I like reading mysteries and suspense stories and have enjoyed Lynn H. Blackburn’s novels. That’s why I was excited to read her newest book, Malicious Intent, the second book in the Defend and Protect series.
Malicious Intent focuses on Gil Dixon and Dr. Ivy Collins, characters introduced in the first book of the series, Unknown Threat. Gil and Ivy go way back, but they had a falling out and haven’t seen each other since then. Secret Service Agents Gil and Zane are following up on counterfeit bills deposited by Hedera, Inc., Ivy’s business. When they arrive at her home and knock on the door, they find something is amiss as the door opens by itself. It had been 15 years since Gil had last seen Ivy, and now she was standing before him. But something is terribly wrong with Ivy. She looks beat up and is holding a gun.
Other characters from the first book, Luke, Zac, Tessa, Faith, and Sabrina, are also included in this story. One of the things I liked about this book was the friendships and commitment these people had for one another. The storyline and investigation were interesting as they tried to determine who was trying to harm Ivy and why.
The romance part of the story was a little rushed, especially considering how Gil and Ivy’s relationship had ended 15 years earlier. But Gil was ready to put the past behind him. I did like Ivy and her drive and passion to help people. I found annoying Gil’s repeated use of a nickname he had for Ivy, who is now a grown woman, not a young girl. There’s a little bit of faith worked into the story. I would have liked to have seen more of that. The characters were likable, but I wish they had been developed more fully. I appreciate that the novel was clean, without profanity or sexual immorality.
Overall, I liked Malicious Intent because of the mystery and suspense. My favorite part was the friendships and commitment between all the characters. I recommend this book, especially if you like suspense and law enforcement.
Thank you to Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read complimentary copy Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Trust Me is Kelly Irvin’s newest book, a mystery set in San Antonio in the Arts District.
Actually, there are two mysteries, one dating back to 2010 in which Delaney Broward’s brother Corey was killed. Ten years later, Hunter Nash, the man convicted of Corey’s murder, has been released from prison. He’s maintained his innocence all this time, and now Hunter’s on a mission to find the person who killed Corey. To investigate and find the real killer, he needs to reconnect with his former girlfriend Delaney. She wants nothing to do with Hunter. To make matters worse, on the day Hunter was released from prison, Corey’s former fiancée Ellie was found murdered. Coincidence? Did Hunter kill Ellie? Or is someone out to implicate Hunter?
This novel has a lot going on with two murders, past and present. While there is action in the story, emotions and memories are a big part of the story. At times that kind of drags the story.
I liked Hunter, and he was the one character whose Christian faith was focused on. He was a changed man from his eight years in prison. While he wanted to find Corey’s murderer, he wasn’t bitter. Instead, Hunter was humbled as he reflected back on his life. I appreciated the support Hunter had from his family and a local pastor who helped him to get a job. I didn’t care for Hunter pushing his way back into Delaney’s life, and I don’t think her reaction was portrayed realistically.
Delaney had abandoned her faith and the other characters seemed spiritually empty. That surprises me in a book from a Christian author. As the story goes along, it’s revealed that there were a lot of secrets and people weren’t necessarily who they represented themselves to be.
The ending was a bit of a stretch. When characters do something that isn’t logical, only to put themselves at risk, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I guessed who the villain was but didn’t believe the scenario of the hitman being manipulated because of his low intelligence.
What was done well? Kelly Irvin is a good writer and captured the atmosphere and vibe of San Antonio and the Arts District. I wish the characters had been more likable and relatable. Other than Hunter, faith was not a big part of the story and I wish it had been.
If you like Kelly Irvin’s writing or like reading mysteries, you may enjoy this book. For me there was something a bit off about it and at times rather dark.
I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Trust Me by Kelly Irvin. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I’m not sure what drew me in and made me want to read A Flicker of Light by Katie Powner, an author whose writing is new to me. Perhaps it was the scenic and beautiful setting of a small town in the mountains of Montana. Maybe it was the relationships of this family who had been through some difficult years. What is the secret that Grandma June has kept all of these years?
Bea is 21 years old, and she and her husband, Jeremy, are expecting their first child. Their circumstances have changed, and she’s going to reach out to her father to see if they can stay with him for a few months while they get a handle on things. Mitch Jenson has been alone now for two years, following the death of his wife, Caroline. He couldn’t imagine his life without her, and there’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t desperately miss her. His parents, Randall and Juniper Jenson, health is not the best. Now Mitch needs to figure out how he can help them navigate this new season of life.
A Flicker of Light is about relationships with family and friends. It’s about pain and vulnerability and needing help but wanting to be independent. I loved the town of Moose Creek and the beauty of Montana. I could relate to Mitch as he had to deal with his mother facing dementia and tried to figure out how he could help his parents. I was curious about June and her secret. How would she respond when the truth came out?
