Solstice of the Heart

Solstice of the HeartSolstice of the Heart by Rhonda Burnaugh, April Garner
Published by Trafford Publishing on October 24th 2014
Pages: 212
ISBN: 1490747478
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Solstice of the Heart is the final book in a trilogy, Catch a falling star and Blood Moon on the Rise being the previous books. This book begins where Blood Moon on the Rise ended. This is a time of change, Sera is pregnant and living with D.J. and his family in Texas, Joe and Anni are living in San Francisco with Rose and Michael. Everyone is on edge as it becomes clear that they are still not safe from Gabriel. No one knows where he is and they go about their days with hints of anxiety and anticipation. Joe, Annie, Sera and D.J. cannot be entirely comfortable until Gabriel is found. No one is safe as Gabriel tries to make his way toward the target of his affections.

The book has suspense, mystery, spiritualism, romance, and the close ties of friendship and family.
The friendships are what continue to shine in this trilogy specifically the male friendships. A lot of books focus on female relationships. I like that this trilogy shows men having close friendships as well. Family and what makes a family is also a theme that is in all three of the Author’s books in this series.

I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.


Blood Moon on the Rise

Blood Moon on the RiseBlood Moon on the Rise by Rhonda Burnaugh
Published by Trafford Publishing on August 30th 2014
Pages: 290
ISBN: 1490745289
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Blood Moon on the Rise is the Sequel to “Catch a Falling Star” and I highly recommend you read the first book in this series so that you can fully understand and appreciate this book. I am not sure if this book would work as a stand-alone novel. This book begins one year after Michael’s death and we see all of Michael’s loved ones still coping with and dealing with his death.

Sera is living in a cabin in Aspen. She is still mourning Michael and having a hard time moving on past his death. Joe and Anni are living in San Francisco with their son while DJ’s life is spiraling out of control and is hospitalized. Knowing that her friends need her, Sera decides to return to California to be with her friends. While all of this happens, Anni and Joe must also take in another child as tragedy has struck her life once again.

Coping with loss can be difficult enough but when a mysterious man enters their lives, who has an uncanny resemblance to Michael, it throws them all for a loop. Sera is drawn to this man as he reminds her of Michael while the others are leery and cautious. Is this man, Gabriel de Vilbiss, who he claims to be? Why does he rub some of them the wrong way? Are they being overly cautious or is there a reason to be worried about his involvement with Sera?

Initially I wasn’t sure about how I felt about this book. I could not put down “Catch a Falling Star” and wondered if I would miss Michael in this book. I didn’t because we see spinets of him here!
The last part of this book is where it really shines. We get a lot of answers plus it appears there will be another book in this series.

This book has revelations, family secrets, loss, romance, mystery, and death. It touches on themes of mental illness, starting over, infertility, family relationships, friendships, grief, hope, and love. The friendships forged in “Catch a Falling Star” are still strong and still growing in this book. I liked that there was some twist, turns and revelations that I did not see coming. I really like when a book can surprise me. Again, to appreciate this book, one needs to read the first book in the series.

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the next book in the series.

I received a copy of this book to read from the Author in exchange for an honest review.


Catch a Falling Star

Catch a Falling StarCatch a Falling Star by Rhonda Burnaugh
Published by Trafford Publishing on April 30th 2014
Pages: 254
ISBN: 1490735097
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Michael Dolanski and Seraphine (Sera) Rosewood are 15 years old when they meet and experience young/first love. Circumstances arise that separate them and they both go their separate ways. Years later, Michael returns to town, a famous rock star, in need of medical attention. He receives care from many medical professionals but forms a relationship with both Anni (a nurse) and Joe (a Roman Catholic Priest). Sera learns that Michael is in town and sneaks into his hospital room to see him. She has never gotten over her first love and hopes to rekindle a relationship with him.

Catholic Priest Joe (Joseph) became a priest for all the wrong reasons and struggles with his decision. He has a close friendship with Anni and they often enjoy dinner together. When Joe meets Michael he hopes to be of service but soon learns that perhaps, Michael may have something to offer him. Joe and Michael form a friendship and when Michael goes back to Maui with Anni as his personal nurse, he eventually has Joe live there as well. Both benefit and enjoy the benefits of a friendship where each teaches the other about life. Both of their lives change as a result of this decision.

As Michael’s medical condition becomes more concerning, his thoughts return to his first love, Sera and he makes plans to bring her back into his life. Without realizing it, Michael has assembled a “family” of friends around him. While battling his illness he also has to battle for his young daughter, Rose.

This book has a little bit of everything: family secrets, mental illness, abuse, first love, spirituality, faith, friendship, family, trust, sacrifice, and saying goodbye. What is unique about this book is that the Author focuses on male friendships/relationships. Most books focus on the relationships/friendships of women. This one takes a separate approach and shows men being friends, being supportive and caring to each other. This book also shows various forms of spirituality ranging from Native American traditions/spiritual beliefs, the Catholic faith and those who those who do not have a specific faith. Although this book touches on various forms of spirituality and religion, I would not call this a religious themed book. Characters have beliefs and traditions as most people do and called on those beliefs as a way of coping with illness and the diagnosis of a terminal disease.This book is a tearjerker and was thankful that I always keep tissues on hand.

I read this book in one sitting and found it to be a fast read. I found this book to be well written and the pacing was very good. Nothing felt rushed nor did this book lag or seem slow. I liked all of the characters, with the exception of one. There was character development as the book progressed. I wanted to shake some of the characters at various points in the book such as Michael telling Sera to run away. Why couldn’t she stay and comfort him? I know, I know he had his secrets but still…

An enjoyable read about hope, starting over, love and saying goodbye.

I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

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