Monday, October 19, 2020

Backlash, Capital Intrigue #2 by Rachel Dylan

Book description:


 With a target on her back, she's determined to find answers.

But can she escape the deadly backlash?

CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel, and after one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover that a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team's identity to the cartel. She needs to clear her name with the Agency in order to protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter--the man who broke her heart--and hope they both come out of it alive.

My review:

   Rachel Dylan is still a somewhat new author to me, and I have loved everything I have read by her. The series of hers I read previously was more on the law and courtroom, whereas this series focuses on law enforcement: The CIA, NCIS, and the DEA.

 Backlash is the second book in this series, and is even better than the first one. With killers after some of the team that had been on a major drug raid, the action and suspense are non stop amid the search for a mole.

 A side plot involves sexual assault, and this warning is on the publisher's website: "For those who are content sensitive: this book contains non-graphic scenes and descriptions of physical and sexual assault." The description is very general, and not graphic at all.

  This is romantic suspense, so of course there is a romantic angle to the book. I actually enjoy that these days and was rooting for Hunter to win Layla back, especially when the truth came out on the breakup.

 There is a lot to like about this book, and it is one I couldn't put down, and I did read it in one evening. And it left me wanting more.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the author:


Rachel Dylan (www.racheldylan.com) is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade, including being a litigator at one of the nation's top law firms. Her Atlanta Justice series has won the Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and the FHL Reader's Choice Award. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats.


Backlash is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.


                                                                   Capital Intrigue #1



Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Price of Valor, Global Search and Rescue #3 by Susan May Warren

 


Book description:

A high-octane mix of love and adventure

Kidnapped by rebels while serving as a humanitarian aid worker in Chechnya, Signe Kincaid has spent the past decade secreting out valuable information about Russian assets in the US to her CIA handler. Fearing for her daughter after being discovered as an operative, Signe sends her to former Navy SEAL Hamilton Jones for safekeeping. Signe is ready to give her life for her country, and she can hardly expect Ham to rescue her after breaking his heart over and over.

Hamilton Jones has never forgotten the only woman he loved--and he can't believe after all these years she's shown up alive. But can he forgive her for her secrets? And, when Ham discovers the reason Signe has kept her distance, he must choose between love for her and love for the nation he has vowed to protect.

Will he save the many? Or the few? And what is the price of valor?

My review:

  I have recently become a fan of Susan May Warren's books. In just this year, I have read a few of her series and have gotten hooked on her books.

 The Global Search and Rescue Series may be one of her most exciting series. Unfortunately, it appears this is only a three-book series.

 The Price of Valor centers on the leader of the Global Search and Rescue group, Hamilton (Ham) Jones, and his CIA agent wife who he recently found out was alive with the fact that he was the father of a 10 year old daughter.

  This whole series has been awesome and exciting, but this last book tops the other three. In her gripping Marshalls of Montana Series a plot was hatched that possibly implicated the female Vice President of the USA nominee. I was disappointed when that series ended without that being resolved. Slight spoiler: that gets resolved in a very dramatic and exciting way in this book. One thing I like about Warren's writing is she pulls characters from other series into another series.....and this book had characters from the Marshalls of Montana and The Montana Rescue Series.

 The author takes some of her characters to Italy and tosses them into a situation that involves an erupting volcano and tsunami. As her heroes fight for their lives while rescuing others, they also run for their lives as they are involved in international espionage, spies,  and political intrigue. Warren  did an excellent job on describing the events in a town hit with an erupting volcano and tsunami. It was a very gripping and exciting part of the book, though the whole book was gripping and exciting. 

 As always, her characters totally rocked.

 Among all the drama and action, the book also dealt with Ham's struggles to forgive his wife for deserting him for 10 years, for having a daughter he didn't know about, and what she did to survive and work for her country.

 It may seem a weird thing to do, but I clapped after finishing the book. It really was that good.