I’m so glad that I discovered A Flicker of Light and look forward to reading more books from Katie Powner. The characters in this book were very relatable, likable, and I cared about them. Good decent people that you would like to know. There was a little mystery, and I appreciated seeing the characters grow and change. I took my time reading this book, and it was lovely to end the day spending time with these characters. I appreciated that this book is clean, with no profanity, and faith was a part of the story.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of A Flicker of Light by Katie Powner. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I am grateful to have rediscovered Tracie Peterson’s writing and her recent book Waiting on Love which is part of the Ladies of the Lake series. This book is very different from what I usually read, but it was the storyline and characters which drew me in.
Elise Wright is very different than her sister Caroline. Both girls grew up sailing the sea with their father Captain Bill Wright and mother Mary, on their ship the Mary Elise. Caroline has chosen to marry a wealthy high society man she met through her aunt and uncle. But Elise loves the life she has on the sea. She will fulfill the promise she made to her dying mother, to continue to take care of her father and the ship’s crew. The ship will be taking on two new sailors, Nick Clark, a man who is haunted by his past, and Booker Duran a man who is on the run. Captain Wright sees something in both men and he wants to give them a second chance.
I absolutely loved this book! I read a lot of books by Christian authors and publishers and most of them have very little about faith. Not so with Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson. The Christian faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ are front and center in the lives of the characters and how they live, what they say and do. The Gospel and Bible verses are shared as part of the storyline and development of the characters. I appreciated and enjoyed the honesty and integrity of the characters, their graciousness, mercy, and kindness.
Of course, there is always an antagonist or two in stories. I appreciated the integrity and upright character displayed by the main characters in how they dealt with deceitful people seeking to do harm to others.
Reading Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson left me with good examples of Christians living out their faith in an interesting story that takes place in the 1800s. I am so happy to have rediscovered Tracie Peterson. Reading this book makes me want to go back and read her earlier novels. I would like to commend Bethany House Publishers for allowing the Christian faith and the Gospel message to be shared in this fictional story.
I highly recommend Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson. An interesting story, which takes place in a different era and a unique setting. I appreciated the refreshing honesty and integrity of the characters and examples of godly living. I liked that Elise embraced her femininity, and the men their masculinity. That’s not something you see too much these days in fiction.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Waiting on Love by Tracie Peterson. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon is the second book in the Triple Threat series. In this newest book, readers are introduced to Cate Reilly, sister to Eve Reilly featured in the first book of the series Point of Danger.
Cate is a detective in St. Louis County, and she’s the right person for an undercover assignment. Teenagers Stephanie Laurent and Alex Johnson have been missing for two months. New evidence indicates they are not runaways but victims of foul play. Cate agrees to go undercover at Ivy Hill Academy to try and find out what happened to the missing teens. It’s been eight years since she’d last seen Zeke Sloan, the man she loved who walked out on her for his career as a DEA agent. As it turns out, Zeke is also working undercover at the school as a Spanish teacher. Cate’s undercover assignment just got a lot more complicated.
Irene did a great job in building the suspense and mystery. It was at times unnerving, especially for the characters whose lives were being impacted by the subterfuge around them. I really liked the characters, especially Kayla, Edwardo Garcia, and his wife Margarita. As the story unfolds, readers learn how characters got caught up in the evils of drug trafficking. Because some of the characters go by anonymous names, like Razor and Wolf, you don’t know who the bad guys are. It was interesting reading about how people justify getting involved in evil. I liked the friendship that developed between Cate and Kayla. I didn’t know how Edwardo would be able to get out of the impossible situation he was in. I also liked how Cate and Zeke worked through their relationship.
I wish the character’s Christian faith had been developed in this storyline. I think the book would have been richer with that element. I wasn’t too keen on the feminist aspect of Cate and her sisters and the focus on the physical attraction between Cate and Zeke in a Christian fiction book.
If you like mystery and suspense, give Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon a read. I liked this second book better than the first one in the series because of some of the characters.
I would like to thank Revell Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
The Walnut Creek Wish is the first book I’ve read by Wanda E. Brunstetter.
Jeff and Rhonda Davis have been married for nearly thirteen years. But their marriage has been strained and they’ve grown apart. Both are hardworking and care about one another, but disappointment over not having children has impacted their marriage. In a last-ditch effort to try and help their marriage, against better judgment, the Davis’ decide to purchase a new home in Walnut Creek, OH. The additional strain of financial issues, when their old house doesn’t sell, adds more pressure. Jeff has a love for antiques and befriends an Amish couple, Orley and Lois Troyer, who own a local antique store. A rather unconventional friendship develops between the couples. Will their friendship and faith-filled influence be enough to help Jeff and Rhonda?
I loved this book. I appreciated the development of the characters and they really came alive. I liked that the author wasn’t in a hurry to rush from one action scene to the next. Instead, the reader gets to know the characters and what made them the way they are. It was interesting to learn why Jeff and Rhonda had rejected the Christian faith and to see God at work in their breaking down those walls.
I read a lot of books by Christian writers and publishers, and it’s a rare occurrence these days when the Gospel message is shared as part of the storyline. That is why I loved this book. The Troyer’s built a relationship with the Davis’, cared about them, and prayed for them. They shared their faith and eventually shared the Gospel of Christ with Jeff and Rhonda. I liked and cared about these characters.
