Tag Archives: michelle griep

Daughters of the Mayflower Series Review

12 Feb

I ran across this series while perusing the Christianbook site for more novels by Michelle Griep, and the first three were such a good deal that I decided to give them a try. Now, this series is rather unique as it is written by six different authors – and covers the stories of Americans from the Mayflower through World War 2. There are at least twelve books in total. I just found the site for the series here.

The first one is The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse- set in 1620. Mary Elizabeth joins her family and small community of Seperatists aboard the Mayflower in search of a better world. William Lytton is also seeking a fresh start. As a carpenter aboard the ship, he hopes to succeed in this venture. When he’s asked to look out for the interests of the Virginia Company as the community settles in exchange for a goodly sum, he agrees. But the season is late for sailing and even when they do reach land, the people are weak from the journey and building a settlement is a challenge. Will Mary Elizabeth and William survive the natives and the innumerable losses as spring comes? Will William be branded a traitor just when things seem to be turning for the better?

Next is The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’barbo – set in New Orleans, 1725. Maribel Cordova clings to the little she has left of her mother- a shawl that has been passed down through the family since they came to the New World. But she’s lost something else – her father’s treasure. And the one man who can help her find it is attorney Jean-Luc Valmont. When he accepts a position on the governor’s staff, he is certain that he’s buried his past deep enough that it will never see the light of day. But then Maribel walks into his life, and as the daughter of a notorious pirate, she could ruin everything. Will they both be able to find what they seek, and hold onto what they hold most dear?

And last but not least, is The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep- set in  Upper Fort Wilderness in Upstate New York, 1760. Mercy Lytton straddles two cultures that are united in their cause- to defeat the French. Mercy was raised among the Mohawks and has keen sight that makes her invaluable as a scout for the English military. When she is chosen for a mission with three men, she is expecting the physical danger. But the real danger is to her heart. Elias Dubois is condemned as a traitor and awaiting the gallows. At the last moment, he is offered the chance to live a little longer and help guard a shipment of gold. The gold that he stole in the first place. As he sets off with Mercy, an old ranger and a whiny soldier, Elias realizes that Mercy is far more intriguing than any woman he’s met. Will they be able to deliver the gold on time – and will they find common ground amidst the divided loyalties that split the country?

My Review: I enjoyed the first novel but felt that it was quite slow moving in the first half (or even longer) I would have liked to see more of their time in the New World than was shared. Nothing faulting the author here though, personal preference. I also felt that the characters could have jumped off the page more – while I liked both Mary Elizabeth and William, I wasn’t gripped with needing to know how their story ended. A good book but could have been even better, in my opinion. I am not sure that I’ll read it again but give it a try, it’s worth a one-time read!

As for the Pirate Bride, I had only read some short stories of hers in collections (you know, where there’s a handful of similar short stories in one book?). But I was excited about it as it was a book centered on PIRATES. And yes, I needed to capitalize that whole word to get across just how excited I was about it. The above synopsis doesn’t tell you near enough about what actually happens in this novel! I really enjoyed it and had a hard time putting it down. I’ve not read a novel quite like it before, which was so refreshing! I will definitely be looking out for more books by her. But, back to this one – Maribel is a spunky kid- and young woman. Yes, we get to see her in two different stages in her life which really brought her to life. If we had only seen her grown, we wouldn’t have understood her struggles and stubbornness and love for ships. Y’Barbo didn’t overdo it on the information on the details (rigging, masts, starboard, etc) about the ships which I appreciated. But I did revel in what she included. Danger and intrigue; family devotion and betrayal; faith being put to the test; sweet, clean, lovely romance – all are covered in this one, folks. The characters were real and jumping off the page. In other words, give this one a try!

As for The Captured Bride by Griep – I absolutely loved it! I was sucked into the story right from the beginning, and couldn’t stop thinking about it whenever I had to put it down to do things..like life. Mercy was such a great character – her skills and knowledge were believable; her weaknesses true to life and her being willing to learn and live made it so that you could identify with her. I really liked Elias as well- the intrigue behind his story was so good and while, after finishing it, I wondered how I didn’t see ‘that’ coming –the truth is that it’s written so well that I just didn’t! Griep wove so many twists and turns into the story that it’s sure to keep you intrigued, just like it did me! This one is definitely on my Favorite Reads of 2021!

So, as a summary, each book that I read, I enjoyed more than the last one. I look forward to slowly reading more of this series but I’ll probably be trying to get them through the library before buying any more, penny pincher that I am.

Kathleen Y’Barbo’s website is here.

Kimberley Woodhouse’s website is here.

Michelle Griep’s website is here.

My review of Griep’s House at The End of the Moors is here.

Have you read any of this series?

~Laura

Book Reviews May 2020

28 May

Sadly, my quest to find a book that just sucks me into its world is still continuing. Well, let me clarify, The Horse and His Boy, Virginia and House at the End of the Moor did the job admirably well, it’s been ever since then that I’m still struggling. (and, transparency here, I adored the book by Griep and had intended to do a separate post but as I loaned the book to my mom before I took pics, I decided to just add it here). I’m enjoying the two classics that I’m reading right now but both are better at little spurts of reading, and I’m really only slogging through one because I REALLY want to have read all of it at least once. Which, this isn’t something I do, normally… Anyhow, that’s a very long and probably confusing introduction!

Virginia: Four Inspiring Stories of Valor, Virtue and Victory by Cathy Marie Hake – In these four short stories, follow a family from the turn of the century to the end of World War I as they battle loss and love, faith and prejudice.

