Book Review: How to Catch a Prince by Rachel Hauck

how to catch a princeWhen everything seems to be falling apart, who do you turn to for direction and peace?

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Prince Stephen came to America to escape responsibility. But what he found complicates his life more than ever.

Corina Del Rey is happy with her life in Melbourne, Florida. She spends her days engrossed in her career as a journalist and has her sights set on climbing the corporate ladder if for no other reason, to distract herself from her dissolving family. But when she is confronted with the past she fought so hard to put behind her, she struggles to make sense of her future.

Prince Stephen of Brighton Kingdom has moved on since the tragic death of his buddies in Afghanistan. A star professional rugby player, he has no intention of looking over his shoulder at what could’ve been.

But when a notice arrives in the mail requiring his and his wife s appearance before the courts to dissolve their marriage, he must deal with the questions rumbling around in his heart. He thought his marriage had been annulled long ago, but his memories of Corina Del Rey remain close. Does he still love her? Can he even find her? Above all, can he tell her the truth about that fateful night in Afghanistan seven years ago? If he does, he might really lose her forever.

REVIEW:

Long ago, before I could even identify the definition of a prince or princess, my mother introduced to Disney. I was born during the Disney renaissance of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin, so my love for the House of Mouse is justified; little did my mother know, though, that my adoration of all things Disney would also foster a fascination with royalty and fairy tales. My heart grew beyond measure when I read Rachel Hauck’s Once Upon a Prince; by the time I finished her latest book in the series, How to Catch a Prince, I felt I was just about ready to burst into song-and-dance for the joy this story brings forth. Hauck not only has created a series of fairy-tale romances come true, she has also given readers the chance to live out their own real-life fairy tale with Jesus Christ.

American heiress Corina Del Rey lives a quiet life of work and small pleasures from her home in Melbourne, Florida. Born to a wealthy and loving family, she is trying to rebuild her life after tragically losing her twin brother to war. Stephen Stratton, prince of Brighton Kingdom and star rugby player, twice drastically changes Corina’s life: almost five years ago with a marriage proposal and shortly after with a declaration of dissolving that relationship. When he requests an annulment to their marriage, Corina realizes she has power in her hands to take back what has become an almost non-existence in her life. With the chance to alter the course of Brighton Kingdom’s history, Corina finally has the opportunity to learn what truly caused her brother’s death. Prince Stephen, still struggling to heal from his time in the Middle East, uses rugby as his escape from the trauma and death of war. Slowly, however, he finds only love from those around him—and from a forgiving God—can heal those wounds. When the truths of the past confront Stephen and Corina, they find that heavenly help will guide them to love and trust well.

How to Catch a Prince is a rich treat of romantic relationships, strong characters, and faith-filled themes that will draw readers directly into Hauck’s novel as well as their own relationship with Christ. Love well, the theme of How to Catch a Prince, brings to light what it means for people to love others in every possible aspect. Through the various primary and secondary characters of her novel, Hauck questions the meaning of “love” in all its forms: parental, sibling, romantic, friendship, faith, to country, and to master. While How to Catch a Prince is primarily a romance, this novel is so much more than just a story of a passionate love affair. Corina and Stephen’s relationship certainly has passion—both physically and emotionally, which Hauck handles beautifully in both cases—but the overriding theme to love well resides within every relationship in the story. Hauck’s attention to this detail drives her passion for to share God’s love within each page of How to Catch a Prince.

A modern-day fairy tale filled with romance, loyalty, and passion, How to Catch a Prince is a highly recommended novel for readers who dream of castles, ball gowns, and finding their one-true-love—while wearing a glass slipper or their favorite Converse sneakers. This is the third title in Hauck’s Royal Wedding series and can be read as a stand alone; however, all of the books in this series are wonderful and for the full effect of the story, I recommend reading the other two titles in the series before picking up How to Catch a Prince.

RATING: 4.5/5 stars


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

rachel hauckRachel Hauck is an award-winning, best selling author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle, and Once Upon A Prince.

She also penned the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel, Softly and Tenderly, one of 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.

 

Book Review: Remember the Lilies by Liz Tolsma

Remember-the-LiliesMore high marks for a World War Two Christian historical fiction favorite…
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Interred by the Japanese, missionary Irene Reynolds comes across a mysterious note while working at the censor’s office. She memorizes the parts she must black out and delivers it to wealthy nightclub owner Rand Sterling. Before she knows what’s happening, she’s drawn into a web of secrets and danger.