Because I enjoyed the characters and the setting, I didn’t want to rush through reading this book. This book was very enjoyable. I appreciated that the storyline was clean, without immorality or profanity.
I highly recommend The Walnut Creek Wish by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I love finding an author whose work is new to me, and I look forward to reading more of her work.
I would like to thank Barbour Publishing, Inc and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of The Walnut Creek Wish by Wanda E. Brunstetter. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
When I saw that Lynn H. Blackburn had a new book out, Unknown Threat (Defend and Protect, Book 1), I wanted to read it because I had enjoyed her earlier novel Beneath the Surface.
Unknown Threat’s plotline sounded intriguing. US Secret Service Special Agents Luke Powell and Zack Thacker went out for an early morning run and when they return to their vehicles suddenly, they are under fire. As they are lying on the ground looking at their vehicles, they realize that their cars are wired with bombs. Will they survive until help comes? Who in the world is trying to kill them and for what reason? FBI Special Agent Faith Malone has been assigned to investigate these attacks and try and protect the remaining US Secret Service team in Raleigh.
This fast-paced story drew me in from the beginning. Interesting to think about how people who risk their lives to protect others might respond when they are targeted? I liked the character Luke Powell and the US Secret Service team, their friendships, and their commitment to one another.
I didn’t quite connect with Faith Malone, she seemed more like a caricature of a tough single woman who sacrificed her personal life for career advancement. The repeated Cherry Coke references kind of got old. It was understandable why Faith might be attracted to Luke who was a decent nice guy, but I didn’t understand what he saw in her.
Faith’s sister Hope was a very likable and refreshing character. I would like to see her in future books of the Defend and Protect series. It was hard to understand how the character Special Agent Janice Estes kept her job. Was she incompetent or just plain corrupt? She wasn’t very believable.
While I liked many of the characters, I struggled a bit with the plotline. It was very convoluted and I don’t see how a reader would have been able to figure out the mystery. The story ended rather abruptly and if it hadn’t been for the last chapter summarizing whodunnit and why I don’t think I would have put the pieces together. Not sure that the motives of the bad guys were believable.
There wasn’t much about the Christian faith included in the storyline. But I did appreciate that there was no profanity or sexual immorality.
The good: likable characters and an interesting scenario. Not so good: the convoluted plot and ending and one of the main characters wasn’t very likable.
Would I recommend Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn? If you like Lynn’s books give this book a read. This is the first book in the Defend and Protect series and some of the characters will be carried over to future books.
I would like to thank Revell Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Following the death of J. I. Packer in 2020, I was interested in reading J. I. Packer His Life and Thought by Alister McGrath. I wanted to know more about this well-respected man who had impacted Christians through his writing, most notably through Knowing God.
This book is not your typical biography, instead, the author focused on J. I. Packer’s Christian faith, theology, writing, and influence within the Christian community. I appreciated learning about what was happening within Christianity during Packer’s life and career and his commitment to the authority of Scripture and defense of the faith.
My favorite part of this book was learning how J. I. Packer came to faith in Jesus Christ and seeing God’s hand direct this young man and use him as a strong defender of the Christian faith. I would have liked to hear more about the personal aspects of Packer’s life and have a fuller picture of this man of God.
If your faith walk has been influenced by J. I. Packer’s writing, or you would like to learn more about this man who influenced Christian thinking during his lifetime and beyond, I encourage you to read J. I. Packer His Life and Through by Alister McGrath.
I would like to thank InterVarsity Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of J. I. Packer His Life and Thought by Alister McGrath. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Terri Blackstock’s books are filled with intrigue and suspense and that’s why was excited to read her newest book Aftermath. This book will hold your attention from the get-go.
Taylor Reed and her friends Desiree and Mara are at a political rally, the draw isn’t Presidential candidate Ed Loran, but instead their favorite band Blue Fire is playing. What happens next is the things nightmares are made of. An explosion, smoke, people screaming. The only thing Taylor can think of is getting out alive. Later that night, Dustin Webb is driving home and suddenly the police are pulling him over. Certain that he wasn’t speeding nor was there any cause to be pulled over, he consents to the police searching his car. What they find will land him in jail and Dustin will be the suspect in the bombing that left dozens of people dead. His one phone call will be to his friend Attorney Jamie Powell, whom he hasn’t seen in fifteen years. If anyone will believe him, it will be Jamie.
Aftermath seems like it could have been ripped from today’s headline news. It’s fast-paced and filled with twists and turns. What I liked best were the characters Dustin and Jamie, their personalities and friendship that spanned many years. Taylor was an interesting character, I found myself asking how I would handle the trauma that she endured. I also found her irrationality and thought processes very disturbing. Dustin’s friend and business partner Travis and his wife Crystal are going through their own battle as Crystal is fighting for her life. Dustin understands why Travis can’t be there to help right now, but Dustin’s fighting for his own life, and the world’s about to turn against him unless he can prove his innocence.
