amish/Deutsch words and the dialogue seemed more Englisher than Amish. I have done a lot of reading about the Amish and also read a great number of Amish novels and since the Amish do not even kiss until they are married, the sexual banter between the couples just did not seem right. Of course I know that some Amish may talk and act that way but for me it takes away from the story. I was also disturbed by the use of God’s name in an unchristian way. Another thing that really jumped out at me was that the women never seemed to work. In other Amish novels the women are always cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning, feeding chickens, gathering eggs, and any other chore that needs to be done around the home. The two things they did do was to sit down as a family at mealtime and run the family quilt shop. I could recommend this book if you do not care if the Amish speak like Englishers and that there is a lot of sexual talk. In spite of this, they are good stories with good lessons that can be applied to daily life. It bothers me to give a negative review but I have to be honest. I was given a complimentary copy of the book by the author, Becca Fisher, in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  • Redeeming Reputation on April 22, 2013

    Redeeming Reputation by George H. McVey was one of the best, if not the best, western novel that I have ever read. I absolutely loved the main character, David Nathaniel Ryder the Third, for he loved God, was a preacher, handsome, well educated, well mannered, quick with a gun, and was just an all around great guy. We first meet Nathan on the train to Franklin, Missouri, when two outlaws board the train and demand that everyone give them their money and valuables. Nathan gives them his money without a fight but when one of the outlaws hits a young boy with his gun, he goes into action. He manages to outwit the two outlaws and they end up bound with ropes and waiting for the Sheriff. Nathan is stopping in Franklin to meet his grandfather and then the two of them will travel on to Redemption, New Mexico, where Nathan will become a circuit riding preacher but when Nathan reaches Franklin he receives a telegram telling him that his grandfather has died. While Nathan is checking into the hotel he sees a beautiful woman being harassed by a drunk who thinks she is a woman of the evening. Nathan steps in to rescue her and the drunk pulls his gun but immediately the drunk finds himself looking down the barrel of his own gun. Within a very short time the entire town knows about Nathan and he has gained the reputation as a fast gun slinger. Dressed in his fancy eastern clothes, Nathan is not readily accepted in the town of Franklin but when the people in town learn that he is the grandson of David Nathaniel Ryder, better known in the west to everyone as Nugget Nate Ryder, a very successful miner, he is accepted into the community with open arms. Grace Hopewell, the woman than Nathan rescued from the drunk just happens to be in town to also meet “Uncle Nate” for he has secured a teaching job for her in Redemption, New Mexico, and was to accompany her on the trip to her job. Nathan has to stay in Franklin to meet with his grandfather’s lawyer and when he does he receives the surprise of his life when his grandfather’s will is read. After the reading of the will he is ready to leave and head west but he has acquired the nickname of Preacher and because of his skill with a gun, every outlaw around seems to want to challenge him to a gunfight. He only wants to get to Redemption and begin the job that he feels God has provided for him. Every time he tries to do God’s bidding, another gunslinger comes along and the body count keeps rising. The author did an excellent job developing the plot, characters, dialogue, and action scenes. The characters and action were so real that I was right there on the boardwalk in the town of Franklin and experiencing all the action and feeling all the frustrations of Nathan and Grace. I appreciated the way that the author kept Nathan’s love of God and his striving to do God’s will as an important part of the book. Nathan wanted to fulfill his obligations to the town and Grace but he desperately wanted to redeem his reputation. He wonders how he can reconcile his gun slinger reputation with the reputation he desires as a man of God and as a peacemaker. The adventures of Nathan and the love between him and Grace provided me with a great deal of entertainment and quite a few laughs. As stated earlier, not only was this the best western I have ever read, it had a wonderful ending. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to everyone who likes a great story set in the old West. Even if one is not particularly fond of westerns, I think you would still enjoy reading this book. I want to thank the author, George H. McVey, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  • Good, Clean, Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery on April 24, 2013

    Good, Clean, Murder by Traci Tyne Hilton is an enjoyable book with murder, romance, and a young lady who seems to attract trouble like bees to honey. Jane is twenty, living on her own, and cleaning houses to pay for all her expenses. Her well to do parents would be happy to pay for her education but they would require her to attend a big university and she only wants to attend Bible College to prepare to be a missionary. At the beginning of the book she goes to her first house cleaning job for the day and when she goes into the master bedroom to get the sheets for the laundry she uncovers the owner of the house dead in bed. When the paramedics arrive, they find the wife in the bathroom and she is also dead. Were they murdered or did they both just happen to have heart attacks at the same time? Jane attends college at night and on the first night of her last semester she learns that the class was canceled. A handsome, young, professor is teaching the class that is offered to take the place of the canceled class. Immediately there is an attraction between Jane and the professor but students are not allowed to date faculty and this lead to lots of problems for the pair. The solution to the problem is quite interesting and even funny. Jane’s roommate has not been paying the rent and has left town with Jane’s half of the rent money after they were evicted. With no where to live and no money, Jane moves into the home of the murder victims to be a live-in maid for the son, daughter, and sister-in-law of the dead couple. Jane is determined to solve the mystery of the deaths and to minister to the son and daughter of the dead couple. The author did a good job developing the plot and characters. The dialogue many times had me laughing out loud. Other times I could feel Jane’s frustration and pain. The mystery of the murders kept me guessing as to who murdered the couple and why, if they were murdered and did not die of natural causes. The romance in the book was handled in such a way that kept me cheering for Jane and the professor and many times their actions had me shaking my head or laughing at them. I really liked the way that the author kept Jane centered in her belief in God. With all the craziness that happened to Jane, she still took time each day for her quiet time with God and she truly believed that God would make a way. There were some surprises in the ending but it was a good ending. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good, clean, Christian story that involves suspense, a good bit of humor, and enough romance to keep things interesting. Thank you to the author, Traci Tyne Hilton, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
  • The Difference Between Night and Day on April 25, 2013

    The Difference Between Night and Day by Melissa Turner Lee was listed as a Christian paranormal romance and somehow paranormal did not register in my mind. I have never liked the paranormal genre but I read the book since I agreed to do a review. Nathaniel was a Christian and a minister and one night he witnessed to a woman and explained some Christian truths to her. The next night she came back and told him that what he said was not true and then she bit him on the cheek. He was extremely sick for a while and when he recovered he had become a vampire. When the story begins he is a young man, probably twenty, since that was his age when he became a vampire but he is actually eighty years old. He owns a security business that allows him to work at night for he cannot be in the sunlight or he will die. One night as he is making his rounds through town, he meets Lilly who is a young woman who is not a vampire but she definitely has problems. Her father is a doctor and he has been using her to test all his medical formulas. Even though she looks young like Nathaniel, she is forty-nine. Her father has discovered a formula that keeps one looking young forever. After Nathaniel meets Lilly, he works hard to discover the difference between night and day and he learns that during dark times in life, the light is hidden but not gone. Even though paranormal is not my cup of tea, the story was well written and the characters and plot were well developed. However, I just could not get into the story because of all the weird things that happened and the fact that vampires do not exist. In my opinion, if the vampires and other weird things that I just could not believe, were taken out of the story then it would be a good romantic story. And all the references to God were right on target but as a Christian I just cannot accept Christian and paranormal together. At least the book had a happy ending that was actually quite a surprise. I would recommend this book only if you like paranormal fiction and the combination of Christian and paranormal does not bother you. Also, I think the story might be of more interest to young adults than seniors like me who are seventy plus. The author, Melissa Turner Lee, provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.