Reviews by Iola's Christian Reads

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The Bridge Tender

The Bridge Tender

On 11/19 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: I’m going to admit two things before I start, because one in particular affected my enjoyment of this novel. First, I thought it was a romance, because the book description I read when I downloaded it made it seem like an amusing romance about a widow finding second love. It even gave the guy’s name ... Not Her Best

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

3 Stars

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Veil of Secrets

Veil of Secrets

On 11/5 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: There is a sameness about a lot of Christian novels. The characters are “good” Christians, whose main faults are emotional, not physical. Veil of Secrets is different. To be blunt, it’s about sex (not that there are any sex scenes. It’s more about the consequences of bad decisions around sex). ... Out of the Christian Rut

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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Bluebonnet Bride

Bluebonnet Bride

On 6/20 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Short Novella. Sorry, Spoilers Ahead Mail-order bride Elli Korpela has travelled from Finland to Austin, Texas, to marry Nathan White. She’s hiding from her past, while Nathan is looking for a woman to care for his four-year-old niece, Hannah. He’s not looking for love. But he finds himself drawn ... Review: Bluebonnet Bride by Colleen Coble

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

3 Stars

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A Lady's Honor

A Lady's Honor

On 5/13 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: It’s a fast-paced story of mystery and intrigue as Elizabeth is challenged by her grandparents to find the family treasure. A Lady's Honor is the first novel in the new Cliffs of Cornwall series, and it’s unusual in that it doesn’t have the usual portrayal of smugglers as jolly good fellows who ... Solid but not Spectacular

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

3 Stars

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Like Moonlight at Low Tide

Like Moonlight at Low Tide

On 2/27 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Anna Maria Island, Florida, is where Melissa Keiser spent her childhood years and was a victim of bullying from the ‘cool kids’ who called her Messy and mocked her second-hand clothes. Now she’s back and trying to avoid catching the attention of those kids—except her best friend is dating one ... Breathtaking Debut

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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The Painted Table

The Painted Table

On 2/13 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: In 1858, a tree is felled that will become a table. In 1921, widowed immigrant Knute Kirkeborg is trying to eke out a living farming the harsh North Dakota prairie, supporting seven daughters and two sons. Daughter Joann hides under the huge kitchen table as she mourns her mother, who died in a Hospital ... I wanted to like it, but I didn't

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

2 Stars

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A December Bride

A December Bride

On 1/4 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: I’m not a big fan of novellas. I usually find them too short—I want the full story, and that usually needs a full-length novel to achieve. So I was pleasantly surprised by A December Bride. It didn’t try to achieve too much, and the nature of the story suited the shorter form. Layla O’Reilly’s ... Short but sweet

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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Stones for Bread

Stones for Bread

On 12/2 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Liesl McNamara is the owner of Wild Rise, a specialty bakery in a small town in Vermont. The story is told on three different levels. This should be distracting, but somehow it isn’t (that could be because I’m a fact and history nut). The main story is that of Liesl, an only child who has inherited ... Outstanding Christian Literary Novel

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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A Man Called Blessed

A Man Called Blessed

On 11/10 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: David Ben Solomon has dedicated his life to searching for the Ark of the Covenant in order to restore it to Jerusalem and welcome the Messiah. He has been joined in his quest by his daughter, Rebecca, an archaeologist and assassin. They Raphael Hadane, a Falasha Jew from Ethiopia, who tells them the ... A suspenseful story hiding nuggets of spiritual wisdom

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

3 Stars

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A Bride for All Seasons

A Bride for All Seasons

On 7/18 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: A Bride for All Seasons is a compilation of four novellas from well-known Christian authors of western romances. Each follows a mail-order bride in 1870, as she meets the man she has been introduced to through the Hitching Post Mail-Order Bride Catalogue. Things don’t go quite as planned, as each couple ... Review: Bride for All Seasons (Novella Collection)

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

3 Stars

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Barefoot Summer

Barefoot Summer

On 6/12 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Madison McKinley is a 26-year-old veterinarian back living in her home town of Chapel Springs, Indiana, and she has a dream. She wants to win the Annual River Sail Regatta in honour of her twin brother, Michael, a keen sailor who died when they were 17. There are only two things standing in her way: ... Fun Summer Read - 4 1/2 Stars

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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The House that Love Built

The House that Love Built

On 4/17 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: The cover picture is of a couple embracing. The title is The House that Love Built (awww, everyone sigh!). The author, Beth Wiseman, is better known for her Amish novels (I'm not a fan of Amish fiction). So is this going to be a saccharine depiction of small-town Americana, or something more? Brooke ... Solid Romance with some Christian elements

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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The Survivor

The Survivor

On 3/17 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: TV reporter-turned crime novelist Kariss Walker is approached by Dr Amy Garrett, the victim of a brutal childhood assault in which the culprit was never caught. Amy wants her story told, and asks Kariss to write it. In her personal life, Karris is recovering from having broken off her relationship with ... Solid Sequel to The Chase

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Right Where I Belong

Right Where I Belong

On 2/10 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: This is the third and final book in Krista McGee’s series for teenage girls (following First Date and Starring Me), and I’ve enjoyed all of them (even though I’m a more than a little out of the target age range). They are well-written, with interesting characters and a solid Christian message. ... Good Christian YA

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Secretly Smitten

Secretly Smitten

On 1/6 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: The Smitten collection from bestselling Christian authors Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt and Denise Hunter is about finding love in the small town of Smitten, the self-proclaimed romance capital of America, , Vermont. Secretly Smitten is set in the same town, but with a different set of ... More Stories from the Romance Capital

