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Posted April 8, 2013
I just finished Unbreakable, the second book in the Road to Kingdom series by Nancy Mehl. What a great read!
It’s the perfect blend of mystery, intrigue, and romance - all while teaching truths of God in a very easy to understand way.
I loved being able to continue the journey from the first book with Lizzie, Noah, and Charity. They were a huge part of Book #2 yet the journey continued with Hope, her father, and two men she was attracted to.
The theme of the book was faith - something I’ve been researching and practicing a lot in my own life. I loved the conclusion that was drawn. Ms. Mehl mixes in truths about faith and who’s place it is to hold judgment (ours or only God’s?) Above all, the message I received loud and clear was how much God loves us and cares about our heart. That because of His unselfish love toward us, we can trust if we stray from God’s plan in our life, He will lovingly guide us back. What a relief for the believer - we don’t have to work so hard, we don’t have to worry - we can trust that God will take care of all the details. We are called sometimes to have action steps with our faith and sometimes we are just called to wait.
I love how Ms. Mehl keeps the readers guessing throughout the entire story: both about who Hope chooses for her partner and also about the main mystery of the book. However, she ties up the loose ends really well and leaves no questions in the reader’s mind when the last page is turned. She did set up a great third book, though, and I can’t wait see what happens with that storyline.
Ms. Mehl definitely has a gift of entertaining readers while reinforcing Biblical truths. I know my faith has been encouraged from reading Unbreakable.
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Posted July 11, 2014
Loved this story and the 1st In the series. (Good idea to read in order). Can't wait to read the next one. Some mystery, romance and reminder about relying on God and His plan and that He is bigger than anything we can battleWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 28, 2014
After reading Nancy Mehl's 1st. book in this series, I couldn't wait to get the second one. I was not disappointed, as it is also a real page turner. There is just enough mystery and suspense in it to make the reading more enjoyable than the usual run of the mill Amish or Mennonite books. Excellent book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2014
Nancy does a great job of bringing faith into this mystery --
Someone is burning the churches in neighboring towns and now they have started running the residents of Kingdom, Kansas off the road ending in the death of one of the elderly men. Hope Kauffman was also run off the road and hurt then after she unhitched Daisy and started down the road for home the red truck turned around and was headed straight at her. About that time Jonathon Wiese came along in his truck and stopped the red truck from hitting her, the mystery man turned around and sped off. Eventually the red truck started appearing in Kingdom, Lizzy and Noah's house was set on fire and then the church a short time later, almost killing Pastor Mendenhall.
Why are these people suddenly terrorizing the residents of Kingdom? Another thing, how do they even know about Kingdom and since the only road into town is being watched, how are they getting in to cause the havoc? Another question is why does the sheriff seem to dislike them so much and seem to have no interest in investigating any of the incidents?
Wow, Nancy started this book out with a bang, from the beginning you are trying to figure out who would want to terrorize the peaceful Mennonites and why. She also shares how people in the same church can come up with different ways to handle the problem and they both seem to be right. I really enjoyed that because as I've gotten older I do try to look at both sides of a problem and when I'm trying to help loved ones who are arguing I try to get them to see the other persons side. Of course all that seems to do is to make the one I'm talking to think that I'm on the other one's side, even though I say I can understand where 'you' are coming from but I know where 'they' are coming from also. I've been both a mother and a daughter so I'm trying to see both sides, they don't buy it, lol.
Posted December 28, 2013
This is Nancy Mehl's second installment in this Mennonite series, but I have to admit that I did not enjoy this book as much as I had hoped. Don't get me wrong--she still had the suspense, the romance, and the wonderful celebration of the Mennonite faith. But I was not nearly as drawn into this book as I was the first.
Like the first, it began rather slowly, but the romance story and the unsettling suspense did capture my attention. I was not as interested in Hope as I had been Lizzie (glad Lizzie was still in this one), but I did wonder whom she would marry. All I will say is that Hope did not disappoint me. No spoilers as to the romance outcome.
One thing I had appreciated in the first book was the way in which the Christian faith had been woven so expertly into the story. For me, that was not nearly as strong in this book. Yes, the Christian message was there, but I didn't feel it was as focused.
Not to be completely critical, I will say it followed the normal form of the first book. It started off slowly and it escalated to a high within the last portion of the book. The charm of the Mennonite community were expertly captured in this fine book, but I much prefer the first book's story to this one. Just my opinion.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Posted December 21, 2013
I loved this book as much as the first one in the series. Nancy's writing is smooth and interesting. I love the way she creates characters and emotions. Can't wait to read more of her books!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 10, 2013
Unbreakable is another exciting addition to the Road to Kingdom series. Strange things are happening around Kingdom. When citizens are being harassed, one man killed and fires are set in the town, what is a God loving Mennonite community to do?