  I highly recommend this book, and the whole series.....but I do advise reading the Marshalls of Montana Series first...which may be her best series ever.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the author:


Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 65 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including The Way of the Brave and The Heart of a Hero, as well as the Montana Rescue series. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @susanmaywarren.


The Price of Valor and the rest of the Global Search and Rescue Series is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.


                                                                        Book #1


                                                                           Book #2


                                                           The Montana Marshalls Series



Point of Danger, Triple Threat #1 by Irene Hannon

Book description:


 Hate mail was one thing. This was quite another.

Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews. But now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently. 

But unless he can track down her elusive foe, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.

My review:

  I have been reading Irene Hannon's suspense novels for several years, and she remains one of my favorite authors. She is one author who just seems to get better with each series and book. This first book in her new Triple Threat Series is proof of that.

  Hannon takes a page from current events, and brings the radical group Antifa into her story. I always get easily engrossed in her books anyway, but that made the story all the more interesting and gripping as I read in a novel about what is happening in real life.

  The main characters were well developed and very likable: Eve, the conservative talk show host determined to stick to her beliefs and let her views be known, even when threatened....and Brent, the determined police detective who thinks his past experiences mean he must go through life alone.

  Point of Danger truly is a read in one sitting, at least for me. It has non stop action, drama, and suspense that made the book hard to put down, even for drink and bathroom breaks. There was a lot going on in this book, and I didn't know what was going to happen next. One bad guy was a bit predictable as to his identity, but the other was a total surprise, and I did not see it coming.

 And though fictional, Point of Danger does emphasize the fact that there are radical hate groups in our country who are bent on destruction and division.

 Hannon shows in this book that she still has it, and this may be her best....or at least one of her best...yet. It definitely made me want more in what promises to be another great series from this accomplished author.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the author:


Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, Sandpiper Cove, Pelican Point, Driftwood Bay, and Starfish Pier, as well as Point of Danger and the Code of Honor, Private Justice, and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, and she is a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame. Her many other awards include National Readers' Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers' Choice, Booksellers' Best, Carol, and Reviewers' Choice from RT Book Reviews magazine, which also honored her with a Career Achievement Award for her entire body of work. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.


Point of Danger is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Follow Your Heart, movie review

Movie description:


Kathy Yoder is a travel writer who has left her Amish ways behind, but when she returns home to settle her father’s affairs, she is tempted to return to her former lifestyle. Starring Galadriel Stineman, Kevin Joy, and Jonathan Patrick Moore.


My review:

  I don't often get the chance to review movies, and often I am not interested. This one caught my attention since it is a Hallmark movie and has to do with the Amish.

 I did not receive a physical copy of the movie, but was provided with a link to view it......and I really enjoyed it. The acting was well done, with no cheesy factor. I liked the plot, though it was a bit predicable.....and the movie didn't end the way I thought it might. I thought the Amish and their way of life was well represented, and the actors played their roles very well and were well suited for the roles. 

 As one might assume about a movie like this, it is squeaky clean with no bad language. I definitely recommend it, and can say it will be an enjoyable experience to view it.

More about the movie and actors here: Follow Your Heart
And here.

Thanks to Frontgate Media for the review opportunity.

Movie Trailer:



Monday, September 21, 2020

The Christmas Swap by Melody Carlson

 

Book description:


All Emma Daley wants this holiday season is a white Christmas. But the young teacher and struggling musician sure can't find that in sunny Arizona. Luckily, there's someone living in a perfect mountain home in the Colorado Rockies looking to make a vacation trade.


West Prescott is an in-demand songwriter and talented musician who put his own singing career on hold to write songs for celebrity acts to perform. When his mother convinces him to do a vacation trade for Christmas, he never imagined one of the houseguests would be so sweet--or so strikingly pretty. Naturally, he decides to stick around, and to get better acquainted, he poses as the caretaker of his own house. But when Emma's friend Gillian discovers his true identity and sets her sights on him, things get . . . messy.

