Pelican Point – A Hope Harbor Novel by Irene Hannon – Encouraging and Hope-Filled

When I find an author whose writing I like, I want to read everything that they’ve written and Irene Hannon is one of those authors.  That’s why I was excited at the opportunity to read her newest book Pelican Point, A Hope Harbor Novel.

One of the things I like best about Irene’s writing are the characters who seem like kind and caring people.  Ben is at a transition in his life.  He’s was an orthopedic surgeon with the military but is getting back to the civilian life.  His grandfather Skip’s death changed his plans and he has to stay in Pelican Point for a few weeks to deal with Skip’s financial affairs, which included the purchase of a lighthouse that is in a state of disrepair.  His unexpected meeting with Marci, who seem quite irrational, didn’t go so well despite his good intentions.  After that incident, he just wants to wrap things up and get on to the new life he’s planned.

Not only are the main characters interesting and likable people, so are the secondary characters who help flesh out the town.  I especially like Charley (and his tacos) and was encouraged to see Greg and Rachel grow and change in the face of challenging circumstances.  The characters seem very real.  The beautiful scenery in Pelican Point is described in such a way that the reader can imagine what the place looks like.

Irene writes in a way that gives you hope.  The Christian faith is a part of some of her character’s lives.  At times the dialogue is thought provoking and insightful and I highlight it because I want to read it again.

I really liked the storyline and characters and wish this town actually existed because I would love to go there.  Instead, I get to enjoy it through the imagination and excellent writing of Irene Hannon.  If you want to read a story that will encourage your faith, be sure to read Pelican Point.  Reading Irene’s Hope Harbor series is like going home to a comfortable welcoming place.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing for the opportunity to read Pelican Point by Irene Hannon.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

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Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan – Fast-Paced Suspense with Likable Characters

As someone who loves a good mystery, I’m always on the lookout for a good suspense novel and I found just what I was looking for in Rachel Dylan’s newest book Lone Witness, the second book it the Atlanta Justice series.

Lone Witness tells the story of Sophie Dawson, a prosecutor in the city of Atlanta.  After presenting closing arguments against a crooked CEO, she wanted to get started on her newest case in the white-collar crimes unit.  Though the crimes may be different from the general trial division, what drove Sophie didn’t change.  She wanted to seek justice for those who had been victimized.  After putting in a long day at work, Sophie wanted to run in to the Quick-Stop for a snack on her way home.  That one little decision would impact her in ways she couldn’t have imagined.  Instead of being the prosecutor, she would be the lone eye witness against a gang member who brutally murdered two people.

What I liked about Lone Witness, was not only the courtroom drama, suspense and mystery, but also the characters.  They had interesting careers and were decent, likable people that I came to care about.  Rachel challenges the reader not to automatically categorize a character (defense attorney) as good or bad or assume you know their motives.  This book has some surprising twists and turns and it was interesting trying to figure out who done it.  I appreciated that the character’s Christian faith was woven into the story.

Not only did I find a good book to read in Lone Witness, but I found an author, Rachel Dylan, whose work I liked and is new to me.  I look forward to going back and reading her earlier work and future novels.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read Lone Witness in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H Blackburn – Likeable Characters and Interesting Scenario Make for A Good Read

I love mysteries and suspense novels and that’s what drew me to read Lynn H Blackburn’s newest book Beneath the Surface, the first book in the Dive Team Investigations series.

The story begins with homicide investigators, Ryan Parker and Gabe Chavez, training for underwater crime scene investigations when they discover a body.  What started out an exercise has now developed into a murder investigation.  To help with the logistics, Ryan reaches out to a neighbor and old friend, Leigh Weston, to see if the police can use her dock for a few days.

Soon, Leigh has some troubles of her own when she’s driving from home from work and her brakes give out.  Was it mechanical failure or something more nefarious?  Ryan and Gabe’s case load just got busier as they take a closer look in to Leigh’s accident.

What I liked best about this book are the very likable characters.  They are people I would like to know, I cared about them and about what happened to them.  It’s made all the more interesting as the mystery unfolds with new developments in both cases and unexpected twists.  I found the underwater crime scene investigation fascinating and enjoyed trying to figure out “who done it.”

