Book Review & Giveaway! Keturah by Lisa Bergren

keturah lisa bergren book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.

Although it flies against all the conventions for women of the time, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, proper gender roles are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined--and that's just the start of 
what their eyes are opened to in this unfamiliar world. 

Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives. 

Set on keeping her family together and saving her father's once-great plantation, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
  • Pages: 350 
  • Published: 2/2018
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.07 Stars
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Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
— Colossians 3:13

Why I choose this book

I was approached by TLC Book Tour to review this book on my blog and giveaway a copy of this book! And when I heard it was a Christian historical fiction book, I knew I could not pass it up! 

First Initial Thoughts

The story starts off with Keturah finding out that her father's sugar plantation on the island of Nevis in the West Indies is deteriorating after her father's passing. Keturah and her two other sisters, Selah and Verity decide to embark to the West Indies to restore their father's estate. This is very untraditional of this time period. Many women were not expected to go oversee an estate, rather relying on a man to restore it. I liked that the story started off in a non-traditional way. 

Besides Keturah, I really liked her sister Verity. She was the adventurous, spunky type and loved animals. She even brought on her own pet falcon, Brutus! I loved that she had a mind of her own and stuck up for her beliefs. 

Grey a former love of Keturah came upon the same predicament with his own family and embarks on the same ship as the three sisters. At first, I found his character kind of "flat" and I didn't really connect with him right away. I found that Keturah was kind of cold to him at first. We weren't quite clear at first what caused their rift, but I really wanted Keturah to be more kind and forgiving towards him. But I also could see her reasons. 

I liked the captain of the ship, partially because he was Scottish and secondly because he was more of a gentleman than most captains portrayed in novels. 

Setting

Lisa did an amazing job bringing the Caribbean to life. I could perfectly imagine the island, estate, and the deterioration that the three sisters came upon. Lisa wrote in a way that connected the reader with the characters and makes us yearn for more.  

And yes - Nevis Island is a real place! 

nevis island.jpeg
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:13

Final Thoughts

What I appreciated about this story is that it continued at a good pace. I could not put it down! 

I was worried at first with them embarking on the ship and having it be half of the book and only half or less of the book dedicated on the plantation. But I was pleasantly surprised when the time on the ship was only a few pages. This gave readers time to soak in the setting of the plantation and the true meaning of the story. Though I think the time on this ship was setting up the plot later on.  

Keturah grew throughout the story and learned that forgiveness is what she truly needed to move on from her past. Forgiveness, in general, was a huge theme in this book. Grey and Keturah- I just loved them! They kind of reminded me of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Keturah being hard headed and stubborn and Grey being dashingly handsome but also proud. 

What I really liked is the whole setting of this book. Not most Christian books have a book set during this time period in the Carribean - especially with three women being strong leads in the story. 

I am excited to see how the other books go in the series. I think it will be a fantastic series! 

Would I recommend? 

Yes! Most definitely. I think just about anyone would enjoy this book! 

Giveaway! 

Win a copy of the book, Keturah! 

Rules:

  • Must live in the United States  
  • Giveaway runs Feb. 22nd. - 28th 11:59 PM EST

Thank you so much for entering! It means so much to me that you stop here and support this little blog of mine! :) 

Good luck! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

**NOTE- I was given a copy of this book by TLC Book Tours to review. The copy of the book that I am giving away will be provided by Bethany House Publishing. 

Five Non-Fiction Christian Books for Young Women

Five non fiction christian books for young women

On this blog, I mostly talk about Christian fiction. Today I am talking about non-fiction! There are some great Christian non-fiction books out there. Especially for young women. It's so important to have guidance in becoming the women God wants you to be. 

I have included a wide range of topics. From handling anxiety, finding your purpose in life, how to pray effectively to battling insecurity as a young woman. As a young woman, we face so much, especially in this modern world. We need encouragement to keep going - and that starts with God! 

Here are my five recommendations for Christian non-fiction books: 

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mindsets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son’s request that she buy a necklace to “be like the other moms,” Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.

If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivoy

What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story. It’s exhausting, this guarding of our stories and struggles. Fear of being found out had caused me to hide—but I wasn’t just covering my flaws, I was unintentionally blocking the beauty of God’s grace. My journey to real freedom began when I quit running from my mess and started trusting Jesus to make something beautiful of it. 

This book is that story. It’s stepping out of shame and insecurity into gospel freedom. It’s  letting God turn our failures and frailties into testimonies of His faithfulness. I’ve discovered that when we quit hiding, God gets the glory and we are able to fully embrace not only our relationship with Him but also with one another. 

Fervent by Pricilla Shirer

You have an enemy . . . and he’s dead set on destroying all you hold dear and keeping you from experiencing abundant life in Christ. What’s more, his approach to disrupting your life and discrediting your faith isn’t general or generic, not a one-size-fits-all. It’s specific. Personalized. Targeted.
 
