Rhe’s Bookshelf: Vanessa Rasanen’s Soldier On {Blog Tour}

I am so excited to be participating in Vanessa’s blog tour! I’ve been following the whole process of this book, anxiously awaiting its release. I happen to be lucky enough to know Vanessa before she released this book! As fellow Guard spouses, bloggers and lovers of beer we have been connected for several years. The Guard world is a special one, and I don’t often seen books written about it, especially in the romance novel genre. As a book blogger that specializes in military romance I look for them, trust me. They just aren’t out there. And maybe one of these days I’ll make good on my process of actually trying to write my own book I’m glad that amazing writers like Vanessa are out there doing it right now!

Clearly I’m biased….but I promise I won’t let that interfere with my book reviewing! Being so lucky as to know many of the authors I review I’ve gotten good at still having truth to my book reviews. But, this is more than just a review guys! This is a book launch, blog tour AND giveaway! Head over to the other blogs that are reviewing to read more AND enter to win some pretty cools stuff!

October 30 – Review – Mary J Moerbe
October 31 – Review – Grit & Grace
November 1 – Review – Cammo Style Love
November 2 – Review – Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife
and First Line Friday – Faithfully Bookish
November 3 – Interview – The Nap Time Author
November 5 – Guest Post – Christian Shelf Esteem
November 6 – Review – Pure Joy Creative
November 7 – Review – Lights in a Dark World

He’s fighting for his country. She’s praying for his safety. When tragedy strikes, can their marriage and faith survive?

Charlie and Meg Winters are no strangers to the military life and the challenges it brings. But when an IED rips through his convoy killing his friends, the loss proves almost too much to bear.

Meg finds her trust in Christ wavering, and secrets she’s been keeping for years drive a wedge between her and her husband.

What if everything Meg believes is a lie?

What if Charlie finds out what she’s done?

Can Meg and Charlie save their marriage or will the horrors of war and the ghosts of their past tear them apart and forever shipwreck her faith?

Soldier On is a gripping contemporary women’s fiction novel. If you like inspirational stories of faith tested under pressure, then you’ll love Vanessa Rasanen’s true-to-life novel.


This book spoke to me on many levels, but I didn’t realize how much it affect me. The spiritual aspects of this book are intense, therefore I would recommend this book to those looking for a faith based novel. I think that there are few books that take on a realistic and deep view of spiritual struggles and the power of faith. Vanessa takes that on full force and masters it wonderfully. Sneaking into the dark and very real places that the thoughts of military wives goes. Being a military wife is definitely not rosy. It is hard and full of tears and ugly struggles. But it is also beautiful, and this shines through on the pages of Solider On.

The relationship between Meg and Charlie is one of beautiful struggle. What they have faced is something that many people haven’t. Its one that few people in our communities, schools and even churches can relate to or understand.

Vanessa’s writing is expressive and intricate, with a level of understanding of her denomination of faith that is clear. It focuses heavily on the Lutheran denomination but that wouldn’t preclude those of other denominations from enjoying that part of it. With complex portrayal of character, yet easy to read, I would recommend this book to my faith based military romance loving readers! Even those with no military connection would enjoy this. In fact I would say it gives a stunningly accurate portrayal of military life that civilians could greatly benefit from.

5 out of 5 stars

{for details on my rating system check out the Rhe’s Bookshelf tabl}

Thanks for stopping by the book tour! Enter the Soldier On Book Release Giveaway

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To purchase the book on your preferred platform click the links below {affiliate links are present! Thanks for support this author and this book blogger!}

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Rhe’s Bookshelf ~ A Military Romance, a 2017 Summer Must-Read and a Presidential Challenge {book review}

Book Reviews by Rheanna, Rhe's Bookshelf

This summer has been such a good reading summer for me. I know how important reading is for my self-care and mental health, and I’ve really been trying to devote time to that. Bonus is that my kids are reading more WITH me, which is such an awesome thing. Creating independent readers has always been something I’ve wanted for my kids. If you are new to the blog and my bookshelf posts there is one thing you need to know. I’m one of those people that reads three or more books at a time. I know, its totally crazy!! Or perhaps its not so crazy and you’ve finally found someone as crazy as you. So, let me present to you my last multi-read group of books. A military inspirational romance from a repeat author for me. Please support Debby Giusti because not only is she a phenomenal writer, she has donated books to me for military spouses in the past and I just love that. I also try to read books (rather informally) with my good group of girlfriends here in the neighborhood. We had a tough time finding a book we could all request at the library, so I had the idea of searching last summer’s must read list. That is how we ended up with a rather interesting historical fiction book that I ended up truly loving. Lastly, my mom gave me the idea that inspired this latest read. I decided to read a book about each president. While I fancy myself a history buff, there is also something to be learned.