Something the character Ryan said in the first chapter, “No one deserves to die forgotten.”, drew me in and I knew I would like this story.

I appreciated how Lynn wove the Christian faith into the lives of some of the characters and I hope that aspect of the story continues to be developed in the next book in this series.  Lynn’s knows how to tell a good story without resorting to filthy language or sexually explicit scenes.

There were times that the story seems to drag a bit as the story unfolded.  But it didn’t bother me too much because I liked the characters and interesting storyline.

Lynn Blackburn is an author who is new to me and she’s going on my list of authors whose work I want to read.  I look forward to reading her earlier and future novels, especially book two of this series.

I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Lynn H Blackburn’s new novel Beneath the Surface in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Let Trump Be Trump by Corey R Lewandowski and David N Bossie – An Interesting and Insightful Look at President Trump, His Unique Campaign and Why He Won

Let Trump Be TrumpSo why would a conservative gal who backed Ted Cruz for President want to read Let Trump Be Trump – The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie?

If you had told me two years ago that I would read a book about President Trump, I wouldn’t have believed you.  When Trump was the Republican Presidential candidate, I was not happy and had to decide, would I rather Hillary be President or Donald Trump.  Looking at his time in office I see the President has kept a lot of his campaign promises and has made many conservative choices.  That’s why I wanted to read this book, to have some insight into President Trump from the people who worked hard to help elect him President.

I’m glad I took the time to read Let Trump Be Trump.  It was interesting to learn how he came to toss his hat in the ring for President.  It’s hard to forget the crazy 2016 Presidential election and I found it fascinating to read about what was going during the campaign and behind the scenes with Trump and within his inner circle.

There are times I’d like to have the ability to delete some of Trump’s tweets, unpolished comebacks and offhanded remarks.  There are times I like President Trump’s unpretentious communication.  I appreciate that he is a fighter and truthteller, albeit unpolished, and he doesn’t take the garbage that the press tries to fling at him.

In Let Trump Be Trump, the reader will learn about episodes during the campaign and from his life that helped make this man who he is or reveal what he’s like.  Despite his volatile temper and untamed mouth, Trump has lot of people who have worked for him over the years that are very loyal.  In this book you’ll find some insight into why that is.

I give a thumb’s up and recommend Let Trump Be Trump by Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie.  It was an interesting and insightful read.  There’s some profanity in this book related to conversations by Trump and the people who worked with him, so if that’s something that bothers you, you may want to pass on reading this book.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Hachette Book Group, Inc for the opportunity to read Let Trump Be Trump in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin – A Real Treasure – Fascinating Historical Fiction

I absolutely love finding a good book and I found a real treasure in The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin.  Not only did I find a really good book, but an author whose novels I want to read.

I selected The Sea Before Us based on the subject matter, World War II and D-Day.  My parents and grandfather were in the military and fought in World War II.  They were part of the greatest generation who fought with great courage to defeat Hitler.

The Sea Before Us starts out in 1941 with a young man in Texas, Wyatt Paxton, who’s in middle of circumstances that will change the trajectory of not only own his life, but his family’s as well.  Fast forward three years to London, England where readers are introduced to Dorothy Fairfax a Second Officer with the Women’s Royal Naval Service.  Wyatt and Dorothy are just two of the British and Allied forces who are working diligently to prepare maps and intelligence for the troops and their upcoming invasion of France to beat back and crush Hitler, the German forces and all those who’ve perpetrated such great evil.

The setting of the novel during World War II and the preparation for the upcoming Allied invasion was fascinating.  The author’s research and attention to detail comes through.  The characters were well written and I appreciated how their faith and personal growth was developed during the course of the story.

I highly recommend The Sea Before Us by Sarah Sundin, it’s an interesting book with likeable realistic characters you will want to get to know.  This author knows how to write historical fiction that will grab you and keep your attention.  I look forward to reading Sarah’s earlier work and future novels.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing Group for the opportunity to read The Sea Before Us in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid – A Treasure That Will Make You Fall in Love All Over Again

Words fail me to describe how much I loved reading Catherine Reid’s newest book, The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables.  I felt like I was opening a treasure each time I read from this book and gazed at the beautiful pictures of the breathtakingly beautiful Prince Edward Island.