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Sneak

Sneak

On 12/16 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Sneak follows Logan Langley in his search for his sister, Lily, after she disappeared during her Pledge five years ago. In Swipe, the first book in this series, Logan is coming up to the age where he must Pledge and receive the Mark. But he is drawn into the world of the Markless and the Dust and, with ... Excellent Sequel to Swipe

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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If We Survive

If We Survive

On 11/21 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: If We Survive is the story of four teenagers in the fictional Central American country of Costa Verdes, on a mission trip to rebuild a school, destroyed by the volcanoes. Nicki Wilson, Jim Nolan, Meredith Ward and Will Peterson, supervised by Pastor Ron, have finished their week in the village and are ... Excellent YA Novel

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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Through Rushing Water

Through Rushing Water

On 9/23 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: When twenty-eight year old Sophia Makinoff doesn’t receive the marriage proposal she expected, she volunteers as a teacher for the Board of Foreign Missions, expecting to be sent to China. Instead, she is assigned to the Ponca Agency in the Dakota Territory, where she finds extremely primitive conditions ... Historical Fiction at its Best

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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A Path Toward Love

A Path Toward Love

On 8/20 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Katherine Osborne inherited the Osborne Citrus Groves near Buena Vista, Florida from her husband two years ago, and is now struggling to keep the business from bankruptcy. Her father visits and offers to loan her money on the condition that she returns to the upscale family camp in New York for the summer ... Enjoyable Christian Historical

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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The Scent of Rain

The Scent of Rain

On 7/30 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Daphne Sweeten has just completed training to be a ‘nose’ in the perfume industry, and has returned home to marry before starting a new life and a new perfume formulation job in Dayton, Ohio. But fiancé Mark Goldsmith doesn’t show up for the wedding, and she later finds out that he has abandoned ... A Relaxing Read

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Starring Me

Starring Me

On 7/16 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Kara McKormick and Addy Davidson were roommates on The Book of Love, a reality TV show searching for a prom date for the son of the President of the United States. Neither girl won the date, but Addy won the boy. Now Kara has been asked to audition for the female co-host of a new teen TV show. She gets ... Entertaining Sequel

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Crazy Dangerous

Crazy Dangerous

On 6/25 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Crazy Dangerous first caught my attention as a review title because of the name – the juxtaposition of words reminded me of Hideous Kinky, the movie starring Kate Winslet, where the two girls combined words to come up with strange combinations. Crazy Dangerous fit the bill. The opening line also caught ... Do right. Fear nothing.

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Eyes of Justice (Int'l)

Eyes of Justice (Int'l)

On 4/4 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: The Triple Threat Club is back. Cassidy Shaw, Allison Pierce and Nicole Hedges met in their exclusive Portland high school, but only became close friends six years ago at their ten-year reunion, when they realised they all worked in different aspects of law enforcement, Cassidy as a TV reporter on the ... Thrilling, suspenseful... what else do you want to know?

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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Dawn Comes Early

Dawn Comes Early

On 3/11 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: It is 1895 and 29-year-old author Kate Tenney has arrived in the tiny town of Cactus Patch, Arizona, having left her home city of Boston after one of her dime novels was banned for indecency. She has answered an advertisement seeking professional woman to be ‘heiress’ to the Last Chance Ranch, owned ... First in a new series

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

3 Stars

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First Date

First Date

On 2/28 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Addy Davidson has been chosen as the representative for her school in the new TV reality show, The Book of Love, with the prize being a date to the senior prom with Jonathon Jackson – the son of the President of the United States. Addy is an orphan, bought up by her Uncle Mike, and although she is ... Enjoyable Young Adult novel

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Beyond Molasses Creek

Beyond Molasses Creek

On 2/23 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Beyond Molasses Creek is told in the first person, present tense, with changing narrators, and this meant I found it extremely difficult to get into the book. I don’t mind a third-person novel changing between two storylines, but I find two first-person narrators annoying, and I don’t usually like ... Bittersweet Saga of Love and Loss

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Heart of Ice (trade paper)

Heart of Ice (trade paper)

On 1/8 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: Elizabeth is a sociopath who likes to lie, steal and manipulate others. It makes her feel strong and powerful, like she felt when she had Sara's house burnt down. Sara deserved to be punished. Joey Decicco loves lighting fires, so when Elizabeth pays him to light a fire at a house, he is happy to oblige. ... Excellent Thriller

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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Smitten

Smitten

On 12/6 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: The main employer in Smitten, Vermont, is closing down, leaving a town full of peple wondering about their futures in a beauty spot none want to leave. Four friends come up with the idea of trading on the town's name, and turning it into a romantic getaway destination for honeymooners and couples. But ... Feel Good Romance Collection

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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Nick of Time

Nick of Time

On 11/14 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: My husband doesn't like me reading Bug Man novels, because I have a tendency to laugh at the outlandish things Nick Polchak says, in much the same way as I laugh at Sheldon or Raj off The Big Bang Theory on TV. Nick is a combination of the two characters in that he is extremely intelligent, has a rare ... Nick is back - and getting married...

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

5 Stars

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Lonestar Angel

Lonestar Angel

On 10/24 Iola's Christian Reads wrote: I really enjoyed Lonestar Angel. What I liked best was how an extremely difficult event (the kidnapping and loss of a child, followed by their separation) led both Clay and Eden to become Christians and to grow as people without becoming bitter, despite their great loss. This meant that when they met ... Will Clay and Eden find their daughter?

Iola's Christian Reads' Rating:

4 Stars

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