Showing posts with label Beth K. Vogt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beth K. Vogt. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt

Heidi Reads... Things I Never Told You by Beth K. Vogt

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


It's been ten years since Payton Thatcher's twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine--as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm's length.

But with her middle sister Jillian's engagement, Payton's party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian's plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

My Review

This wasn't as difficult of a book to read as I had imagined. It deals with sisters, loss, and grief, but it focuses more on the process of healing that they go through- not only with their grief but also their fractured relationships. There was an underlying sense of change and turning towards something new, even when some of the characters felt helpless or hopeless. Payton had an authentic voice, and her part of the story is told in first person, so I would consider her the main character. We also see some third person point of view from Jillian, the sister diagnosed with cancer, and Zach, the acquaintance from high school that is seeking to make things right with Pepper's death. The journey is heartfelt but never corny or cliche. The dynamics of the sisters' relationship is forefront in the plot as they are brought together and undergo a little pressure cooking from wedding planning, the cancer, memories of Pepper, and the holidays. I appreciated that part of the change in the end involved forgiveness and choices to try harder and allow a new dynamic to form. One of my favorite quotes from the book came from Jillian's thoughts: 

"Could things be changing between her and Johanna and Payton? Shifting so they could have better- more respectful- communication? Learn to accept one another as adults, not just continue to react to each other the way they had growing up?"

Also this from Pepper: "Sometimes you just have to forget all the other stuff and remember we're sisters."

I'm glad that I read this book as it prompted me to examine the relationships I have with my own sisters and think of ways I can be a better sister and friend. And that's what really good books do ;)

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

Heidi Reads... Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Wedding bells and storm clouds collide in the first engaging novel in a brand-new series about destination weddings, the power of love, and the possible mishaps and missteps that happen on a couple’s journey down the aisle to “I do.”

Paramedic Vanessa Hollister has put her adolescence behind her, including the unwanted label of being the new kid in town over and over again, thanks to her father’s military career. She’s overcome what her mother called “the biggest mistake of her life” and is planning an elegant destination wedding in Destin, Florida with her new fiancĂ©. But will the reappearance of her first husband from her what-were-you-thinking teenage elopement disrupt her dream of an idyllic beach wedding?

As a professional storm chaser, Logan Hollister is used to taking risks. However, a reckless decision during the last tornado season has him questioning the future of his team, the Stormmeisters. Coming face to face with his ex-wife eight years after their divorce compels him to confront his greatest regret: losing Vanessa. Does their past give him the right to interfere with her future?

A fast-moving, powerful hurricane throws Vanessa and Logan together as they evacuate to a storm shelter along with other residents of the Florida Gulf Coast. Forced to spend time together, the pair battles unexpected renewed feelings for each other.

Vanessa and Logan are faced with a choice: Should they accept, once and for all, their teenage marital mistake? Or is God offering them a second chance at happily ever after?

My Review

My husband wants to be a storm chaser when he grows up. Thankfully, we live in California and he is a teacher... for now :) Vanessa and Logan are both in periods of transition when they unexpectedly reconnect. The perilous circumstances heighten the emotion and while they struggle in the here and now, several flashbacks share the sweetness of their love story and the tragedy when it went wrong. The book started out kind of slow for me with Vanessa an Ted planning their wedding, but it effectively contrasted with the energy of Vanessa and Logan's relationship once their paths collided. There is plenty of angst as Logan is filled with regret and seeking for a second chance, only to be shut down repeatedly by Vanessa. I had a hard time with how she felt their problems were Logan's fault, yet the flashbacks show how her refusal to communicate or compromise contributed to the disintegration as well. She does relent to spend some time with Logan, but instead of closure, their deep feelings are reawakened. The last part of the book moved in a direction I didn't anticipate, and it was interesting to see how things were resolved. The secondary cast of characters was well-rounded with Vanessa's high school friend Mindy (who was great), some elderly neighbors, parents, siblings, and Logan's storm chasing team members. Each served to help Vanessa and Logan in their pursuit to follow God's plan for their lives and find peace.

(Thank you to Howard Books and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

About the Author

Beth K. Vogt believes God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." A 2015 RITA® Finalist and a 2014 Carol Award finalist, Beth is a contemporary romance novelist with Howard Books. Her 2014 novel, Somebody Like You, was one of Publisher's Weekly's Best Books of 2014. In 2015 she introduced her destination wedding series with both an e-novella, Can't Buy Me Love, (May) and a novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love (June).

Visit Beth online:   

Sunday, July 19, 2015

High Summer Read-a-thon

High Summer Read-a-thon

I'm excited to be participating in the High Summer Read-a-thon this week! Here are the books I'm planning on reading...


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt

Somebody Like You by Beth K. Vogt

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


In this beautifully rendered, affecting novel, a young widow’s world is shattered when she meets her late husband’s identical twin—and finds herself caught between honoring her husband’s memory and falling in love with his reflection. Haley’s whirlwind romance and almost three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he is killed in Afghanistan. As she grapples with widowhood and the upcoming birth of her son, her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her that Sam had been killed?

After a twelve-year estrangement, Stephen hopes to make things right with his brother—only to discover Sam died without revealing Stephen’s existence to Haley. As Haley and Stephen struggle to navigate their fragile relationship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. Haley is unnerved by Stephen’s uncanny resemblance to Sam, and Stephen struggles with the issue of Haley loving him as Stephen—and not as some reflection of his twin. How can Haley and Stephen honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?

Somebody Like You reminds us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice—and the power through God—to change the future and start anew.

My Review

The theme of grief is the front and center theme of this novel. It's not depressing, though, I was touched more than anything. Even with the unique plot, the characters and their interactions with each other felt very realistic. Haley and Stephen both explore their regrets with their relationship with Sam and life up to the point they are at, since they are both at a crossroads. The writing is sweet and tender, raw and real. A perfect balance between hurt, healing, and hope. Highly recommend.

(Thank you to Howard Books for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Review: A November Bride by Beth K. Vogt

A November Bride

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


Sadie McAllister’s clients know how lucky they are to have her: an ultra-fastidious personal chef who leaves behind a spotless kitchen and a week’s worth of mouth-watering meals.

Erik Davis, her best friend since middle school, is content to enjoy Sadie’s culinary skills too while maintaining their “friends only” status. Most of his energy is focused on his just-launched freelance business and casual dates that never come close to a commitment.

But when Sadie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime cooking job across country, Erik realizes maybe he’s taken his best friend for granted. Even more, he’s about to lose his only chance for lasting love.

How can Erik convince Sadie that the well-known adage “Marry your best friend” just might apply to them? With God’s help, can they both move past their assumptions about each other and their future? Should Sadie and Erik risk taking their relationship to the romantic point of no return? If they do, their decades-long friendship is as a good as done . . . unless it ends at the altar.

My Review

The friendship and banter between the main characters in this novella was fun to read. It was interesting to see how complicated it can be moving from a platonic to romantic relationship- the missteps and miscommunication, the hesitance and apprehension. Even though Sadie and Erik aren't always on the same page, they eventually get there and sparks fly!

(Thank you to Zondervan Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)