Some citizens of Kingdom believe they need to remain passive, putting their safety in God's hands. Other citizens feel the need to take precautions and set up a lookout at the town's entrance. On both sides of this issue are two men in love with Hope Kauffman.
Ebbie Miller has loved Hope most of his life. He and Hope are engaged and about to be married. Ebbie is on the side of peace. Is he the man for Hope?
Jonathon Wiese is also in love with Hope. Will he be able to win Hope's love? Jonathon is also a godly man, but feels more action is needed to protect Kingdom.
I knew who I wanted Hope to end up with and I am happy to say that she ended up with the man I felt God had for her. However, I was really impressed with the way the author was able to make it feasible for either man to have been a good choice for Hope. I enjoyed this book very much.
Posted September 2, 2013
A great 2nd installment in the Road To Kingdom series !!! Again, the reader is drawn into the gripping suspense of this novel as you anxiously await the next chapter to see what happens. Nancy has a gift of bringing her characters to life and you find yourself experiencing their pain, joy, and love of family. I look forward to reading more by this author.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 18, 2013
Book Summary: Mennonite Romantic Suspense Sure to Thrill Readers
Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller. Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation. When Hope's safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can't help but question what she's always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence. As it swiftly becomes apparent the threat Hope faced is only the beginning, the town that's always stood so strong finds itself divided. With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?
Review: I thought the book got better and better as I continued to read!!! It started out slow for me, about 1/3rd into the book I could not put it down. I really found the mystery fun. It was not a huge who did it but definitely ‘a who will Hope chose to marry.’ I made up my mind and was very pleased that is the way the story went. I would have been so disappointed if it went any other way. I just could not see the outcome being satisfying had Hope’s choice been different. For me I was transformed in my opinion by the halfway mark. It is a good read when how you feel changes dramatically by the end of the book. I am looking forward to reading the 3rd in this series. It has been a fun series thus far. The people of the town have grown and changed which is part of the fun. There was a lot of sadness at the start of the book and that is what contributed to the slowness because it was such a tragedy to get through.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
Posted May 21, 2013
Hope Kauffman is very happy with her life in the peaceful Mennonite town of Kingdom. She finds great joy in her quilting and running her quilting shop. Her faith is as much a part of her life as eating and sleeping. She never has had any desire to leave or question her Mennonite beliefs.
All her tranquility and way of life is suddenly threatened when someone starts running residents off the highway when they are returning home from town. Hope becomes one of these victims. Jonathan Wiese, new to their community, comes to her rescue. Feelings stir within her for this handsome “knight in shining armor”, but she is confused because is promised to marry Ebbie Miller in 2 months. Jonathan is everything Ebbie isn’t, dashingly handsome, exciting. She begins to question if she truly loves Ebbie enough to spend her life with him. Jonathan is quick to make his feelings known for her.
The attacks cause a division in the town’s people. Ebbie stands by their beliefs of turning the other cheek and no violence. Jonathan aligns with others to believe they should arm themselves to protect their loved ones. As the attacks move into the town Hope gets caught in between the two, unsure which way is right.
The story really brought to light Luke 6:29, And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. A verse I am very familiar with and have tried to live by. Ms. Mehl caused me to search even deeper in my beliefs. I certainly practice turning the other cheek when someone is rude, unkind, or unfair, but would I be able to follow the scripture if a loved one were in danger? Would God expect me to? These are just a few questions I was confronted with. I did come to an answer, but not without examining the meaning of this scripture in a way I never had before.
The story also brought to light standing alone for my faith, no matter what other Christians might think, choose, or in the face of persecution. There are lots of surprises throughout the book. Some I thought I had figured out and I was wrong, so I guess you could say I had double surprises! I not only appreciated the excellent writing, but also how the theme of Luke 6:29 was woven throughout the story. A book you want to read!
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted May 20, 2013
The story begins slowly, and begins to develop some good action towards the second half - a series of life threatening events. Some of the characters try to encourage others to take matters into their own hands, which becomes of great conflict with Mennonite church beliefs of forgiveness and non-violence. The elders believe that the main focus should be to remain faithful to their beliefs of leaving it to God.