I first read Anne of Green Gables as a young adult and loved Lucy Maud Montgomery’s writing so much so that I read all her books.  What a gifted writer!  Her poetic lyrical writing captured character’s thoughts and emotions and enabled readers to imagine the beautiful landscapes of God’s creation.

Who could not fall in love with Price Edward Island when reading Anne of Green Gables or seeing the wonderful TV mini-series by Sullivan Entertainment?  With each page you turn in this book you will be entranced by the beauty of this island.

Catherine Reed does a wonderful job in telling about Maud Montgomery’s wonderful, yet hard life.  She achieved success, but was not immune to tragedy.  Catherine intertwines thoughts and experiences from Maud’s life and shows how they were reflected in the lives of characters she wrote about.  The landscapes that inspired and moved Maud, where an integral part of her books and her life.  Included in the book are numerous quotes from Maud’s writing, not only her personal journals, but also her beloved fiction books.

I forewarn you, after reading The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables, you may want to reread all of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books.  This book is a treasure; I wanted to savor each page.  It will help you to see the beauty in nature in a new and fresh way.  You may even be inspired to visit Prince Edward Island and behold it for yourself.

If you know someone, young or old, who loves Anne of Green Gables, or is enchanted by gardens and nature, you may want to get them a copy of The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables by Catherine Reid.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read this book.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

Even though I got to read this book for free, I liked it so much that I may go ahead and purchase it.  It’s a keeper that I would like to go back to again and again.

This book will be available for purchase on April 18, 2018.

 

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey – Confusing, Too Many Characters and Too Many Plots

I was exciting at the opportunity to read Dani Pettrey’s newest book Blind Spot which is the third book in the Chesapeake Valor Series.

Previously, I had read her book Submerged and found she did a really good job in writing about relationships.  The plotline was interesting and intriguing and the characters were well developed.

Blind Spot couldn’t be any more different.  It was plot, plot, plot, lots of action and filled with many characters.  This is the third book in her current series, but there was no recap to bring the readers up to speed on the characters who carried over from the first two books.  I would have found it helpful to have a page at the beginning of the book with the names of the characters and a brief description about them and their history.  A number of times, I came across a name, and I had to search back to see if that person’s name had previously been mentioned because I didn’t recall anything about them.

As a side note, a number of the characters have names that are not immediately identifiable as male or female names.  Names like Tanner Shaw, Declan Grey, Avery, Finley, Griffin and Parker.  That made the confusion of too many characters even more confusing.  I found myself very grateful for two characters name Kate and Luke.

There are two main plots going on and subplot in the background.  There’s storyline of embezzlement, murder and suicide and a second storyline of terrorism, smuggling of arms and people and human trafficking.  The storylines didn’t merge in the end.  The plots seemed to compete against each other.  As I was reading the book, I was trying to figure out how they would relate, but they never did come together.

Some of the scenes were rather implausible.  The reasoning and deduction of the FBI agents to explain what had happened or what was going on seemed to be missing some in between steps or information.

Overall, I found the book confusing because of so many characters that the reader knew nothing about unless they had read the earlier books in the series.  Going back and forth between plotlines that had nothing to do with one another was not a good way to tell a story.  I think it would have been better to focus on one plot and develop a fewer characters.

The Christian faith was mention somewhat.  It wasn’t a big part of the storyline.  There a few prayers.  But overall it was lacking depth and meaning.

When I read a fiction book, I want to care about the characters.  Even if they are not likeable, I want to know them and what makes them tick.  I didn’t care about these characters.

I really wanted to like Blind Spot because of Dani Pettrey’s earlier books.  But I didn’t much care for it.  If you like her writing, I would suggest starting with book one in this series, that way you will be better able to track with characters and storylines, some of which carryover from earlier books.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey for free.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.