I liked the storyline and it grabbed my attention from the beginning. I liked the main characters Dustin and Jamie, but I was frustrated when Dustin seemed to be making illogical decisions and didn’t believe the evidence that showed who the bad guy was. I figured out who the bad guy was and his motivation, but had to see how the story all fit together. In many respects, Taylor seemed like a loose cannon and the most illogical. I liked the fast clip of the story, it fit the narrative but the end of the book seemed to drag a bit and the story came to an abrupt ending.
The Christian faith wasn’t a big part of the story, I think that the characters’ development would have been richer if their faith had been included. I appreciated that the story did not have sexual immorality and or profanity. Aftermath was an interesting story with likable characters, but it could have been richer. I would like to see the main characters in other books.
If you like mystery, intrigue, and suspense I recommend that you read Terri Blackstock’s newest book Aftermath. This book is being released on May 11, 2021.
I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Aftermath by Terri Blackstock. I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book but was not obligated to give a favorable review.
It was the storyline, filled with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, that drew me into reading Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill.
On the heels of a highly publicized successful case, Detective Amara Alvarez has been transferred to the homicide division and she’s been assigned her first case. A young teen, Zachary Coleman, has died at a local waterpark. The cause of death is not clear and the tox screen won’t be back for weeks. While there are no clear indications of murder, there’s some suspicious details that Amara wants to investigate. She’s not one to wait patiently on the sidelines but will take a closer look and delve into the evidence until she has an answer, one way or the other.
The storyline was intriguing, and the evidence was peeled back one layer at a time. The suspects, Zach’s friends Matias, Haley, and Liam were interesting and obviously trying to cover something up. But was it related to Zach’s death or was there something illegal that the teens were caught up in? I enjoyed reading how Amara would reexamine the facts and suspects over and over again until a crack appeared.
My favorite part of the book was the characters, Amara, her coworker Detective Jeremiah Peckham (otherwise known as Starsky). The relationship between Amara and Starsky was special, they obviously cared about each other and respected one another. But was there something more going on between them? I enjoyed Amara’s large and close family especially her mom Maria and Maria’s boyfriend Wylie. Amara’s family were the kind of people you would want to get to know. Once you’ve met them, you’ll be welcomed back. Though work was a big part of Amara’s life, her family was more important and she made time to be with them.
I very much enjoyed reading Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill. It held my attention from the first page to the last. The plot was interesting and the characters were likable, relatable people that I cared about. Even the “bad guys” were interesting. They weren’t vilified to the point that you hated them, but you got to know what made them tick and what made them go down the wrong path. I didn’t want the story to end. I hope that these characters come back in future novels.
You know a book is really good when you are thinking about the story or characters when you aren’t reading the book. Though faith was not a big part of the storyline, I appreciated that this was a clean book, with no foul language or sexual immorality. Tom Threadgill knows how to tell a good story, he’s a good writer. Tom skillfully develops the characters and moves the plotline along as he unveils the mystery and builds suspense. I look forward to reading more of Tom Threadgill’s books.
I highly recommend Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill. I would like to thank Revell, a division of Baker’s Publishing Group for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of the book. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I wanted to read The Crown in Crisis – Countdown to the Abdication by author Alexander Larman because I had heard about the King Edward VIII’s abdicating the throne for divorcee Mrs. Wallis Simpson. I didn’t know any of the details other than the fact that Mrs. Simpson was an American who was twice divorced. It all seemed very romantic and like true love that would bring a man to give up the throne of England to be with his beloved.
Well, I was in for an awakening. As I write my thoughts about King Edward VIII, I need to divorce my feels about him from what I think about this book.
As the man was portrayed in this book, I found King Edward VIII to be an arrogant, rude, immature, vapid, insufferable, selfish, boring jerk who focused on himself instead of others. He put himself over and above the Country he had been entrusted with. Mrs. Wallis Simpson wasn’t much better. She seemed to be on a quest for power and money and used sex or whatever she had to entrap men, including King Edward VIII. Wallis was not twice divorced, but once when she started committing adultery with King Edward. As part of their weird relationship, a plan was implemented for Wallis to divorce her current husband so the two could marry. But they made it look like Wallis’ husband was the one who was committing adultery and she was the innocent one. Their adultery was blatant and it fractured Edward’s relationship with his father, King George V.
Not sure if the book accurately portrayed Kind Edward VIII and Wallace Simpson? It may have been accurate. Obviously, when a man is ready to toss the crown away for a woman who uses people, they will make a few enemies along the way. It was hard to tell if the author had a negative viewpoint of the King and Mrs. Simpson, or if the preponderance of information about them was negative from the people who surrounded them during this timeframe.