{click to purchase}

Colleen Brennan has one goal—take down her sister’s killer. But chasing after evidence leaves her in the path of a tornado and stranded in an Amish community. With the killer nearby, Colleen must depend on the kindness of Special Agent Frank Gallagher. Although the army officer is recuperating from a battlefield injury, he wants to help the beautiful woman he rescued from the tornado’s fury. He can tell she’s hiding something important. But getting her to reveal her secrets may be his most dangerous mission ever. {Debby Giusti Website}


This is my second Debby Giusti book in the “military investigations” series. This book combines Debby’s affinity for military and amish writing. Her books always keep me on my toes and have a great twist in the end. What I also love about the books is that faith plays a constant, but subtle role in the books. Being weaved in and out of the characters, slowly pulling at their hearts in a way that really speaks to me. She makes it feel so naturally a part of the characters lives, which I think is such a realistic way of doing it. I’ve read many inspirational novels and there is definitely a wrong way to do it, where it is just rammed down your throat in such a way that you forget about the story that you are reading. The reality of the emotions that the character of Frank was going through, as a soldier recovering from wounds sustained in battle, were very real. Debby always delivers when it comes to the reality of military aspects of her books. As a reader, who also happens to be a military spouse, it is difficult for me to read books that have blatant discrepancy or do not ring true. While I do read books for fun, I expect books with military aspects to be accurate. {PS: I am available for consults – i take free books as payment, LOL}

This is a book I would read again so it gets by coveted 5 out of 5 stars rating!!

{click to purchase]

Raised among wealth and privilege during America’s fabled Gilded Age, a niece of famous novelist Edith Wharton and a friend to literary great Henry James, Beatrix Farrand is expected to marry, and marry well. But as a young woman traveling through Europe with her mother and aunt, she already knows that gardens are her true passion.

How this highborn woman with unconventional views escapes the dictates of society to become the most celebrated female landscape designer in the country is the story of her unique determination to create beauty and serenity while remaining true to herself.

Beatrix’s journey begins at the age of twenty-three in the Borghese Gardens of Rome, where she meets beguiling Amerigo Massimo, an Italian gentleman of sensitivity and charm—a man unlike any she has known before. {Goodreads Synopsis}


It’s been awhile since I’ve read an historical novel. I’m fairly certain it was The Other Boleyn girl (which by the way is an amazing read). This book was on 2017’s summer must read list. I discovered it by perusing around on the internet looking for 2018 summer reads. It was then I realized that trying to find enough copies at the library for me and my friends to check out would be difficult for any of this summer’s must reads. That is how I found this amazing book. I’m a succor for a good cover and this one is lovely!!! From the losely swept up red hair to the beautiful gown that I can literally feel swaying as a I look at it. It caught my attention and drew me in. Beatrix Farrand is the focus of the story, however I would argue that our narrator is one of the characters that might have been intended to be secondary but ended up being the someone I wanted to read about just as much as our lead. Beatrix is a real person, and also happens to be on of the first female landscape architects {you go girl}. Its safe to say that I had never given that one thought, but I learned a lot about that line of work. What I truly loved about this book is that it really helped me picture the sweeping french landscapes, the bustling city life, Rome and the colosseum. And like any true Jane Austen fan, I love to get indigent about societies rules for love and men and women. A good romeo and juliet type love thrown in there makes for epic storytelling. Jeanne Mackin’s attention to detail and devotion to showing the trueness of the time and the characters showed in her writing. Seeing an author take on a real person with respect, while also creating a realistic story that is enjoyable takes talent. Its too easy to take on something like this and runaway with it.

Three and half out of five stars

{click to purchase}

In this thought-provoking look at George Washington as soldier and statesman, Richard Brookhiser traces the astonishing achievements of Washington’s career and illuminates how his character and his values shaped the beginnings of American politics.