My review:

  Melody Carlson has been writing Christmas books every year for several years. I have been reviewing them as long as I have reviewed books, and she has never disappointed. Each book is totally different than the others, yet is always a delightful read. The Christmas Swap is another great read, yet different.

  This book is a little more lighthearted than some, and is pretty much a straightforward romance around Christmas. I loved the two main characters, West and Emma. West especially is an awesome character as he slightly misleads the guests in his house to his true identity, yet his reasons are totally understandable.

  The Christmas Swap is a simple story of boy meets girl, and their romance is almost thwarted by girl's shallow best friend. Though fictional, the book does show how some people are so easily drawn to others because of who they are, and not drawn to the person of their own personality. Emma was drawn to West because of the kind of man he was, but Emma wasn't drawn to him until she found out who he really was.

 I thoroughly enjoyed The Christmas Swap, and it is another Christmas novel the author can be proud of. And yes, it put me in the mood for Christmas.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.



About the author:


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over 200 books with sales of more than 7 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.


The Christmas Swap is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Airborne by DiAnn Mills

Book description:

Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.

As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

My review:

  DiAnn Mills has become a favorite author, so I was happy to have an offer to review her newest book, one that was on my to-read list when it comes out.

 Reading Airborne at this time was especially interesting since it deals with a virus, and we have been dealing with the Covid virus for several months now.

  Airborne was a lot different than Mill's other books. A lot of the story took place on a plane, and the main character was quarantined for most of the book. Mills did an awesome job of describing the effects and fallout of such a virus.

 Heather made an awesome main character, dealing with the breakup of her marriage, being on a plane where a virus had been released, and knowing her husband was the main suspect in the attack. I found myself liking her husband and hoping he was innocent, and that they would get back together. (You'll have to read the book to find out).

 One thing that really impacted me was the spiritual journey of one of the characters in the book. An atheist slowly found himself believing the Bible, and finally coming to know Jesus. The author wrote about this journey in such a way that it really moved me and has been on my mind. God does use Christian fiction.

  I figured out fairly early who the bad guy was, but was not expecting the twist when it became clear.

  Airborne was an awesome read that was full of suspense and non stop dram and action one can expect from Mills' books. It had a great ending, and I appreciate the unapologetic Christian part of the story. I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Take Back Your Life: A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right by Levi Lusko

Book description:

A forty-day interactive journey that will help you identify and fight your internal battles—so you can take back your life. 

Every person has a mission and a God-given potential to impact the world, whether they recognize it or not. But life presents challenges and traps us in a helpless, hopeless loop of anxiety and fear.

In Take Back Your Life, a blend of bestselling books Through the Eyes of a Lion and I Declare War, join Levi Lusko on an interactive journey to take back your life. With biblical truth and perspective, this step-by-step journaling process will help you:

get out of your own way by learning to think right so you can live right,
find purpose by discovering that God will do great things with your imperfect progress, and
learn that your pain is not an obstacle to being used by God but an opportunity to be used like never before.
This is more than a book; it’s an intimate self-analysis tool that will help you recognize what’s weighing you down or holding you back, and equip you to embrace it head-on as you become the best version of yourself. Start thinking right, so you can live right.

My review:

  I am familiar with this author, but have never read anything by him until now. Take Back Your Life is a devotional type book, but that is an interactive kind of devotional.

 There are 40 chapters, intended to be done over a period of 40 days. Each chapter starts out with a Bible verse, followed by the devotional part. That is followed by a short prayer, then the "Breathe, Think, and Live" part. It consists of several questions to answer, and often some actions to do.

