Book Review: A Long Bridge Home

Happy Friday everyone! I’m happy to be sharing book two in the Amish of Big Sky Country Series by Kelly Irvin. Set in the Montana mountains, it’s sure to make you want to go and enjoy the beauty of God’s creation for a while.

 

About the Book

alongbridgehomeAfter her community in the awe-inspiring Montana mountains is suddenly consumed by a raging wildfire, one young Amish woman finds herself in a new town where she’s introduced to the Native culture of the Kootenai people.

When the Mast family is forced to evacuate their home in the West Kootenai region of Montana, Christine chooses not to move with her family to her father’s childhood home in Kansas. Instead, she wants to stay closer to home and to her beau, Andy Lambright, who has yet to ask for her hand in marriage and who seems to be holding tightly to secrets from his past.

Now, living with her aunt and uncle in St. Ignatius, Christine is on her own for the first time in her life. While working in her uncle’s store Christine meets Raymond Old Fox, whom she befriends, and he introduces her to his rich native culture with strong ties to the earth and nature. Despite the warnings of her aunt and uncle, Christine is inexplicably drawn to Raymond, and her mind is opened to a history and heritage far different from her own.

With her newly expanding horizons, Christine wonders if she can return to the domestic life that is expected of her. Her heart still longs to be with Andy, but she isn’t the same person she was before the fire, and she wonders if he can accept who she is becoming. Has too much distance grown between them? Or can they bridge the gap from past to present and find their way back together?

 

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My Thoughts

Irvin takes readers into the beautiful West Kootenai region of Montana in A Long Bridge Home. My heart ached for Christine and the entire community as the wildfires spread and took their homes. Irvin’s descriptive writing had me right there with them, running throughout the house, trying to get the necessary items. At times I felt as if I could even smell the smoke, see the haze in the distance, and feel the fear of having to escape. At a time when wildfires seem to be across the world, it certainly made them more real to this New Yorker, and my empathy for those in the path of the wildfires has doubled.

But Irvin paints a picture of how God can turn something tragic, life a wildfire destroying a community, into something beautiful. Christine meets Raymond Old Fox, and their friendships is perhaps the most beautiful part of this entire story, and just what readers needs to see in today’s world. Two people, with different cultures and beliefs, are able to come together and teach each other about their ways. Each had an open mind to listen to the other, contemplate what they’d heard, and amicably speak about their differences. Neither placed judgement. There was no heated arguments, or pressure to change viewpoints. It was simply talking, teaching, and inspiring. Christine learned that while Raymond’s beliefs were different, there was some value to them. There was away she could apply portions of it to her own life while still honoring God. And isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Find ways to honor our Lord? I can’t express how deeply their friendship moved me as I was reading.

Rest assured there is much more to this beautiful story. Romance, faith, community, family, restoration, and the beauty of God’s creation. I highly recommend reading this delightful read. I hope it speaks to your heart as much as it did my own!

 


About the Author

Kelly Irvin

Best-selling novelist Kelly Irvin’s latest series, The Amish of Sky Country, features an Amish community in Northwest Montana affected by wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres in the state in recent years. The first book, Mountains of Grace, debuted in August 2019, and delves into the impact on not only an Amish man and woman, but also a smoke jumper, a sheriff’s deputy, and a young English woman forced to confront her past because of the fires.

Kelly also writes romantic suspense novels. Her most recent forays into this genre include Tell Her No Lies and Over the Line, both set in San Antonio and South Texas. Of Tell Her No Lies, The Library Journal says, “Irvin creates a complex web with enough twists and turns to keep even the most savvy romantic suspense readers guessing until the end. Known for her Amish novels, this two-time Carol Award finalist shows that her talents span subgenres from tranquil Amish stories to rapidly paced breathless suspense.”

The Kansas native is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the ACFW San Antonio local chapter Alamo City Christian Fiction Writers, as well as Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Sisters in Crime.

Kelly retired in 2016 from her position of 22 years as public relations manager for the San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, where her duties included writing and designing an employee newsletter, writing news releases, collaborating on marketing campaigns, coordinating ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings, coordinating press conferences, updating the web site, and acting as a media spokesperson.

Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for more than 30 years, and they have two young adult children and three grandchildren. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories, read books by her favorite authors, and visit the babies.

For more information, visit http://www.kellyirvin.com


 

Do you enjoy reading books set in the mountains? What aspect of this book do you most look forward to?

Book Review: Over the Line

Happy Friday!

I hope y’all had a great week and an awesome weekend planned. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on Kelly Irvin’s Over the Line. This book releases Tuesday the 11th, so be sure to pre-order if you haven’t already.


About the Book

In this high-stakes romantic suspense novel where tensions mount on both sides of the border, bestselling author Kelly Irvin explores what happens when the past explodes against the present and the only person you can turn to is the one who broke your heart.

When a college student dies at Gabriella’s feet after muttering her brother’s name, vicious gun smugglers believe she knows too much. And they’re determined to make sure she suffers the same fate. With no one else to turn to, Gabriella reunites with her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, to investigate the dead man’s murder and her brother’s disappearance.

In a desperate race against time, Gabriella and Eli are determined to clear her brother and find him before the gun smugglers can kill them both. Bit by bit, they tear away the masks worn by men masquerading as law-abiding citizens. No one can be trusted.

Working as a team forces Gabriella and Eli to face the problems that ended their relationship. She realizes she’s the one who needs to learn to forgive, but Eli must also learn to trust her with his secrets.

This ragtag team must fight a powerful ring of criminals protected by the very institutions that should prosecute them in an all-out battle that may cost them their lives.

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My Thoughts

First off this book starts in San Antonio, my hometown! I’m not sure I was cognizant of anything else for a few minutes after that tidbit. 🙂

The opening was great and Ms. Irvin set the mood for suspense and a backstory of broken romance.

I loved that the hero was a Latino and that we got to see some of the action from his pov. Hero and heroine povs always up the romantic factor in my opinion.

However, I would say that this book is more suspense with a thread of romance. Also, it took forever (again, in my opinion) for them to say why they broke up. There was such a hush about it and then when it came out in the open, you got the feeling there was still more to the subject. I would have liked the end result to be more clear and feel a little bit more organic, but that’s my preference.

As far as the suspense, it was good. There was good pacing and so much action I didn’t know who to believe or who was the ultimate bad guy. For that alone, I would read Ms. Irvin again.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.


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Post by contributor Toni Shiloh