Fireproof (aka The Love Dare)

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I usually only review books and this isn’t a review technically it is an opinion. I watched the movie Fireproof. If you haven’t seen it I recommend you do, married or not. The movie is based on the book The Love Dare by Stephen Kendrick. A firefighter, Caleb tells his father John about his impending divorce, and John challenges Caleb to commit to a 40-day test called, “The Love Dare.” Caleb reluctantly agrees to do the test, but more for the sake of his respect for his father than his marriage. He wife initially sees through Caleb’s half-hearted attempts to win back her heart, which deepens Caleb’s frustration. But with his father’s encouragement, Caleb continues with The Love Dare, and eventually makes a life-changing commitment to God and his wife. As a result he saves his marriage.

The love dare is an interesting concept that challenges you to do things that in reality you should already be doing for and with your spouse or partner.  Some of the dares are a simple as speaking nice and the others are more challenging. The end result is a refocus of your heart and actions on the choice you made to love the other person.

The book and movie shows that the Biblical love and marriage is a choice. If you make the choice a priority your marriage will be a strong partnership. There are no fool proof ways to guarantee that the person you choose to love will love you in return. All you can do is stay true to your promise and love them.

God chose to love us. We chose to love him and each other. Love is never the wrong choice if done for unselfish reasons. The Love Dare is that choice in unselfish action.

Love You More by Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner does it again with another installment of the D. D. Warner series. This book is #5 in the Detective D. D Warren series and #1 in the Tessa Leoni series.  In this book Tessa, the protagonist, a Massachusetts State Police officer and mother of a young girl has murdered her husband in their sunny kitchen after a brutal beating.  Her daughter, Sophie is missing from their home. Tessa is arrested after evidence proves she is lying about the details. It is up to Tessa to find her little girl and prove her innocence. Plot twists and information is slowly fed to the reader, as Tessa races to find her daughter. She is amazingly resourceful as she stays one step ahead of Detective Warren.

Gardner’s fast paced writing style and captivating plots make you want to read her stories in one sitting. I however listen them on CD on my hour commute to and from work. I find myself wanting to bring the disk in to my home and office so I can listen to it there too. (I don’t but I want to!)  The reader for D.D. is superb. Kirsten Potter has a direct, bold voice that is the personification of D.D. Warren. Now when I read other D. D. Warren books, I hear her voice in my head.

The author has a list of all the D. D. Warren and Tessa Leoni books in order on her web site, just in case you are interested in following me down the rabbit hole.

 

The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks

I adored this book with its mix of truth and fiction. It is an account of Carrie McGavock, who finds her home taken over by the Confederate army and turned into a field hospital during the battle of Franklin, Tennessee. She is called the Widow of the South. She did amazing things for nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed in the Battle of Franklin. She nursed them while they were dying, and reburied them on her own land when the mass grave field they were buried in was to be plowed. She kept records for every one of them and wrote to their families about their lost loved ones. The cemetery that she protected for them still exists and is kept up by The United Daughters of the Confederacy.  The stories are told with stark honesty, not romanticizing the battle. The straightforward delivery, while at times gruesome in its descriptions, adds realism, and yet poignancy, to horrible situations.

The fictional parts come in with her fascination with an injured young Southern soldier who is wounded when he releases his guns and charges forward into Yankee territory, holding only the flag of his company’s colours. Carrie sees something kindred in the man’s eyes and falls in love with him. He does not coddle her or treat her with the social propriety. He eventually recognizes the fact that she is as injured as he is, even though her injuries are emotional and well-hidden. Together, they are able to heal each other’s physical and spiritual wounds, finding a love that it endures across the decades and miles of separation.

The Escape by David Baldacci

I finally got to finish this wonderful read. It was as good as the first two in the series. In the Escape we learn why Robert is in prison. We learn more about John Puller and his relationship with his family. This is a must read if you read Zero Day and The Forgotten. You have to finish the story.

This biggest lesson of this book, things are not always as they seem and trust is a fragile thing.

There really isn’t a whole lot more I can say other than READ IT!

🙂

 

Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison

I chose this book simply for the title. It seemed funny and something to lighten the mood from all the serious books I have been reading lately. The story was cute and true to life in a lot of ways. The protagonist Quinn had a rough time getting over a betrayal of her boyfriend, Burke. An enjoyable romance with plenty of swoons and humor throughout. I loved Quinn’s gay best friend, Glenn, who runs the specialty wine and cheese shop next door to Quinn’s dress shop. Glenn is the voice of reason throughout the story.

I was disappointed at the ending. It was a bit anticlimactic. After all of Quinn’s agonizing, crying and pining over lost love she slips easily into a new relationship. I expected more of a build up to the end and a less predictable outcome.

I wasn’t blown away by this book, but it was a good Sunday afternoon read. If you are bored and need something to pass the time this book will do, but it reads like a bad Hallmark movie.

Truth or Death: Act One: A Prequel Novella (Bitter Ashes Book 1) by Sara C. Roethle

I agreed to review this novella for a fellow blogger/writer. At first I thought it would not be something I would enjoy, but I was surprised.  Overall I liked the story. It reminds me of other YA titles I have read recently, but has a certain kick that was unexpected.

I get that this book is a prequel and as a preview of a story it is sufficient. As a novella the story is interesting but could benefit greatly from an editor. There were a couple of places that didn’t mesh with other. ( heart not beating then a few lines later the heart is beating) Roethle’s style is a bit unpolished, but with a bit of work would be amazing.  There were some witty parts that had me laughing. Some scenes were gory and gross. I was eating a ham sandwich and didn’t barf. I don’t know if that says more about the book or more about me. I kept hearing an old writing professor in my head say, “Don’t tell me what happens show me!”  This book would be better with more show and less tell.

With that said, I am hooked and plan to read the rest of the story. It was captivating enough that I can look over the writing quirks and take pleasure in reading it.

 

Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Discovery_of_Witches_Cover I just finished reading Discovery of Witches and I am feeling sort of lost. I can’t believe it just ends. I can’t get to the library quick enough to get the next book in the trilogy Shadow of Night. To say the book is similar to the Twilight series is a fair statement, but the All Souls Trilogy exceeds that story in multiple ways. All Souls is researched much more thoroughly than the Twilight story. Where  Meyer scrapes the surface of romance with a vampire, Harkness delves in detail the history of vampires and other creatures in such a way that you find yourself believing it is fact not fiction. When Diana, the witch and heroine of the story explains alchemy and Mathew, the vampire explains history you are right there beside them. Not to mention the sexiness of Mathew is more hot and thrilling than Christian Gray, Edward and Jacob combined.

BBC is working on a movie based on the All Souls Trilogy. Can’t wait to see how they manipulate and portray all the magic and intoxicating elements of this story.

This book will leave you breathless, tingling and begging for more.