As the story's excitement builds, Hope has to deal with her own dilemma of having to choose between two men who really do love her for who she is. Then we get to know the characters of the first book a little more. As these events unfold Hope comes to realize who she really is meant to be with.
Nancy Mehl incorporates a series of Biblical quotes to encourage and show the importance of faith, praying for our enemy, forgiveness, and believing that God will protect us in times of distress. Here are some of my favorite verses/quotes that she used:
"Remember that God offers us blessing and protection, but we must receive it by faith. By trusting Him. God does not force blessings on us, Hope. Especially blessings of the heart." -Ebbie.
"They are incredible creatures, Hope. Every time I watch them, I'm reminded that with God nothing is impossible. If they can lift fifty times their body weight, what can we do through God who strengthens us? I believe ants are a message sent from God to encourage us."
"God has given us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
* I was provided this book for free by Bethany House Publishing Group in exchange for a review.
Posted April 30, 2013
I reviewed Inescapable last year and was looking forward to spending more time in the Kingdom community. The book begins with us meeting the sweet Hope Kaufmann. She has a loving and kind Father and wonderful friends who adore her. Hope is sure of herself when things are safe and calm, but begins to question herself when their community is in danger. She also struggles with her feelings for two very different men, Jonathan and Ebbie.
I enjoyed this book. While it didn't have the safe heart pounding danger Inescapable had, there was an element of not knowing what would happen next. This Mennonite community is very different than what I would picture that lifestyle to be like. While I'm not a pacifist, I appreciated the self examination Hope and those around did while they faced the possibility that someone would wish them harm. They had to decide if they would turn the other cheek and stand firm in their ideals of nonviolence even when their loved ones were in danger.
I especially liked the end of the book where Hope decides which man she will marry. Neither was a villain, and so her choice could not be cut and dried.
Unbreakable is a book that keeps you guessing and may also lead to come self examination of your own beliefs, and that's the kind of book I like best.
In exchange for my honest review, I received a copy of the book from Bethany House
Posted April 2, 2013
This is the second book in this series that I have read, and another really great read. It will keep you guessing who is behind the fires and even the murder?
We renew our time with Lizzie, Cassie and Noah, and Hope Kauffman. Love being able to get caught up in their lives. As the story opens Hope in engaged to Ebbie Miller, and even though she loves him, she is feeling sparks from new comer Jonathon Wiese.
We find Hope being run off the road, her buggy tipping, and along comes Jonathon in his truck. He give comfort to Hope and helps her. When Ebbie breaks their engagement, Jonathon moves in. He loves Hope!
All of a sudden this peaceful Mennonite Community is under attack. Ebbie wants them to follow under Gods Protection, not violence. Where as, Jonathon thinks they should at least carry guns, even unloaded.
It is hard to imagine this peaceful Community of Kingdom living in so much fear! Who would do this?
You will have to read right to the end for answers. Even when I was sure I knew who was to blame, I was wrong. Also who will Hope end up with? Jonathon, who gives her her first kiss....or Ebbie who will step aside for Hopes happiness. Oh my, both these guys sound wonderful. Prayer.... for the Community and for the right choices.
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Book Tours, and was not required to give a positive review.
I think I liked this book better than the first. I did think some of it was entirely too similar though so I couldn’t quite give it a 5 star rating. Don't mistake my honesty as expressing a dislike as I really did enjoy the story despite a few shortcomings I thought that book had. For one, I thought that the love triangle angle was a smidgen annoying since I felt it pretty much happened in the first story. In Inescapable, I could understand Lizzie’s plight—Hope just came off a little flighty. Overall though, I did enjoy the story and I look forward to book three if there is to be one.
About the Story:
Hope is torn between two men—betrothed to Ebbie but seriously interested in Jonathan. As hate crimes start to mount against the Mennonite, Ebbie and Jonathan are at odds at how to handle the situation. The Mennonite are gentle people who do not believe in any sort of violence but change is in the air and the church is at odds on where things stand.
Really, the above paragraph sums everything up—there’s not much else I can say to expand on. I felt that this story was a better read than the first but after having read book one I do feel as if the two books were too similar in parts. I would have liked to have seen a little deviation from the typical love triangle.
Since there was in fact a love triangle—at least it wrapped up nicely and I had no idea who she would choose. I was nearly tempted to skip forward a page just to find out once it became apparent that she had made up her mind so at least it was written to be intriguing. Overall a solid four star read and I’ll be picking up more from this author.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted March 10, 2013
Dilemmas - Suspenseful & Romantic!