So this book is your chance to strike back. With prayer. With a weapon that really works. Each chapter will guide you in crafting prayer strategies that hit the enemy where it hurts, letting him know you’re on to him and that you won’t back down. Because with every new strategy you build, you’re turning the fiercest battles of life into precise strikes against him and his handiwork, each one infused with the power of God’s Spirit.

Fierce Faith by Alli Worthington

Some days you faultlessly juggle everything that is your life—kids, husband, house, job, church, friendships, school, pets, appointments, and on and on. Other days the very thought of which ball you’re going to drop puts your anxiety level through the roof. You’re afraid you’re forgetting something. And you are. God’s advice to fear not. Alli uses biblical wisdom and practical insight to help you:

  • Identify fear-based thinking.
  • Overcome the big and little worries in life.
  • Learn a simple trick to stop the anxiety spiral.
  • Live a more confident, less worried life.

For Women Only by Shaunti Feidhahn

The man in your life carries important feelings so deep inside he barely knows they’re there, much less how to talk about them. Yet your man genuinely wants you to “get” him—to understand his inner life, to know his fears and needs, to hear what he wishes he could tell you.

Based on rigorous research with thousands of men, Shaunti delivers one eye-opening revelation after anotherincluding:
 
• Why your respect means more to him than your love.
• How he feels deep inside about his role as provider.
• What it means for a man to be so visually “wired.”
• Why sex for him is primarily emotional, not physical.
• What he most wishes he could say to you.
 

Whew, you made it through! There are so many good ones here! Now off to shopping...

As always, thank you for stopping by! Until next time.

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Book Review: Savoring Single by Shelley Black

Savoring Single shelley black book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

Why savoring single? Because you were meant to enjoy it! Finding purpose, knowing love, and experiencing adventure aren’t reserved solely for the married girls! You can enjoy a full and vibrant life even while being single. It’s also a perfect time to partner with what God wants to develop in you through this once-in-a-lifetime part of your journey! Girl, being single is okay. There is a purpose for it, and it won’t last forever. So savor it!

  • Genre: Christian Non-Fiction
  • Published: 12/2017
  • Pages: 160
  • Goodreads rating: 4.71
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Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

Why I chose this book

Livvy reached out to me to be a part of the Savoring Single Blog Tour in February. At first, I thought to myself I am not single so I am not sure how this book would benefit me. But then I thought, I bet some of my readers are single and I know they would be interested in reading this book! So here we are!

Thoughts throughout

Shelley did an amazing job writing this book. I felt like she was talking to me as a friend, sister, or confidant. She covered topics such as finances, pursuing adventure, developing a skill, developing discipleship, and appreciate being single. 

Throughout the book, she often brought in examples from the Bible and translated it to today's world. For example, she covered the story of Sarah and Abraham and how for most of their life they didn't have children. Then God finally provided for them and Sarah had a baby at 90 years of age. Shelley emphasized the fact, that God has a purpose for where you are now. 

One other message Shelley wrote, was the importance of developing a skill. To me, this chapter emphasized the importance of following your dreams and doing something you love before you jump into marriage. I know this may be a silly example, but you know those single girls or boys on Instagram trecking through the world and living like a nomad? When I see those pictures, I often think those people are enjoying their single life - and doing something they love! They are fulfilling God's purpose for them at that time of their life. 

Shelley also covered the topic of loneliness. Many girls often don't want to be single because they don't want to be lonely. However, she emphasized how God is the one person that will always be with you. When you feel lonely, remember that God is there with you at that moment. You are never alone! 

The most important message Shelley covered, in my opinion, was purity. I was not Christian when I was single in my very early 20s. Before I met my husband I gave up things precious to my body. I want single girls to know, wait, wait for marriage. Today's society glorifies sex and temptations are everywhere. Your virginity should be sacred. The only thing I didn't agree with Shelley is that she mentioned hanging out with single or married men can be detrimental to your purity. I believe we can be friends with men and not have feelings for them. 

If we think our best is ahead of us in marriage, career or success or even behind us in memories of days gone by or that time when everything seemed perfect, we will miss the treasure of our todays. You have such a treasure in this moment, that you won’t have in the next.
— Shelley Black

Message Delivered?

What I appreciated about Shelley's writing is that she often got to the point quickly. She didn't tend to repeat herself multiple times. This made the book easier and more engaging to read. 

The main message of this book is to emphasize the fact that it's OK to be single. Enjoy being single and understand what God wants you to be while being single. Savor being single! 

Would I recommend?

Yes, definitely! I think anyone who is single, whether they are in their early 20s or 30s or even 40-50s, they will benefit from the lessons learned in this book. This would also make a great gift! 