Brookhiser recaptures the real George Washington in this against-the-grain biographical study that chronicles a remarkable quarter-century career in public life—a record of achievements that is virtually unmatched by any modern leader. Brookhiser recounts Washington’s heroic deeds as general and president, his temperament and training, and reflects upon his legacy.  {Goodreads Summary}


I hadn’t done any research on what to read or what is recommended. I just went to the library and started looking around. I snatched this one because it wasn’t overwhelming in size really.  This was such a great book and I learned a lot about our first president that I didn’t really know. What I love about the idea of reading a book about our Presidents (especially our early ones) is that they should be known for more than simply being the first one or first ones. So often they are relegated to that title as being the only reason we should remember. We get very little about them beyond that. When we moved to Virginia I really wanted to take all of that in, and this book was a great addition to that education. I can’t wait to move on to President Number 2!! Join me in this challenge and snag this book from Amazon or your local library. Its easy to read but full of information, the perfect balance for those that consider themselves history buffs or those that would like to dip their toe in the history deep end. 

Four out of five stars

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Rhe’s Bookshelf: Bookshelf Update!

Gosh, I haven’t done one of these in awhile. I’ve been really killing it in the book reading department this year. I made sort of a pact with myself to do some more reading, and really make that part of my self-care. Believe me, just sitting and reading a book goes a long way to get me through most things – loneliness, sadness, anger and frustration. Just hanging out with the characters in a book can really make a whole lot of things better for awhile. I’m going to catch you up on on the books I’ve been reading for the past month. Hopefully they catch your attention and you want to snag them for yourselves. Find me on Goodreads and check out all my bookshelves, or check out the Rhe’s Bookshelf tab up top for more. You can snag your own copies of all the books listed below by clicking on the image.


After a decade of making it on her own, Irish immigrant, Blayne MacCaffrey is determined to return to her homeland and make peace with her father, who hasn’t forgiven her for deserting the family—for what she believed was true love. Her ticket home is in the bag with the launch of the Archer Conservation Park of Cape Van Buren. Only she must partner with the devastatingly sexy heartbreaker who first awakened her desires and unequivocally destroyed her dreams years ago.


This is the second book in the On the Cape series and I’m so in love! I plowed through this book. I can guess what is coming in the series and I already can not wait to see where it goes. These are such good characters, and just the fact that you’re dealing with old love, moving on, not moving on….you guys this book gave me some serious tingles. MK Meredith delivers yet again with this sweet, yet sultry, small town romance. The main character Blayne has such spice to her, and I loved her as a character even in the first book in this series. And since I’m such a book cover snob I can’t not comment about how much I love it.


When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement.
You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves.
You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her.
You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships.
Assume nothing.

You guys, this book….whoa is almost all I can say. My friend got it from the library and read it in like half a second. Then we passed it around to each other and we all read this thing in two days. It is incredible and the first secular fiction (non romance) that I’ve read in a while that makes you obsessed.It sucks you in from the very beginning with paragraphs that keep you on your toes. It is incredible writing and deserves every accolade its getting right now. Greer and Sarah bring you into the story of Vanessa and Nellie and you don’t know who to feel sorry for! I literally can’t even write any more because I will give it away. This page-turning, psychological thriller is worth every second of your time.  And once you read it, send me a message so we can talk about it….because I really can’t even properly review it here guys. Must read! Go. Now.



Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, knows all about difficult assignments, but his current mission is one for the record books. Not only must he find a wife—and get her pregnant—or forfeit the ranch his family has prized for generations, he must also convince his three brothers to marry, too—before the year is up. Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight?

I’m a Cora Seton fan, and this is such a fun series to add to your list. It is semi-steamy, with a couple sexual scenes, but doesn’t sacrifice the story for that. Of course it is sort of unbelievable right…but who reads romance all the time for “this could totally happen to me!” Its sweet, sad, fun and even made me laugh. It’s everything you want in an easy to read, sweet romance. At the beginning of the story Mason is leaving the military, so this is not a military romance in that you deal with anything about him serving. In fact that is almost non-existent in the story. I would read it again and that, to me, says a lot of about a book. Another A+ from Cora Seton!


Pepper Blue wants a baby. Forget the husband. She’s better at training men to be good husbands for other women than she is at getting one herself, so she’s doing this on her own.
But she hasn’t exactly shared the news with her family, and they’re determined to find her a date to the next family wedding. A date that won’t leave with one of her sisters or cousins. This time.
Which means Pepper Blue needs a fake boyfriend. A fake boyfriend that she has no chance of actually falling in love with. A fake boyfriend like her obnoxious neighbor.