Regarding the book, apart from two very dislikable people, it had some negatives. The book came across as very gossipy, and you know gossips are not always the most reliable source. At times, I found the story and scenes confusing in how they were written. It has long sentences that made the point hard to follow. There were volumes of people in this book, too many to really tell the story in a straight, interesting understandable manner. Some of the accounts were very confusing and skipped from one person to another. There didn’t seem to be a logical order, especially about to the attempted assassination of King Edward VIII. At times, the author went into too much detail and pursued rabbit trails that took away from the story instead of making it richer. It seemed like the author had so much information about King Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson from the many, many people that surrounded them that he included it all in the book. I’m sure he left a lot out, but I found this book was not written in a fashion that made drew the reader in and unveiled what happened during this crisis in an interesting, logical, and organized way.
I hated the first chapter, it was gross and vile in what was said and seemed to be rumors, innuendo, and speculation as opposed to facts. Throughout this book, I noted many times that it seemed gossipy. If I hadn’t agreed to read the book and give a review, I would have closed the book and not finished it.
I did find that the last third of the book interesting. You would think if someone wanted to walk away from the throne, they could hand over the reins to the next one in line. Not so. It was a huge crisis for England and there were a lot of politics and power plays that were happening and of course, family relationships that were impacted. This was the part of the book that was most interesting.
King Edward VIII was a man who should have never been king. From the beginning, I thought it was God’s providence that spared England from a weak self-absorbed king, as the nation would soon be in a war for the survival of their nation and the free world.
Would I recommend this book? Probably not. Take into account the good and bad information and make a decision if you would like to read it.
I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the TheCrown in Crisis by Alexander Larman. I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book and not under any obligation to give a favorable review.
I’ve read several books by Rachel Dylan and really enjoyed them. That is why I was excited to read her latest book, Backlash, the second book in the Capital Intrigue series.
Layla Karam is a CIA Analyst, which fits her perfectly, but because of her skills, she has been pushed to work as a field agent. Her assignment was part of a DEA operation in Honduras. The team is back in the US, but they are not safe because someone is targeting the team. Following a break-in, bombing, and murder, Layla is just trying to stay alive and figure out who is targeting her and the team? Is it someone from the drug cartel? Is there a mole within the CIA or DEA? Why in the world is Layla at the center of an IG investigation? To get through this mess, she’s going to have to seek help from the one person she’d like to steer clear of, her ex-boyfriend Hunter McCoy.
I really like Rachel Dylan’s writing style. From the get-go, she draws the reader into the story. The characters are likable, and the storyline is interesting. Several mysteries are going on in Backlash. Who is behind the murder and attempts to kill the DEA Honduras operations team? How did straight and narrow, law-abiding Layla end up the subject of an IG investigation? The characters from the first novel End Game have returned in Backlash, including NCIS Agent Izzy Cole. Layla is not the only one facing an investigation. Her friend Izzy is a prime suspect in the murder of her former police sergeant that had sexually assaulted her. Layla and Izzy will rely on the support and help of good friends who care.
I appreciated the friendships, people who were committed to each other. There were some surprises in this book, like who the “bad guy” was. I was guessing but got it wrong. Faith was a small part of the book, mostly seen with Layla’s character. I appreciated that this was a clean novel. There were times towards the end that the story seemed to drag a bit, but I still liked this book.
I would recommend Backlash, especially for those who like suspense, mysteries, intrigue, or stories involving law enforcement. I look forward to reading more of Rachel Dylan’s books and the next book in the Capital Intrigue series.
I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley for an opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Backlash by Rachel Dylan. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
While I’ve never read any books by Davis Bunn, I was intrigued by the blurb on the cover of Burden of Proof.
Who can say that they don’t have things in their life that they regret? If given the chance to do things differently, would you? That’s the dilemma that’s facing Ethan Barrett. He’s been given a death sentence by his doctor, and his time is short. When he meets his sister-in-law Sonya, whom he hasn’t seen in thirty-five years, she is seeking his help to try and change the course of history. Ethan wasn’t there with his brother Adrian was shot and killed on the courthouse steps. If he had been there, would the circumstances have changed? Ethan is about to find out.
This book is very different from what I typically read. It’s got a bit of science fiction in the storyline. Davis Bunn is a good writer because he draws the reader into the story from the get-go. I don’t take much of an interest in surfing, so I was surprised to like the main character Ethan and enjoy reading about his experiences, what he saw and felt while surfing. I found the characters very likable and appreciated seeing the characters grow and change. Early in the book, I didn’t much care for Sonya, but as the story progressed, I really saw her in a new light and came to like the character. The story was interesting to contemplate and had mystery and intrigue too. I appreciated the details describing the settings where the story took place because it helped me to envision scenes as I read.
The book is published by Revell Publishing, which is a Christian publisher, so I had hoped that the Christian faith would have been woven into the storyline. But it wasn’t. Towards the end of the book, Ethan is talking with a friend who encouraged him to live life with an eternal perspective. While that was thought-provoking, the story could have been much richer if the Gospel of Christ had been included and woven into the characters’ lives.
I found that the last section was a bit much with the courtroom scenes and Adrian questioning his wife Sonya about her scientific research. I wish it had been clearer and more concise. There were allegations hinted at about the company that wanted to buyout Sonya’s company. Not sure why, but they seemed to dance around it instead of making a clear and straightforward assertion about their motives.