 

About The Author:

Shelley Black Author Photo

Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to besingle as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at SavoringSingle.com and across social media at SavoringSingle.

Official Website: www.savoringsingle.com 

You may purchase the book ---> HERE

the caffeinated bibliophile

**Note: Thank you to Livvy for including me in this blog tour! So sweet of you!! I was given a copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own. 

Livvy is a book marketing agent. You may check out her website ---> HERE.

Book Review: Hearts Entwined- A Historical Romance Novella Collection

hearts entwined book review

The synopsis on the back of the book: 

Four top historical romance novelists team up in this new collection to offer stories of love and romance with a twist of humor. In Karen Witemeyer's "The Love Knot," Claire Nevin gets the surprise of her life awaiting her sister's arrival by train. Mary Connealy's "The Tangled Ties That Bind" offers the story of two former best friends who are reunited while escaping a stampede. Regina Jennings offers "Bound and Determined," where a most unusual trip across barren Oklahoma plains is filled with adventure, romance, and . . . camels? And Melissa Jagears' "Tied and True" entertains with a tale of two hearts from different social classes who become entwined at a cotton thread factory. 
 

  • Genre: Christian Historical Romance
  • Published: 01/2018
  • Pages: 332
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.32 stars
hearts entwined historical romance book review
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:13

The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer

The Love Knot is set in the late 1800s in Texas. Claire is a young woman who was summoned by her sister to come meet her about something important. Rather her sister leaves her with a newborn baby. She also reconnects with a former love, Pieter. 

This story was probably my second favorite of all the four. Karen engaged the reader right from the start and it was easy to follow along. The romance between Claire and Pieter was very sweet. Pieter was the kind of man I think perfect for Claire. Protective but also supportive and loving. Claire was a very independent woman so it worked out nicely.

What confused me a little bit, is that Claire's sister left her with a baby when Claire herself was not married. During those times, single moms were almost unheard of. However, I think her sister knew things would work out at the end with Pieter. 

Overall this little story was adorable and I would love to read more about Claire and Pieter! 

The Tangled Ties That Bind by Mary Connealy

Set in Colorado in the 1880's Maggie is yearning to be a doctor. She is set to be trained by a doctor in Denver Colorado and then to practice her medicine in Cutler, Colorado. A small town that is not even near a railroad. She is ecstatic about the opportunity. However, when she reconnects with her former love, Connor, everything changes.

The first couple chapters were a little confusing. It seemed like I should have read a book prior to this little novella to understand the characters. The story also developed rather quickly and I felt like I couldn't take the time to connect with the characters. But understanding that it's a novella, the story will tend to be a little shorter. 

Maggie and Connor, I think are well suited for each other. Maggie being stubborn and independent. Connor being hard headed and determined. 

Overall this wasn't my most favorite out of the four, but I did enjoy the romance story between Maggie and Connor. 

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
— 1 Peter 4:8

Bound and Determined by Regina Jennings

Regina has a true talent for creating a short story and grabbing you in from the start. Like her previous books, this novella takes place in Ft. Reno in the late 1800s. 

Bradley is a soldier at Ft. Reno and is determined to be a hero. However, during a shootout Bradley diss obey commands, and for punishment, he is sent to a ranch to help the owner transport his livestock from Kansas to Texas. He thinks that he is going to help cattle get to Texas but he soon finds out it's actually Camels. 

Yep, Camels. I really liked that because it was different and unexpected. As with all Regina's books, this was a hilarious read and so fun too! I loved the tension between the rancher's daughter, Ambrosia, and Bradley. She was very independent and was determined to do things on her own. I enjoyed reading the interactions between the two and it was a delight to see sparks develop. 

All in all, this was probaby my most favorite of all the stories in the novella. 

Tied and True by Melissa Jagears

Set in Missouri in the early 1900s, this story follows the story of Maryann and Calvin. Maryann loves Calvin with her whole heart. However, Calvin is a lower class than she. During those times, people were often not allowed to marry below their class. However, that doesn't stop Maryann.

She is bound and determined to show Calvin that she can work and that living a life of privilege doesn't matter to her. She takes a job that is considered below her station to prove her love towards Calvin. I loved Maggie's attitude and the willingness she showed throughout the story. I really liked Calvin and Maggie together. I liked Calvin's character, he was sweet, appreciative, and also stubborn- and perfect for Maggie. 

This story reminds us that love endures all. We also need to be aware of the poverty and social issues around us. That in the end love is all that matters, and that is what will get us through even through difficult times. 

 

This novella is perfect for Valentine's Day - or any day! It is a collection of sweet romance stories that I highly recommend that you check out! 

You can purchase the novella ---> HERE

Happy Valentine's Day from me to you! I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day! 

the caffeinated bibliophile