~Now, if you’ve been around SGL for a while, you know that I’m not a big fan of short stories, but as these were all written by Hake, they ended up feeling kind of like a whole novel. (not really b/c they ARE about different people). But I couldn’t even really peg which one was my favorite, each was unique and pull-you-in. Definitely recommend this!

The Prarie Legacy Series by Janette Oke – Follow Clark and Marty’s granddaughter, Virginia, through her teens on up through her adult years. As she struggles to fit in with her friends in school, falling in love, learning sacrifice and faith and then onto marriage, children and the inevitable heartache that accompanies life. Her faith and family bolster her through them, growing her into a woman of strength and godliness.

– I don’t think I’d ever read this series before! I fully expected to recognize it, once I got into it but that never happened! (I’m such a fan of Oke’s that I’m surprised when I run across a book I’ve not read of hers). This series was similar to her Love Comes Softly series but as it is based on their granddaughter, it helps it feel like a continuation. There were aspects of the book that hit so close to home that I had a hard time reading, but that’s what I appreciate about Oke’s books is that she writes what real life looks like – to a point anyway. If you’re looking for a sweet series that teaches life and faith lessons throughout, this is the one to reach for.

Tis Herself by Maureen O’Hara – In a straight-forward tone, the famed beauty and actress talks about her life from girlhood in Ireland to becoming a star in Hollywood. The men that formed her career and tried to destroy it; a disastrous marriage; birth of her daughter; lifelong friendship with ‘Duke’ and so much more. She doesn’t simper away from her mistakes, rather owns up to them and moves on. As so many of her roles in movies, she was a fiesty, strong red-head who fought for what she wanted.

It’s always a little scary starting a book about a favorite actress, so this book sat on my shelf for about a year until I picked it up. I’m glad I read it even though it was a sad story, if you know anything about O’Hara’s life, you know that she had Trials. But the way she writes (this is an autobiography after all) and the things she shares – like her long friendship with John Wayne – keeps you engaged and interested. It was fun getting to read about how Hollywood used to be, and the making of some of her movies that I enjoy. If you’re a fan of her movies and don’t mind reading about heartaches and laughter, give this a try.

The Horse and His Boy (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis – When young Shasta talks about running away, he’s startled to realize the horse that he’s confided in can Talk. And not only talk, but wants to run away as well! With warhorse Bree helping him, Shasta sets off toward Narnia. Their travels include great adventures and require both of them to move past fear and prejudice.

~In reading other reviews of this book, a big theme of them was ‘racist’ and ‘prejudice’ but I never thought that the whole time I read it. Yes, the Calormen are the slave-owners and terrible people but, I never associated that with Lewis saying all dark-skinned people are such. That aside, this is one of my absolute favorites of the Narnia books. Perhaps it’s because a horse is one of the main characters? For whatever reason, I really truly love reading this. The lessons on Not judging people by what they look like are true for every generation (which is why I probably never have thought of it as racist…) and the truths that Aslan imparts are so so good.

The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep – When a powerful politician threatens to ruin opera singer Maggie Lee’s life, she runs away and lives in anonymity on the edges of the moor. While life is lonely, she knows she’s safe. Until one day, she finds a wounded man and takes him in to care for him. But this man isn’t who he seems to be either. Escaped convict, Oliver Ward, is out to set the wrongs in his past right – little does he expect to find the same jewels that got him convicted in the very house that he’s now staying in. Both Oliver and Maggie decide to try and set things right by returning the jewels, clearing his name and, in the midst of all that, keeping Maggie’s identity a secret.

– I got this as a birthday present and LOVED it. I’d never read anything by Griep before but I do want to give some of her other books a try now! The twists and turns in this mystery were good- so much so that I had a hard time putting it down once I’d picked it up! As well as one time that I got so worried about what was going to happen to Maggie that I Couldn’t pick it up for a day or so – ha! I just loved Oliver as he tries to get his life back and yet is eaten up so with hatred and revenge. So superficial but you’ve got to check out the Cover! It’s simply lovely. But really, just get this book, you won’t regret it! This became a Top Favorite for 2020

Montana Marshalls series by Susan May Warren – Follow the Marshall siblings as each have to face their fears and doubts along the way as they have to choose between who they think they are and who they want to be. Love comes calling for each of them- Knox, Tate, Wyatt, Ford and Ruby Jane- but will they be able to survive long enough to reach for it?

I won this series as ebooks as a giveaway and was quite excited as I’ve enjoyed most of Warren’s novels. I enjoy series that focuses on siblings (looking at you, The O’Malley Series), so eagerly started Knox (book 1). I’ve made it through most of the books but am really struggling to finish this series. Which makes me sad. I’ve enjoyed the adventure aspect of each one, and have found some favorites among the main and side characters. I’ll try to be brief on why this series hasn’t hit it off with me: Warren’s style seems to have changed and it’s a little too… millenial (?) for me; there’s more intense kissing than I think is necessary – especially when the people barely know each other/aren’t married; lack of remorse for intimacy out of wedlock for one couple. Now, that last one might change as I’ve not finished the book. All in all, I’m not sure I’ll finish the series, if I do, I might skip forward (something else completely unheard of for me).

Currently Reading:

Pillar of Fire by J.H. Ingraham

She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard

To-Read:

Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

the next Narnia book

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

the next Wheel of Time book (I have to figure out which one I’m on!)

Did you find any books to add to your To-Read pile? I’d love to know which ones! And if you have read any of the ones that I wasn’t that crazy about, did you love them? Share that too!!

~Laura

Little Blossoms for Jesus

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