 I didn't do all 40 days, as I didn't have enough time to do them all one day at a time, but I like what I read. The book is Biblical, and if the reader answers the questions and does the exercises that are in the book, I can see it would definitely be a help. Lusko has a great and interesting style of writing, and relates a lot of personal anecdotes throughout the book. As I glanced through the parts of the book that I didn't read yet, it is obvious there is a lot of depth to the book, and it can be a valuable tool for anyone who needs to change their thinking about themselves.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC and HCCP for providing this prize for the giveaway and review.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


About the author:


 Levi Lusko is the author of the bestselling books “Through the Eyes of a Lion” and “Swipe Right.” He is also the lead pastor of Fresh Life Church – a multisite church located in Montana, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming that he and his wife Jennie pioneered in 2007. Levi travels around the world speaking about Jesus. He takes pleasure in small things, such as black coffee, new shoes, fast Internet, and falling asleep in the sun. He and his wife have one son: Lennox, and four daughters: Alivia, Daisy, Clover, and Lenya, who is in heaven.

 

Giveway:

 Courtesy of FlyBy Promotions, I have one copy of Take Back Your Life to give away. Just comment on this post, or email me if you do not have a blogger account. I will pick a winner using Random.org 10 days from now on September 4.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Gentleman Spy, Serendipity Secrets #2 by Erica Vetsch

Book description:


He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

Book review: 

Although these aren't the type of books I normally read, I enjoyed the first one so much that I have been looking forward to reading the second one.Since the main male character was a spy, this book leaned more towards being suspense than the first one, which made it all the more enjoyable to me.

 Both Charlotte and Marcus were interesting and likable characters, which is a big plus for a story, but especially Marcus. He was a rich aristocrat going through the motions of what he had to do in society, yet had a secret life as a spy that even his new wife didn't know about. And Charlotte was intended to be a meek wife to gain approval and help his place in society, but she bucked the system and got involved in helping women who were trapped in prostitution.

 I really enjoyed this story. The author did a great job of portraying life in England in the 1800's, and what a marriage of convenience might look like. Vetsch has a great writing style, and captured my attention on the first page, and kept it all through the book. This book IS a romance, so there was a lot of that in the book, made all the more interesting by the spy activities and by wondering what Charlotte would do next to mortify her mother-in-law and knock her new husband off balance.

 The main characters from  the previous book made a few appearances, and it was cool to have them tied into the story.

 Vetsch has come out with another riveting novel that has left this reader looking forward to the 3rd and last novel in this trilogy.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:


Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).



Giveaway. Enter here.


Persian Betrayal, Empires of Armageddon #2 by Terry Brennan

Book description:

How much can Brian Mullaney risk to serve God and save lives--without losing his own? DSS Regional Security Officer Brian Mullaney has been tasked with an incredibly dangerous mission. When a synagogue in Jerusalem is destroyed by an explosion, burying the second key prophecy Mullaney is hunting--and the deadly box that protects it--the answers he desperately needs are also crushed. How can he discover the meaning of the centuries-old prophecy now? Why are he and the ambassador he's assigned to protect being targeted? And is there any way this lone man can thwart a nuclear arms race between three ascendant empires of the past?

An otherworldly servant of evil known only as the Turk is maneuvering all three nations into an intricate dance designed to undermine prophecy about the end times. And he won't let Mullaney or anyone else get in his way.

Wounded in a bloody shoot-out, pressured by his wife to come home, and mourning the death of his best friend, Mullaney doesn't need a powerful enemy. Who is he to save the Ishmael Covenant, the treaty promising peace in the Middle East? Despite angelic intervention, Mullaney wants nothing to do with his final assignment. But without him, evil will win the ultimate struggle . . . and humankind will have no hope left. 

My review:

 It took me a while to get into the first book in this series, but that wasn't the case with this book. It picks up where the first book ended, and launches right into action and drama. This book was a thrilling ride through the Middle East, with constant action and political intrigue woven with Bible prophecy.

 It is obvious that Brennan has done a lot of research for this series, and has put a lot of history and detail in the story that taught me a lot about what has gone on in that area, and what is currently going on.

 Slight spoiler: Brennan's description of what might happen if a peace treaty was actually signed was interesting and has repercussions to do with passages in the Bible that I had never considered.