Number 6 in the Misfits Bride of Bliss Series…and please don’t ever stop Jamie!!!! I still want more! I love this series, and this one has quickly topped out at my favorite one yet! What I particularly love about this book, and the series in general, is that it pays homage to the other characters in the books before this one, the town is its own character and and that never disappears. Jamie Farrell takes you into Bliss, a town that seems both completely normal and also completely ridiculous…never could be real in a million years. I’m not sure how she does it, but each time Ms. Farrell gives me exactly what I want in a women’s fiction, sweet romance, with a little spice (pun intended) and a small town I want to move to like yesterday. Tony is actually the best and one of my favorite of the Farrell hunks, country singer Billy aside. Because what could top a Luke Bryan romance knock-off. No one, in case you were wondering. I’ve reviewed a ton of Jamie’s novels on my bookshelf tab, and you can find links to this book and my other favorites under “Favorite Things” on the side bar!

Stay Tuned for These Reviews Coming Soon

True Crime Addict by James Renner

The Solider’s Email Order Bride by Cora Seton

Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin

Troublemaker by Leah Remini

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Rhe’s Bookshelf – Robert Griffin III

Seriously right?  A sports book.  I know, I know, it’s probably the most crazy thing ever.  This is the very first sports related book that I have reviewed on my blog.   However there are several reasons why I chose it.  First, I’m a local now and RG3 is a Washington Redskin.  Despite the fact that my father raised me as a Niner fan, I find myself wanted to get involved with the local team.  I haven’t actually ever lived somewhere where a team physically is located.  Its a different feeling, living where the team actually plays.  It’s like being a Kings fan in Sacramento.  Its in the air when there’s a game.  We haven’t been to a game yet but I want to.  I won’t ever give up my love to the 49ers, but I could go for a home team game.  The second reason I chose this book is because he’s a military kid, a dual military kid no less.  His mother served 12 years; and his father served 21 years.  It’s pretty cool.  He seems to be a decent kid, went to Baylor and so far (even though it hasn’t been that long) he hasn’t had any incidents that would make me erase him from the athlete idol for my sons.  The truth remains to be seen if he will stand the test of time, both on and off the field, but I have high hopes (for the off field part for sure).

What’s it about:

RG3 explores the athletic prowess, faith, and leadership of the NFL’s hottest star.

Robert Griffin III is a world-class athlete, a Heisman Trophy winner, team captain of the Washington Redskins, and NFL Rookie of the Year. Just twenty-two years old, he has begun his ascent as a game-changing NFL quarterback and living testimony of Christian faith. RG3 goes deep into the pressures of the NFL to showcase this young superstar’s abilities, faith, and leadership.

How does RG3 maintain his competitive edge? How does he deal with the pressure of carrying a historic franchise on his shoulders? Can he take the NFL pounding, week in and week out? What is the likely outcome of his career if he remains a “running quarterback”? How does he balance on- and off-field commitments? What’s his character like? What role does his faith play in all this?

RG3 is a great football book that offers an in-depth look at practices, media appearances, off-field commitments, on-field exploits, and quiet moments of leadership over the course of a season. Peek behind the curtain of an athlete in progress as he seeks to make a world-class impact with his talent and his faith at the same time.

What I thought:

Loved this book!  More then just learning about RG3 I actually learned a lot about the current state of the NFL.  Truth be told I am much more knowledgeable about football back in the day, probably about 10 years ago.  I absolutely learned so much.  This was not only an excellent analysis of the game in general, but the realities of the game today.  It was interesting because I was expecting more of a biography of him, but it really wasn’t.  It talked more about his career during high school, a little bit about how his parents chose to raise him.  Ted Kluck is extremely knowledgeable and the way that he is able to write – whether you knew about football or not you would be able to read, understand and enjoy this book.  Like I said it really was a comparison of RG3 and many players of the past and present, comparing how the game was played then and now, and similar ideas.  No one can argue that the game is vastly different then back in the day, like basketball and baseball.  It is difficult to explain more without giving away the book.  I would recommend this book for your husband or son, whether they are a fan of Griffin or not.  This is a great football book in general.  And while “faith” is including in the title, this isn’t really a book about faith or necessarily the faith of Griffin, so don’t let that concern you if that would make you hesitate in getting the book.

3 out of 5 stars
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