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Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Deena’s May Reads & a Giveaway

Bitter and Sweet book cover

Genre: Contemporary Southern Fiction (Releases June 11)

Format: Kindle (Advance Reader Copy)

Stars: Four

If you enjoy dual timeline fiction that revolves around family drama and strained relationships but highlights healing from emotional pain, you’ll like this one. The author does a great job leading the reader through each characters’ struggles and bringing a satisfying conclusion. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

*I shared this in my “April Reads” post but I’m sharing again here because I didn’t finish reading it until mid-May.

Genre: Contemporary Adventure

Format: Audiobook

Stars: Five

Really enjoyed this third book in the series. The author ties up everything well with a satisfying ending. I love the spiritual elements included, and the tension and action is high throughout. No time to get bored! Highly recommend.

The Price of Valor book cover
The Happy Life of Isadora Bentley book cover

Genre: Contemporary Rom-Com

Format: Audiobook

Stars: Five (Made my favorites list)

I’m not usually a big rom-com reader, but when an author friend raved about this book, I decided to give it a try. I expected to laugh, which I did. I expected there to be a romantic relationship, which there was. I did NOT expect the emotional depth I found in this story or to love it, but I absolutely did!

I listened on audio, and the narrator was fantastic! She certainly ramped up my enjoyment of this story to a higher level. 

My one complaint is that the story doesn’t have a spiritual arc, like at all. Isadora grew so much in the story, emotionally and mentally, and was a different person at the end, but God received no credit for any of that. It was purely because of other people and her making different choices.

I’m all for books that entertain, which this one definitely does, but as a Christian and avid reader of Christian fiction, I’m always looking for a spiritual arc, even if it’s small. I’m honestly not sure if a sinful human being can find true happiness and contentment on this earth apart from God. We may think we’re happy, but once we know Christ, He takes that concept to a whole new level and we realize we didn’t know the true meaning of a happy life before He came in and changed us.

All that said, I still really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for readers who want a feel-good story about relationships and learning to let go of grudges and bitterness, embrace life, and learn to connect with others on a deeper level.

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Format: Audiobook

Stars: Five (Made my favorites list)

Oh, how I loved this book. The author addressed deep and painful issues like Alzheimers, the difficult results of a stroke, a developmentally challenged adult child, marital strife, family secrets, and more with such tenderness and compassion. 

This is an emotional read, tugging at the heart strings and inducing tears along the way, but so moving and impactful. Just the kind of story I love.

I can see why the narrator, Johanna Parker, is an Audie Award winner! She did a phenomenal job conveying each characters’ individual voice, tone, and inflection, really bringing this story to life.

If you enjoy clean, inspirational reads with deep themes, check it out!

A Month of Summer book cover
Loyally Luke book cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Audiobook

Stars: Five

Loyally, Luke was the perfect wrap up to this royal series. The audiobook narration is fantastic and certainly added to the pure pleasure of this amazing book.

Luke is the perfect hero, and this story provides such a fun journey through the pages toward his happily ever after. Heart-warming, funny, sentimental, and so much more. The sibling love between Luke, Penelope, and Izzy is a joy.

Well done, Pepper Basham!

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Audiobook

Stars: Four

First let me say that the cute light-hearted cover of this book misrepresents the content. This story covers some heavy topics and should come with trigger warnings. The author presents real, authentic people who sin. There isn’t a deep spiritual thread in this book, and God doesn’t get the credit for the characters’ growth and change.

That said, since I’m a fan of books that tackle hard, raw, and real issues in life, I still really enjoyed this story. The narrators were wonderful, and having a male and female voice for the hero and heroine really added to the enjoyment.

The banter between the two in the first part of the book was engaging, and the pace of the romantic arc seemed realistic. I loved the mystery throughout the story, and came to really care about these characters, although Jeremiah was much more likable than Remy.

If you enjoy opposites-attract romance with a thread of mystery and a touch of inspiration, this is a book for you.

Memory Lane book cover

Comment on Deena’s May Reads post by June 4 for a chance to win your choice of the #ChristianFiction books listed. #giveaway


As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Deena Adams

    Congratulations to Dana McReynolds, my giveaway winner! Thank you to everyone who joined the conversation. I hope you’ll continue to comment on future posts for more chances to win!

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