Though the Christian faith is not a part of the story, I appreciated that there was no profanity and the story was clean.
All in all, I very much liked Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn. The storyline was compelling and fascinating. The characters were interesting and well developed. I look forward to reading more of Davis Bunn’s books.
I would like to thank Revell Publishing for the opportunity to read Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I love reading books filled with mystery, suspense, and intrigue and that’s why I was excited to read The Escape by Lisa Harris, an author whose work is new to me. This is the first book in the US Marshalls series.
Could it really be five years since Madison James’ husband Luke had been murdered? Her life had been changed forever, but she had thrown herself into her career as a US Marshall. Though it was an important anniversary, she had a job to do, transporting two prisoners from Seattle to Denver. She would be joined by US Marshall Jonas Quinn, with whom she had trained a few years ago. Jonas had just moved back to Seattle, though he was planning for a couple days off, duty called. Any hope for a smooth prisoner transport was quickly abandoned as their private plane crash-landed in the forests over Idaho. Just because their plane crashed didn’t mean their job was over.
I really enjoyed reading The Escape. From the get-go, I found this book very engaging. The characters were likable, and the storyline was interesting. I liked the rapport between Madison and Jonas and that they had mutual respect for one another. There was a little bit of romantic attraction and it was expressed appropriately for a Christian book. I liked how the characters were revealed over time as they got to know one another. I’ve never read anything about the US Marshalls and learned a little bit about this law enforcement agency. The author was good at describing the scenic settings.
I very much liked this book, yet there were times that the story seemed to drag. The number of times the escaped prisoner got away and posed a threat to the general public seemed a bit much. I wondered in real life that if a US Marshall had been foiled by the bad guy too many times, would they be fired?
Something else that didn’t seem realistic was the plane crash where both Madison and Jonas sustained injuries. But those injuries didn’t seem to stop them in their quest to get the prisoner. The story wasn’t wrapped up entirely at the end, but it appears that there will be a book two where their story will carry on.
I love finding a new author whose work I like and look forward to reading more books by Lisa Harris. What I liked best about her writing is how she develops relationships.
If you like suspense, mystery, intrigue, romance, or books on law enforcement, I recommend The Escape by Lisa Harris.
I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read The Escape by Lisa Harris. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Irene Hannon is one of my favorite writers and that’s why I was excited to read her newest book Point of Danger.
Conservative radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to getting hate mail, but one evening she encounters something a whole lot scarier, a bomb package on her doorstep. Eve calls 911 and while she waits for the police to arrive, she tries to make sure that her elderly neighbor Oliva gets to safety as well as her neighbor’s dog that she’s pet sitting. Rookie detective Brent Lange will be the officer investigating the case and trying to find out who hates Eve enough to want her dead.
This book has an interesting premise and some likable characters, but it also has some issues that take away or detract from the storyline.
What worked in this novel? I liked detective Brent Lange and I cared about the character. He seemed like a stand-up guy, loyal and dependable, who cared about people. I liked Eve’s sisters Grace and Cate, they seemed to genuinely care about their sister and were there for her during this crisis. I kind of, sort of liked Eve. I appreciated that Eve saw qualities in Brent that were admirable and that she tried to communicate with him in an effective way to draw him out. I rather liked the story told from different characters’ points of view, but with so many characters it got a bit much.
What didn’t work? There were a lot of characters in this book and too many potential suspects. There was Eve’s boss Doug and Carolyn a competitor who wanted Eve’s job. There was Eve’s assistant Meg Jackson and her husband Steve. Eve’s former boyfriend was a suspect. There’s a suspect that is not identified until later in the book and then there’s the brain behind the operation that is way out of left field. That one kind of stretched the imagination and that aspect of the storyline could have been better developed.
While the word Christian wasn’t specifically used to describe Eve, there were references to Eve going to church and praying. But there was not a lot in Eve’s behavior or words that would lead me to believe that she was a Christian. Some of the early scenes between Eve and Brent focused on their physical attraction, which seems particularly odd considering that she just had a bomb scare. I don’t think that Eve’s character was well developed, in part because the focus was on her words and actions. The character was a local conservative talk show host, not national, and that’s why it seemed odd that this local gal would be the target of a hate group. The relationship between Meg and her husband Steve went into some details that I found not appropriate in a book by a Christian author and publisher, as was the relationship between Doug and Carolyn.
There were some aspects of the Christian faith developed in Brent, but not so much with the other characters or storyline. That’s something I would have like to have seen focused on with the characters. One thing stood out towards the end of the novel, Eve’s sister Cate said, “Right or wrong, I’m not wasting any prayers for recovery on his behalf.” Really? This is not a Christian book, but it’s written by an author who is a Christian and published by Revell which publishes books by Christian authors. Should books published under a Christian banner be held to a different or higher standard? I think they should.
I like politics so that aspect of the book was interesting to me. But I thought adding the Antifa aspect in this story was probably not the best. The group was cleaned up compared to what people have seen on the news for the last few months. I found it was naive at best when they were described as using intimidation, carrying signs that said, “Down with Government Oppression”, and using smoke cartridges to emit smoke without causing harm.