One road leads to the quiet Mennonite community of Kingdom where a peace-loving community resides, and the residents feel protected from the outside world. Communities surrounding Kingdom are being victimized by hate crimes against Christians. Churches have been set aflame and cars forced off the road. On a return trip to Kingdom from a nearby town, Hope Kauffman and her horse and buggy are forced off the road by a pickup truck. Jonathon Wiese, a recent member of the community, rescues Hope just as the truck is heading toward her a second time.
Confusion at her racing heart and the acute awareness of Jonathon’s presence cause Hope to question her reaction to Jonathon’s attention. Hope is betrothed to her long-time friend Ebbie Miller, a conservative Mennonite like Hope, her father, and the majority of their community. Her conservative ways and lifelong convictions are shaken by the openness of Jonathon’s attraction to her, and her response to his actions. Her faith in God keeps her internal struggles at bay even while she grapples with her conservative roots and a more progressive perspective.
Additional incidents victimizing their small community have become alarming, and Jonathon and other residents take action to protect the town from further harm by keeping guard on the road leading into Kingdom. Conflicts develop between conservative, nonviolent members of the community and the small group who feel that more resistant action should be used to protect Kingdom from future harm.
Dual plots in this suspense-filled and romantic story are fast paced yet beautifully detailed. The realities of resistance and nonresistance are well defined and choosing sides in this story is not an option. Both sides of both plots are humanistic and relative. The spiritual quality throughout this story is strong and well utilized. Nancy Mehl has a beautifully descriptive and picturesque nature with words, enhancing the locale and human qualities of her characters. This is a wonderful sequel to “Inescapable,” but the book is also a stand-alone. This book has its own merits.
DISCLAIMER: I received a PDF copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are mine, and no compensation has been received for this review.
Posted March 6, 2013
Heart Pounding Mennonite Suspense!
In Unbreakable, the heart pounding sequel to Inescapable, we are again swept away to the lovely, little Mennonite town of Kingdom; with its quaint shops, cafes, and the smell of honeysuckle permeating the fresh air...a special place, safe and protected from the outside world. That is until an unexpected threat of evil arrives in town, leaving the peaceful residents wondering if life in Kingdom will ever be the same again.
Hope Kauffman is proud of her Mennonite heritage and contented with her life in Kingdom where she runs a quaint quilt shop. Engaged to the shy, unassuming Ebbie Miller, Hope is stirred and confused by emotions brought on by the handsome, blue eyed, Jonathon Wiese.
Jonathon is a young Mennonite newcomer to Kingdom and when someone purposely tries to run Hope's buggy off the road, it is he who saves her life and the chemistry between them begins to grow. As new incidents and attacks occur on Kingdom's residents, and Ebbie, seeing the attraction between the two breaks off their engagement, Hope's world is turned upside down. Soon she begins to question everything she has been brought up to believe in.
Who is attacking the townsfolk with a vengeance...and why? And should the residents of Kingdom give up their pacifist ways to defend themselves or simply trust God to protect them through it all? Jonathon and Ebbie are both handsome, godly men willing to do anything to protect Hope -- but which one holds the key to her heart?
Nancy Mehl has written a heart pounding, realistic, romantic, suspense story that will keep the reader turning those pages till the exciting, climactic conclusion! I admired the central characters who were not afraid to show their human frailties and need for forgiveness. I especially loved the fact that I had no clue which man Hope was going to choose until the last few pages of the book. I fell in love with both of these wonderful heroes! As always, I enjoyed the cozy, small town atmosphere and camaraderie of the townsfolk in Nancy Mehl's books. Although this is Book Two in The Road To Kingdom series, it can easily be read as a stand alone, but I highly recommend both of these books to all!
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Posted March 1, 2013
Hope Kauffman has always been content with her Mennonite life in Kingdom. She never challenged the traditional teachings of the church, and was planning to marry Ebbie Miller, an elder in the church. But changes are coming to Kingdom and her church. Some members are beginning to question some of their core beliefs, and handsome newcomer Jonathan Wiese is the leader of the reform movement. Ebbie clings to the old ways, and Hope is caught in the middle with conflicting feelings for both young men. When someone targets the Mennonite community and Hope specifically for violence, the church, along with the men in Hope's life, must decide whether to defend themselves or to stay true to their belief to turn the other cheek.
