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Martine’s Must-Reads for February 2022

1.  Between Wrath and Mercy: A Romantic Fantasy (The Divine Between Series Book 1) by Jess Wisecup

After her daughter is kidnapped, Emmeline Highclere—a thirty-four-year-old mother living in isolation with memories and grief her only companion—must do everything in her limited power and divine abilities to get the girl back.

Emmeline believes her daughter, Elora, is the Beloved—the conduit with goddess-granted divine abilities prophesied to bring peace to the Three Kingdoms. Because the last person thought to be the Beloved was brutally murdered by the enemy kingdom of Folterra, Emmeline has dedicated the last sixteen years to hiding her daughter and keeping her safe. When Elora is kidnapped by a Folterran prince, Emmeline must leave her place of hiding, resolving to do anything to rescue her daughter. But to have any chance against those who took the girl, Emmeline must call upon one of the most powerful conduits in the Three Kingdoms, the Crown Prince of Vesta—the man who broke her heart—and hope he helps her despite their estrangement.

With the weight of his father’s impending death hanging over his head, Crown Prince Rainier has begun to make moves to prove his dedication to assume the role of king. When he is visiting the estate that was once a second home to him, the woman who has long haunted his dreams and consumed his thoughts appears before him, asking for his help to find the child she had with another man. Now, he must decide: does he drop what he is doing to help Emmeline, or does he maintain his unwavering duty to the Crown?

2. I Love You and Cheese Pizza: A story about the meaning of love (Pig In Jeans) by Brenda Li

I Love You and Cheese Pizza: A story about the meaning of love (Pig In Jeans) I Love You and Cheese Pizza is a funny but powerful book. It teaches children that love is choosing to be kind. Love is standing up for the weak and sitting down with the broken. Love is feeling thankful for people around you and showing your appreciation. Teach kids the many different forms of love this Valentine’s Day!

Brian, the pig in jeans, thinks all he loves is cheese pizza! All this time, he has been showing love in many different ways without knowing! Celebrate the true meaning of love in this hilarious best-selling series!

3. The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

Adrift in a raft after a deadly ship explosion, ten people struggle for survival at sea. Three days pass. Short on water, food and hope, they spot a man floating in the waves. They pull him in.

“Thank the Lord we found you,” a passenger says.

“I am the Lord,” the man whispers.

So begins Mitch Albom’s most beguiling and inspiring novel yet.

Albom has written of heaven in the celebrated number one bestsellers The Five People You Meet in Heaven and The First Phone Call from Heaven. Now, for the first time in his fiction, he ponders what we would do if, after crying out for divine help, God actually appeared before us? What might the Lord look, sound and act like?

In The Stranger in the Lifeboat, Albom keeps us guessing until the end: Is this strange and quiet man really who he claims to be? What actually happened to cause the explosion? Are the survivors already in heaven, or are they in hell?

The story is narrated by Benji, one of the passengers, who recounts the events in a notebook that is later discovered—a year later—when the empty life raft washes up on the island of Montserrat.

It falls to the island’s chief inspector, Jarty LeFleur, a man battling his own demons, to solve the mystery of what really happened. 

A fast-paced, compelling novel that makes you ponder your deepest beliefs, The Stranger in the Lifeboat suggests that answers to our prayers may be found where we least expect them.

4. Dangerous Freedom by John Ruan 

The story begins with sophomore Dylan Reilly watching the live coverage of 9/11 from his high school’s library, surrounded by his friends. All were shocked and angry! Whereas his good friend Joe Doyle vowed to join the U.S. Marines and “get those terrorists” responsible for the attacks, Dylan didn’t have the courage to join him. However, ten years later, after Dylan and his wife, Darlene, escape three deadly attacks, he decides the time has come for him to start defending himself and fight back. Then, like a cowboy out of the old west, he confronts armed and dangerous killers, hoping to save thousands of innocent lives. See how Dylan Reilly, the everyman, finds the courage to heroically fight back in this fast-paced, action-packed, five-star thriller that critics and readers love!

5. Almanac of American Politics 2022 by Columbia Books Inc.

The 2022 Almanac of American Politics observes its most celebratory year yet, as it marks the 50th Commemorative Edition for this political reference icon. Now, more than ever, The Almanac of American Politics continues to be the gold standard of accessible political information, relied on by everyone involved, invested or interested in politics in America. Highly regarded for its in-depth analysis and comprehensive profiles of every congressional district, state, governor and member of Congress, The Almanac is the tool you need to better understand the context of the people and perspectives shaping the issues that matter to you.