Book Review: The Noble Guardian by Michelle Griep

Taciturn & Tender –
Adventurous Historical Christian Romance

If you are looking for historical Christian fiction brimming with the characterization of a taciturn, valiant hero and a lively, generous heroine, while courting danger around every bend and the demonstration of courage in the face of disappointments, Michelle Griep’s The Noble Guardian has it all! Adventure. History. Romance. The third in The Bow Street Runners series, it’s easy to read as a standalone (but having read this title, I’ll definitely be adding the first two titles to my to-be-read stack.)

Griep has a wonderful way with words and kindly shares some of her historical research aspects with her readers at the back of the book. I have no remarks on the aspect of historical accuracy, because I’m generally reading the genre for the escape, not the realism. I’m guessing based on the facts she shared, most aspects were pretty spot-on.

Back to the story itself… two bruised individuals, an adorable cherub of a child, and well-shaped secondary characters shine. At 32o pages in the paperback format, it’s not a short book, but it’s quite the tale of longing, revenge, and as mentioned previously, danger (almost ridiculous amounts of danger, to be honest. I mean it’s fiction, but life just kept throwing one curveball after another – which of course they handled with fortitude and style.) They faced seemingly insurmountable hurdles while trying to navigate their futures and escape the wounds of their pasts while racing cross-country through Regency England.

Romance was sweetly threaded throughout and, of course, love triumphs all. One of my favourite quotes from the book was just before the half-way point, when the Captain (our hero!) insists Abby (our heroine) is more valuable than she realises and calls her a gem. *sigh* (I’d quote the exact line but my copy was uncorrected and I don’t want to get it wrong!) Honestly, coming from such a sullen man and in the early stages of their alliance it was really quite the tender and endearing scene (with a typical touch of gruffness from a pensive man.) The story was liberally sprinkled with references to faith and the characters’ development of conviction and hope. As they lean on each other, they each find safety – both physically and emotionally – as they become the family they’ve always needed.

I truly enjoyed this spin on my go-to genre and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a heartwarming historical tale of hope and redemption. You can pre-order your copy now through all major booksellers. It’s a 4.5 star for me!

I was provided with a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy of this title through NetGalley with thanks to the publisher and author. All opinions expressed are my own.

Published by: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Publication Date: June 1, 2019

Book Review: The Sun Is a Compass by Caroline Van Hemert

Inspiring and Humbling

I am one who finds it fabulous when I get my 10-12 thousand steps in a day. I enjoy a day at the lake with a fishing rod nearby, but most often with a book in hand. Kayaking and canoeing are enjoyable when I’m a few feet from shore and the water is glass without a cloud in the sky. I am not an adventurer and readily admit that I enjoy my comforts and the calm of my home. The rugged Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and even the Yukon are places I like to visit through pages and pictures, but would not want to conquer on my own.

I realise that 2019 is still in its first quarter, and I’ve read some really excellent books so far, but The Sun Is a Compass by Caroline Van Hemert is my most favourite read in a very long time. My poor family members had to listen to me narrate what was happening any time something caught my fancy. It’s not often that a memoir captures my attention and reads better than fiction. It is, as described by the publisher, “the gripping story of a biologist’s human-powered journey from the Pacific Northwest to the Arctic to rediscover her love of birds, nature, and adventure.”

The well written first-person narrative captured my attention from the opening paragraph and kept me in its grip until the very last sentence. A descriptive, relatable text chronicling human nature vs. Mother Nature. It was an incredibly beautiful tale of human endurance and a reminder of how small we are in the vastness of the wilderness. Inspiring and humbling all at once, I cannot recommend this title enough. It was a brilliant blending of insight and observation.

If you are looking for a book to point out that you are quite satisfied in your semi-rural, daily grind existence, this is it. If you enjoy living vicariously through the adventures of other individuals, this is it. If you find courage in tales of human vs. wild, this is it. If you find motivation in accomplishment and beating the odds, this is it. If you want to find yourself lost in a recounting of someone finding themselves in living and travelling by their own power through remote and austere environs, this is it. Colourful, descriptive, and moving. Absolutely brilliant – I have huge respect for the adventurer and her husband and how well she retold their story. I felt a strange sense of pride in their accomplishment.

(P.S. I’m not a huge fan of book to movie renditions, but I could vividly imagine this on the big screen with every new page.)

I was provided with a copy of this title via NetGalley courtesy of the author and/or publisher. All opinions are my own.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: March 19, 2019