I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Point of Danger by Irene Hannon. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
The story begins in 1943, Elizabeth is 17 years old, and she and her sister Margaret are doing a play at Windsor Castle. Elizabeth is peeking out from behind the curtains to see if Prince Philip is in the audience. She has a crush on the Prince and is hoping to see him again. The story covers the next four years of their relationship. Was it love and romance? Or was it a practical arranged marriage between royalty to form alliances?
I found the story interesting, especially contemplating what a young woman’s life would be like as a princess. In many respects, as the heir apparent, her life and choices were not her own. I’m curious to know if this fictional account captured what Elizabeth’s personality was like. The character had a solemnity about her because of the responsibilities that she would take on in the future. Philip was quite a contrast to Elizabeth. Though older the character came off as somewhat immature and irresponsible. He was pressured by family to think practically about his future and opportunities and he wavered between that and desire for freedom and to live his life how he wanted to live it.
The book started out a little slow but picked up midway. With each scene, I got to know a little bit more about Elizabeth and Philip. Her father, King George, was an imposing character but you don’t really get to know him apart from his interaction with Elizabeth and Philip. It was interesting to see their lives against the backdrop of WWII and the years after the war.
I liked Before the Crown and found this book very interesting. I wish that the author had included information about what was true and taken from facts and information versus what was fictional. There is some profanity in this novel. This book makes me want to read a biography about Queen Elizabeth and get insight into this woman who has been an influential figure for 58 years.
What I liked best about Before the Crown is that it made me think about what it must be like to come from royalty and have great responsibilities thrust upon you. I came away with a new respect for Queen Elizabeth. While reading Before the Crown, I found online pictures of Queen Elizabeth as a young girl from Town & Country Magazine. It was fascinating to see pictures of Elizabeth in connection with this historical fiction account.
I found Before the Crown, by Flora Harding, very interesting and enjoyed reading it. If you like historical fiction, romance, or have an interest in royalty you may want to read this book.
I would like to thank publisher One More Chapter and NetGalley for an opportunity to read Before the Crown by Flora Harding. I was provided a complimentary copy of the E-book and was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Acceptable Risk, the second book in the Danger Never Sleeps series. Author Lynette Eason is relatively new to me, but after reading Collateral Damage, I was excited to read her latest book.
Journalist Sarah Denning is stationed in Afghanistan, where she was kidnapped along with children from the school where she had been teaching. Desperate, Sarah attempted to send an SOS message for help. That help comes through former Army Ranger Gavin Black who has been hired by Sarah’s father, Lieutenant General Lewis Denning. If she had known who had sent the help, she might have tried something different. When Sarah is back stateside and recovering, Gavin remains by her side to protect her from unknown threats that keep on coming.
Acceptable Risk is a fast-paced book, packed with action from the get-go. My favorite character was Gavin Black, a kind, decent, caring, brave man who will do whatever it takes to protect Sarah. I liked Sarah’s brother Caden, who was introduced to readers in the first book.
What I struggled with the character of Sarah Denning. That character had a lot of anger and bitterness toward her father, which got old real quick. It seemed like every decision she made was to spite and hurt her father for perceived wrongs. So much so that she was willing to dismiss anyone who believed differently. Ninety percent of the book Sarah was bullheaded, arrogant, a know it all and ready to put herself and anyone else at risk for what she deemed an acceptable risk. There was nothing about this character that reflected her being a Christian. This character’s personality flaws outweighed her good qualities like being diligent and persevering to uncover the truth. One other thing I didn’t care for was that Sarah was always feeling like the victim. But she never seemed to connect that some of what happened to her was because of choices she had made that put herself (and others) in danger.
Factoring out my dislike of Sarah, I did like this book because of the other characters and thought the storyline was interesting. The ending was a bit over the top and not very realistic or logical.
If you are a Lynette Eason fan or like action-packed suspense with a little romance, you may want to read Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason.
I would like to thank Revell Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason. I was provided with a complimentary copy of the book and was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
Don’t Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard is the third book in her Uncommon Justice series. I had read the second book, Always Look Twice, and was excited to read her new book.
When Rae Burke’s brother Alan asks her to search for his missing wife Zoey she agrees and uses her tenacious and keen investigative skills to try and find her sister-in-law and friend. As she heads up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming she hopes to enlist help from former DEA agent Liam McKade, but since they part ways last time she’s not confident that he will be willing to join forces and help find Zoey.
Don’t Keep Silent grabbed my attention from the get-go. It was filled with lots of suspense and twists and turns. There were some likable characters, but my favorite was Liam. He seemed like a faithful friend, brave and willing to put himself on the line to protect Rae, try and find Zoey and expose the bad guys and bring them to justice.