The storyline begins slowly and builds in excitement. By the time I reached the second half of the book, I could hardly put it down. The conflict between the traditional beliefs of the Mennonite church (forgiveness and non-violence) vs. the more popular attitude of vengeance and justice is a compelling story. While this is a fictional novel, the Mennonite and Amish groups face these same problems in the world today. At the same time, Hope's dilemma of having to choose between two men, both of whom seem to love her, is interesting. Right up to the end, I could not decide which man she would choose.
The characters are all interesting, with Ebbie being one of the more sympathetic, and Jonathan being mysterious. I could be wrong, but it would not surprise me to see more of Sophie in a later installment in this series. There seems to be more to this character than what we saw this time.
Overall, a clean Christian fiction novel with plenty of suspense and romance. Will appeal to those who follow the Amish genre.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Posted February 25, 2013
The Old Order Mennonite community comes alive in this series by Nancy Mehl. Once again I've enjoyed a fast-paced, satisfying read from this author. In Unbreakable she deals with the difficult subject of Mennonite nonviolence as it relates to trust in God's protection. I loved the characters in Unbreakable, especially Hope. Her struggle with God's plan and purpose for her life is one we can all identify with. Hope's courage in the face of extreme danger is inspiring as she learns to trust God with her life. I look forward to the next installment in the Road to the Kingdom series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2013
Another wonderful well written novel set in Kingdom, KS. and there's plenty to love about this book! Suspense, danger around every corner, and romance. Someone is harrassing the local Mennonites, as the danger escalates residents must decide whether to defend themselves or to turn the other cheek. One of their own is murdered, local churches are being burned, and the community is no longer at peace.
Hope was attacked and rescued by a handsome new order Mennonite with whom she has a growing attraction. There's a world of difference between him and the man her family has intended for her to marry. One does nothing and believes God will protect them. The other finds nothing wrong in protecting themselves. Hope makes her choice and we find out who at the end of the story.
Loved the mystery that kept me guessing who the perpetrators were. Mehl's writing style keeps me wanting more and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted February 14, 2013
Nancy Mehl in her new book "Unbreakable" Book Two in the Road To Kingdom series published by Bethany House Publishers takes us into the life of Hope Kauffman.
From the back cover: Gentle and unassuming, Hope Kauffman has never been one to question the traditions of her Mennonite upbringing. She quietly helps her father run Kingdom Quilts and has agreed to the betrothal he arranged for her with the devout but shy Ebbie Miller.
Despite the attempts of Hope and other Kingdom residents to maintain the status quo, changes have already begun to stir in the small Mennonite town. The handsome and charismatic Jonathon Wiese is the leader of the move to reform, while Ebbie insists Kingdom must remain true to its foundation. When Hope's safety is threatened by a mysterious outsider, she can't help but question what she's always been taught about the Mennonite tradition of nonviolence.
As it swiftly becomes apparent the threat Hope faced is only the beginning, the town that's always stood so strong finds itself divided. With tensions high and their lives endangered by an unknown enemy, will Hope and the people of Kingdom allow fear and division to break them or will they draw on the strength of the God they serve?
The Mennonite belief in nonviolence is seriously challenged by someone who is targeting them for hate-crimes. Hope is almost killed and another woman is run down by this hate-crazed person. The people of the town of Kingdom now have to decide what action they are going to take with regards to this very real and dangerous threat to their existence. Ms. Mehl has crafted a fine thriller in that Hope is in deadly danger from practically page one. With all this going on Hope gets involved with the man who rescues her from the murder attempt and she will have to decide which man she will give her heart to. I could not figure out who the danger was coming from and was surprised when this person was revealed. The town of Kingdom, Kansas and the people who live there become real and are brought to life by a gifted storyteller. I liked "Unbreakable" and look forward to the next book in the series
"Unbreakable" Kindle Fire Giveaway and 3/5 Facebook Party!
Celebrate the release of Unbreakable with Nancy Mehl by entering her Kindle Fire Giveaway and RSVPing to the March 5th Author Chat Party on Facebook!
Unbreakable Kindle Fire Giveaway
One fortunate winner will receive:
A Kindle Fire
Books one & two in Nancy's Road to Kingdom series (Inescapable and Unbreakable)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 4th. Winner will be announced at the "Unbreakable" Author Chat Party on March 5th. Connect with Nancy, get a sneak peek of her next book, try your hand at the trivia contest, and chat with readers just like you. There will also be gift certificates, books, and fun Mennonite-themed giveaways.
Grab your copy of Unbreakable and join Nancy on the evening of the March 5th for a chance to connect with Nancy and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)
Don't miss a moment of the fun, RSVP today. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 5th!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."