Rand Sterling wants nothing more than to reopen his nightclubs once the war ends. But slimy Frank Covey wants his hand in the till—and has news that could threaten Rand’s reputation if it became public. More importantly, beautiful and intriguing Irene Reynolds cannot discover this information if he expects to persuade her to become his wife.

When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, they must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Watch the video-trailer!

REVIEW:

Liz Tolsma joined the team of World War Two Christian fiction authors just a few years ago but already is marking a strong mark on readers who enjoy the genre for its heroism, romance, and call for justice. Remember the Lilies, Tolsma’s third novel in her Women of Courage series, encapsulates all the drama that brings this period alive: dangerous conditions, unjust actions, romance against all odds, and a dashing hero and beautiful heroine. Drawing on faith and history to bring this often overlooked period to life, Tolsma’s Remember the Lilies will surely capture readers’ hearts and minds through its unique storyline.

Missionary Irene Reynolds desires nothing more than to continue her aunt’s good works by continuing to serve in the jungles of the Philippines. The invasion of the islands by the Japanese, however, threatens the stability of her missionary life—especially when she comes across a confidential note written by man whose wealth and power is dangerous in the wrong hands. Nightclub owner Rand Sterling works and plays hard…risky at any time but especially within the walls of a Japanese internment camp and faced with starvation, brutal disease, and harsh captors. Under the watchful eyes of strangers who will do anything to see their enemies perish, Rand and Irene face their faces and demons as they fight for themselves and their family to survive World War Two in the Pacific.

World War Two is a subject rife with themes that are gritty and raw. I enjoy Tolsma’s books because she is not afraid to tackle these subjects—in Remember the Lilies, the plot-lines surrounding the theme of rebirth out of devastation. Rand and Irene, the two protagonists of Tolsma’s third novel, both struggle with past hurts and current harsh conditions. The author uses lilies, a flower common to the Philippines, to symbolize the rebirth of beauty even when situations are at their lowest point. Those reading into the spiritual themes of the novel will connect even more with Tolsma’s theme as she brings in Rand and Irene’s faith to their characters. Scenes of lilies growing out of bombed out gardens and being described from Scripture bring beauty to the page as Tolsma’s character learn to depend upon their faith during times of absolute desolution and depravity. Remember the Lilies easily reminds readers that problems encountered in modern times are often minimal compared to those trials faced by those during the Second World War.

Remember the Lilies is novel well recommended for those who like historical fiction, especially set during World War Two. This book is Christian fiction, so readers looking for a strong faith element will find a clean story based upon the characters’ relationships with God.

RATING: 3.5/5 stars


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

liz tolsma“New York Times” best-selling author Liz Tolsma is the author of Daisies are Forever, Snow on the Tulips, and the contributing author of “A Log Cabin Christmas.” When not busy putting words to paper, Liz enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children, all adopted internationally.

Find out more about Liz:

http://www.liztolsma.com

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You’re Invited: Remember the Lilies Facebook Party

remember the lilies

Do you love World War II novels? Want to chat with an author about her writing, her novels, and what she likes to do for fun? Then be sure to join Liz Tolsma, the LitFuse Hens, and other readers, reviewers, and bloggers for a Remember the Lilies Facebook party on Thursday February 19th from 7:00-8:15pm CST. Read below for the details and don’t forget to RSVP!


From Liz:

Will Irene and Rand find common ground in their fight to survive WWII? Grab your copy of “Remember the Lilies” and join me here on the 19th for a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EST (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)!

Click JOIN to RSVP and then come back to this page on the 19th (I’ll send you a reminder!) and follow the link to the party page.

During the party I will be hosting a book chat, playing a round of WWII trivia, answering your questions, and announcing the winner from the Kindle giveaway (enter here: LINK COMING SOON). Of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too: books, gift certificates, and more!

I hope you can join the fun—and bring your friends! Just share the link to this page.

I ALMOST FORGOT!! I will also be giving you a sneak peek of my next book.

Excited about the party? Let your friends know via social media, and make sure to use the hashtag #RememberLilies.

To see what others are saying about “Remember the Lilies,” visit the blog tour: (http://litfusegroup.com/author/ltolsma).

Liz Tolsma’s ‘Remember the Lilies’ Author Chat Party and Kindle Giveaway

This gripping new tale from Liz Tolsma, Remember the Lilies, is a must-read for fans of WWII-era fiction. When Irene is attacked by a sinister Japanese guard and their secrets are exposed, she and Rand must learn the true meaning of forgiveness—if they can stave off starvation until the American troops bring freedom.