Author, Elizabeth Goddard did a good job of describing the scenic area of Jackson Hole, Wyoming during the wintertime. Made me want to go there on vacation. The reader is left guessing as to whether some of the characters are good guys or bad guys, and there were some surprises. The faith aspect of the novel was minimal and confined to mostly one-sentence prayers for protection or help. I wish the characters’ faith had been more developed, especially with Liam. I think the book would have been richer if the author had done that.
What I struggled with is the main character, Rae. Something that really bugs me is when characters do things that don’t make a lot of sense or aren’t logical. Rae seemed to do that repeatedly, she was emotionally driven and had a high estimation of her own abilities. Why Liam stuck by her I don’t know. Rae seemed to have no issue with putting her life on the line, not only hers but Liam’s too. Not just once but on multiple occasions. That got old and I found Rae less likable.
I won’t give away the ending, but the ending and reason why Zoey was kidnapped kind of stretched the imagination. Towards the end, the story kind of dragged and was very convoluted.
There were things I liked about the book, the character Liam, the setting, and the suspense and intrigue, but there were some things I wasn’t too keen on. I would recommend Don’t Keep Silent if you are a fan of Elizabeth Goddard or you like suspense, mystery, and intrigue.
I would like to thank Revell Publishing for the opportunity to read Don’t Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard. I was provided a complimentary copy of the book but was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I became acquainted with author Kelly Irvin’s writing through her Amish themed books and was excited to read her newest book Closer Than She Knows.
Closer Than She Knows is about Teagan O’Rourke, a court reporter in San Antonio, Texas. She comes from a family that works in law enforcement. Teagan’s life is about to unravel as people around her are being targeted by some sicko and she finds herself at the center of an investigation. Why are these innocent people being targeted? How are they all connected? What can she do to stop this before another innocent life is taken?
One of the things I like about Kelly’s writing is how she portrays relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. I especially like the O’Rourke family, Teagan, her father Dillon and step-family Billy, Gracie, and Leyla. My favorite character was her friend Max who seemed like a real gem, and her friends Julie and Evelyn. They were a tight-knit group that cared for one another and were there for each other.
I found Teagan’s job as a court reporter fascinating and learned a few details about that job. Kelly does a great job describing the setting in the San Antonio downtown area and neighborhood where historic homes were being rehabbed. It seems inviting and picturesque. The story is very suspenseful and will keep you guessing until the end.
This book is written by a Christian author and the Christian faith is part of the story. The best example of that was Max, a man redeemed and dependent upon the Lord each day. He was gracious and caring. I found Teagan’s faith to be immature and nominal. When talking about her reluctance to having children her explanation seemed very secular and lacking faith. She seemed to care more about the environment than lost souls and sin. At one-point, Teagan describes herself in very politically correct terms and does not mention that she is a Christian. Her understanding of the death penalty was not in keeping with what God has declared in the Bible. Teagan and Max’s physical attraction could have been portrayed a little less worldly.
If you are a fan of Kelly Irvin’s novels or like mystery, intrigue, and trying to solve a whodunit, you may like Kelly’s newest book Closer Thank She Knows.
I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Closer Thank She Knows by Kelly Irvin. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.
I love mysteries so I was excited to read Patricia Bradley’s newest book Standoff, the first book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series.
Standoff is about the rather brutal and ugly business of moving illegal drugs through Natchez Trace National Parkway a corridor that runs from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN.
Brooke Danvers was looking forward to riding along with her dad District Law Enforcement Ranger, John Danvers. She has followed in her father’s footsteps and will soon be sworn in as a LE Ranger despite her parent’s concerns. When John gets a call, plans change and Brooke will have to wait another day. Only that won’t be happening when John is found dead at Emerald Mound later that night. His death is ruled a suicide, but Brooke does not believe it and will stop at nothing to find out who brutally murdered her dad. Old ex-friend and neighbor Luke Fereday is back in Natchez working as an undercover park ranger trying to infiltrate the drug ring. Not only is he working to stop the flow of illegal drugs, but he too wants to find John’s murderer.
Standoff has a whole of stuff going on. There are a lot of characters introduced early on in the story, law enforcement, drug dealers, potential bad guys, family, friends. and neighbors. It was kind of hard to keep all the characters straight. It would have been helpful to have a key at the front of the book with a list of characters and a brief description. The first part of the book seemed to dragged, but about midway through the story picked up moved at a faster clip. The number of characters could have been trimmed down some.
There were a number of things that seemed off or not quite believable. It seemed odd that Brooke’s mother would leave town so quickly after the death of her husband. It didn’t seem plausible that Luke could pass off being in town to visit his grandmother because his behavior and weird hours would raise suspicion. He just happened to show up wherever Brooke was at way too many times. The scene where Brooke makes a discovery seemed contrived.
I liked the main characters, Brooke and Luke. My favorite character was Luke’s grandmother Daisy. The action scenes, especially toward the end were well written and easy to visualize. I like the setting of the Natchez Trace law enforcement. I think the series has some good potential. I will read future books in this series. I appreciated that the book was clean, not filled with vulgar language or sexual immorality.
I would like to thank Revell Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Standoff by Patricia Bradley. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.