Top Ten Tuesday: Surprising Reads

Posted March 13, 2018 by meezcarrie in Christian, Top Ten Tuesday / 36 Comments

Happy Tuesday, dear ones! Today’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday is books that surprised us, and I confess not knowing which direction to take. But I decided to just go with the prompt as-is today and talk about books that really did surprise me. In a good way. Something, I might add, that is difficult to do at this point 😉 so these authors deserve lots of kudos for sneaking up on me with certain plot points!

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1. The Outsider by Ann H. Gabhart / What surprised me: the Shaker doctrine. This series is based on the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, which is a few miles from my house, a place I have regularly visited. Reading these books (beginning with The Outsider) opened my eyes to the seriously misguided & harmful doctrine of the Shakers. I had no idea!

2. The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore / What surprised me: Whodunit.


3. The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall / What surprised me: The hero. After hating Vance Everstone in The Bound Heart, I had no idea how I could ever possibly embrace him as the hero of The Cautious Maiden. Boy, was I wrong! Be still my book-boyfriend-collecting heart!!!!

4. The Name I Call Myself by Beth Moran / What surprised me: The genre. I was expecting a romcom but instead was treated to a compelling women’s fiction with a hint of romance.


5. Better Together by Kimberly Stuart / What surprised me: How much I enjoyed it. I don’t typically love stories about already-married couples (at least not as much as I love my KissingBooks) but this one was just delightful

6. You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo / What surprised me: How much I enjoyed it. The Roaring Twenties are probably my least favorite era to read about but this book completely captivated and entertained me!


7. Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli / What surprised me: A certain plot twist (I seriously can’t say more than that. But it’s SO good!)

8. A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot / What surprised me: A stunning turn of events (I literally gasped out loud)


9. The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix / What surprised me: One plot twist absolutely gut-punched me. I love this book!

10. If I Live by Terri Blackstock / What surprised me: Plot twists around every corner – I could not put this one down!

What about you? Which books have surprised you recently?

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36 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Surprising Reads

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning Freedom’s Ring, Carrie! I’m so glad it surprised you. 🙂 I can’t wait to read some of these books. The Space Between Words I SO enjoyed–and yes, definitely a gut-punch of a plot twist in there.

  2. YAY! Glad to have another recommendation for “Better Together.” Rel talks fondly of that one. Also, Beth’s looks SO cute. Love fun romances – even those that look deeper. 🙂

    Happy Top Ten Tuesday, Carrie.

  3. Amy

    I was surprised by the plot twist in Becky Wade’s “True to You”. Talk about a gut punch. I was also surprised by Connilyn Cossette’s books…because I’d never read Biblical fiction and honestly didn’t want to read her books. But I kept hearing people rave about them so I finally broke down and gave them a chance. Best decision EVER!! I’m now a HUGE fan of hers and have read them all and can’t wait for “Shelter of the Most High.”

  4. I LOVE already married romances.

    The way hooks and movies depict marriage as the end rather than the beginning, we need more already married romances.

    I’ll have to try Better Together.

    Of course, these all sound wonderful, but I have to stop buying books someday. Really. My foundation is cracking.

  5. I can totally relate regarding “The Cautious Maiden”. I felt the same way! I was even kinda worried that my great dislike for him would make me not be able to enjoy the book, but I was quite happily wrong! 🙂
    And I’m really looking forward to “If I Live”. Impatiently waiting for my turn on the library hold list for the audiobook. Glad to hear such good things about it! 🙂

  6. Winnie Thomas

    I was also surprised by how much I loved A Light on the Hill by Connilyn Cossette. I haven’t read a lot of Biblical fiction, but I’d heard so many great things about her books that I wanted to read it. It was amazing!

    • Amy

      Totally agree, Winnie! Biblical fiction was not even on my radar, but I finally gave in and read Connilyn’s Out from Egypt series and it was well deserving of all the hype. Glad to hear someone else enjoys her writing as much as I do.

  7. emilee

    These look interesting. A lot of new-to-me authors. I am addeing them to my goodreads list. Are they all Christian? I noticed Better Together is #3 in a series.Do they need to be read in order?

    • Carrie

      Yep – they are all Christian reads! I have not read books 1 & 2 and did just fine with that book, Emilee!

  8. emilee

    I just read Newton and Polly and I was surprised at how good it was. Don’t get me wrong I love Jody Hedlund’s books but this is a step above the rest. John Newton’s life is a wonderful testimony of God’s wonderful Mercy and Grace!!!

  9. Michelle Connell

    I love books by Terri Blackstock, and haven’t heard of The Space Between Words. I will have to check it out.

  10. Jocelyn

    After reading Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson, I picked up The Deposit Slip, and was blown away. Loved it! Great suspense novel that has twists that leave you surprised.

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