Help Liz celebrate the release of Remember the Lilies with a Kindle Fire giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • One copy of Remember the Lilies
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 2/19. Winner will be announced at Liz’s Remember the Lilies Facebook author chat party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Liz and WWII fiction fans, as well as for a chance to win some great prizes!
rememberthelilies-enterbanner
{NOT ON FACEBOOK? ENTER HERE.}

RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 19th!

Book Review: Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

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Sometimes the dreams we hold for ourselves are different than the ones God intends for us. As challenges arise, dreams either must change to meet that test or crumble against adversaries. Faith in God and trust in those closest to you will determine if those dreams will remain or move forward.

Author Elizabeth Camden has been on my “to-read” list for quite a while. Every time I mentioned her name to a reader or author friend, an excited response or squeal of delight answered my question of, “Have you read Elizabeth Camden?” or “What do you think of Elizabeth Camden’s books?”. I jumped at the chance to review Beyond All Dreams simply because it was chance to read a new author, but more so because the back cover of this book held some elements I knew I would enjoy. Beyond All Dreams surpassed my initial thoughts of what Camden’s novels would be like, and I am beyond happy with this first—but in no way last—book by this author.

Anna O’Brien spends her days quietly researching and studying cartography as a map librarian for the Library of Congress. A shy and reserved young lady, Anna is happy with her position in Washington D.C. She uses her time at the library to remain connected with her father, a Navy cartographer whose death still leaves Anna unsettled many years after his passing. Luke Callahan, a representative from Maine, is the exact opposite of Anna—bold and flashy, he uses past hurts and broken dreams as a fire to surpass anything his family thinks he could never amount to. When tensions escalate both inside and outside of Congress, Anna and Luke work together to forge new ideas that could change their lives and the course of history. Not everyone inside America’s government wants these new ideas shared with world, and as the threat of war comes closer Anna and Luke find that new dreams are God’s gift of bringing you beyond anything you ever imagined.

Beyond All Dreams stands out for many reasons, but among the myriad elements that grabbed me was the rich historical detail that Camden infused within every page of the novel. Set in Washington D.C. in the late 1800s, Beyond All Dreams includes big-picture details of the Mid-Atlantic setting, as well as smaller pieces that will bring readers directly into the story. Among my favorites of this aspect of Camden’s novel are her characters’ connections with the new inventions of the time period. From Anna’s fascination with flashlights, to Luke’s abhorrence to anything new, to Neville’s job in the Patent Office, Camden makes it easy for readers to understand the varying interest of our ancestors’ experience with technology. She also weaves in a time in history—not named in this review to avoid spoilers—that is seldom included in fiction novels but is so brilliantly used within the plot of Beyond All Dreams that I would consider reading another book set within this time period. I loved learning about a time period I knew little about and appreciate Camden branching out in her fiction so that I can take a trip into the past differently than I would normally would choose.

Anna and Luke’s romance is filled with tension, desire, love, and laughter. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the relationship between these two develop. Anna and Luke have to work for their love, but because they so easily fit together despite their differences, the circumstances that test them help them grow as characters and as a couple instead of break them down. Camden uses these circumstances to show readers how God’s love is the romance that we must engage in before we find our better half, and that relationship is ultimately what allows Anna and Luke to come together.

Beyond All Dreams is a historical romance rich with love, friendship, family drama, political tension, and details that bring the past to life. This novel will keep readers hooked from the first to the last page. More than just historical facts or sweet romance alone, Camden balances both elements in Beyond All Dreams so that readers will want to focus on the details but can still enjoy Anna and Luke’s relationship with smiles on their faces. This novel is highly recommended for those who like history, romance, or any combination of the two.

Rating: 5/5 stars


ABOUT THE BOOK

Anna O’Brien has the perfect job at the illustrious Library of Congress until she stumbles across a baffling mystery of a ship that disappeared at sea. When forces conspire to prevent her from learning the truth, she turns to a dashing congressman for help.

Luke Callahan is one of the most powerful men in congress until his career begins collapsing amidst scandal. When he joins forces with Anna to solve the mystery of the lost ship, he is stunned to find himself falling in love with the down-to-earth librarian. Despite the attraction, strict rules forbid Anna from any romantic entanglement with a member of congress, and each meeting puts her career in jeopardy.

From the gilded halls of the Capitol where powerful men shape the future of the nation to the scholarly archives of the nation’s finest library, Anna and Luke will begin unraveling a mystery larger and more dangerous than ever imagined.

Like what you’ve read? Find an excerpt of Beyond All Dreams here!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR            

pressphoto2-211x300A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.

Find Elizabeth at the following sites:

Website: http://www.elizabethcamden.com

Facebook: Author Elizabeth Camden