My Top 5 Reads for 2012

Since I don’t actually get to read a huge quantity of books every year, I will limit my favourites to five. Funnily enough that is the exact number of books that stood out for me above the rest last year for one reason or another — either extremely inspiring, toe-curling entertainment, or deeply challenging. So, without further ado, here they are (in no particular order):

front cover (2)

 Jo Wanmer’s book, Though the Bud be Bruised, rocked my world — to put it bluntly. You can read my review here.

TheMerchant'sDaughtercoverI loved, loved, loved The Merchant’s Daughter — especially since Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairy tales. You can read my review here.

Stories of Australia's Christian Heritage by Elizabeth Kotlowski

It was so inspiring to read about the godly characters who explored and pioneered this Great South Land in Stories of Australia’s Christian Heritage. Read the review here.

11834189Redeeming the Rogue was another novel that hit all the right buttons for me. For my full review, see here.

childofthemistAnd of course, I can’t go past a great medieval romance. Child of the Mist turned me into a fan of Kathleen Morgan. Here is my review.

Are any of these on your favourites list? If not, what was your top read for 2012?

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Melanie Dickerson – The Merchant’s Daughter

From the Back Cover:

An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice.

Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude to Lord Ranulf, a recluse who is rumored to be both terrifying and beastly. Her circumstances are made even worse by the proximity of Lord Ranulf’s bailiff—a revolting man who has made unwelcome advances on Annabel in the past.

Believing that life in a nunnery is the best way to escape the escalation of the bailiff’s vile behavior and to preserve the faith that sustains her, Annabel is surprised to discover a sense of security and joy in her encounters with Lord Ranulf. As Annabel struggles to confront her feelings, she is involved in a situation that could place Ranulf in grave danger.

Ranulf’s future, and possibly his heart, may rest in her hands, and Annabel must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

Amanda’s Review:

Wow! What can I say? This has to be my best read so far in 2012. The Merchant’s Daughter was, for me, a heart-pounding, toe-curling, sleep-stealing experience. I knew within a few pages of reading I did not want it to end.

Speaking as an author for a moment, this novel made me forget all about style, grammar, spelling, structure — basically everything to do with writing. I was so caught up in the story, that was all that existed. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Dickerson did an excellent job of  setting this story in a medieval time, and although she used modern dialogue, it definitely carried that Olde World feel. The Merchant’s Daughter is a re-telling of the beloved fairy tale (and my favourite of them), Beauty and the Beast. Dickerson did not let me down at all in her version of this wonderful story. I loved every minute and every detail.

If you love a fairy tale, a romance and/or a medieval story, you cannot miss this book.

About the Author:

Melanie Dickerson is the author of 2010’s The Healer’s Apprentice, her debut novel which won Best First Book at the National Readers’ Choice Awards and came in fourth at the Family Fiction Awards. The novel was also a Christy Award, Maggie Award, Carol Award and Golden Quill finalist, and earned the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit. She lives in Huntsville, Alabama, with her husband and two daughters. www.melaniedickerson.com