Falling for You by Becky Wade – Romance with a little mystery mixed in

I first discovered Becky Wade’s writing in her book True to You, which I loved.  That’s why I was excited to see Becky’s second book in the Bradford Sisters Romance, Falling for You.

What I found in Falling for You was a return to the town of Merryweather, a place I’d like to visit, with characters I liked from Becky’s earlier book, True to You.  In this book Willow, the oldest Bradford sister, takes center stage with her ex-beau Corbin.  The rest of the Bradford family and friends, including Nora and Britt, are back but mostly in the background of this story.

I enjoyed the backdrop of the story, as 12-year-old Charlotte enlists of Willow and Corbin to help solve a 40-year-old family mystery of Josephine who went missing back on 1977 and was never heard from again.  Would Willow and Corbin be able to set aside their differences to help Charlotte find out what happened to her great aunt?  Would they be able to reconcile after a painful and ugly breakup?  Had either of them changed over the last four years?

At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to relate to Willow a famous supermodel and Corbin a former pro-football player.  Their careers and lifestyle were much bigger than life or ordinary people.  I found that their emotional pain and coming to terms with their poor choices were something I could relate to.

Becky included the Christian faith, somewhat.  I think it could have been more strongly woven in to the characters and storyline.  Something I would have appreciated is to have Willow, as a Christian, recognize her past choice to have sex outside of marriage as sin instead of saying it was a mistake.  While a mistake may have consequences, calling something sin acknowledges it as wrong before God.

I liked the mystery part of Falling for You best, as well as the reconciliations between characters, forgiveness and seeing how the characters had grown and changed.  Overall, I give this book at 3.5 rating.  While I liked the storyline, I didn’t connect to the characters as much as I did in True to You.

If you like a romance with some mystery mixed in you may enjoy Falling for You by Becky Wade.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for the opportunity to read Falling for You by Becky Wade in exchange for an honest review.  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.

 

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.