 Brian Mullaney is the main character, and this book had more character development and background on this very likable character. And he is not the only likable character. Then there are the ones not so likable that I found myself hoping would get found out and get what they deserve.

 Persian Betrayal is an awesome story of political intrigue, but also shows how unstable that area is, and what could happen if the wrong people got enough power and abilities to wipe others out. Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. From start to finish, it is non stop action and intrigue, and it left me wishing the third book was out. Awesome story.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own

About the author:


A Pulitzer Prize is just one of the awards Terry Brennan accumulated during a 22-year career in journalism.

​The Pottstown (PA) Mercury  won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a two-year series of editorials written while Brennan was the newspaper’s Editor. Once directly responsible for over 100 newsrooms in the United States, Brennan was an award-winning writer, editor and publisher,  including an award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation.

​He was an Editor and Publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York and moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles.

 In 1996 Brennan transferred his successful management career to the non-profit sector and served for 12 years as Vice President of Operations for The Bowery Mission and for more than a decade as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless in New York City.

​Terry and his wife, Andrea, live in Connecticut, near their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren; their son lives in Lake Tahoe, California. Terry's two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. 

Check out his website at terrrybrennanauthor.com

Persian Betrayal is available from Kregel Publishing.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez by Buck Storm

Book description:

When his wife, Angel, is killed in a head-on collision, Gomez Gomez feels he can't go on--so he doesn't. He spends his days in the bushes next to the crash site drinking Thunderbird wine, and his nights cradling a coffee can full of Angel's ashes. Slow, sure suicide, with no one for company but the snakes, Elvis's ghost, and a strange kid named Bones.
Across town, Father Jake Morales plays it safe, haunted by memories of the woman he left behind, hiding his guilt, loss, and love behind a thick wall of cassock and ritual. Then a shady business deal threatens the town--and his good friend Gomez Gomez--and Father Jake can't just stand by and watch. But what happens when the rescuer is the one in need of saving?
The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez is quirky, heartfelt, and deeply human. Lives and hopes collide in the town of Paradise, stretching across decades and continents in this epic story of forgiveness, redemption, and love.

My review:

  I have reviewed hundreds of books, and can count the negative ones I have done on one hand. I don't like to leave negative ones, but I am honest in my reviews. This book sounded really good and intrigued me, but I just could not get into it. It IS a little weird...a drunk guy talking to snakes and his dead wife, and the snakes talk back....but 64 pages in, I just wasn't enjoying the book, and was forcing myself to read, so I put it down.

 I am not knocking the author. A lot of people like his books, including this one, so it may just be me. The author does have an interesting writing style, but this book just wasn't for me.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own

About the author:

Buck Storm is a critically acclaimed author and musician whose stories have found friends around the world. His nonfiction work includes Finding Jesus in Israel and Through the Holy Land on the Road Less Traveled. Storm’s novels include The List, The Light, Truck Stop Jesus, and The Miracle Man. The latest, The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez, launches his new series, Ballads of Paradise.
Storm and his wife, Michelle, make their home in North Idaho and have two married children.
Learn more about Buck Storm, as well as his writing and music, at buckstorm.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@buckstormauthor), Twitter (@buckstormauthor), and Instagram (@buckstorm).


The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez is available from Kregel Publishing.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Crushing Depths, Costal Guardians #2 by Dani Pettrey

Book description:

They know the power and peril of the ocean.
But as they get closer to the deadly truth . . .
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker, Coast Guard Investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are flown to the scene thirty-eight miles from shore. Tensions aboard the rig are high, and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the "plague on the environment" from continuing its work. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating on board about an ancient curse lurking in the depths below.

Mounting evidence shows the death might not have been an accident. Was the man killed by one of the activists or, more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only numerous suspects, but also their own haunted pasts and their attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems about to break open, worse news arrives: a tropical storm has turned their way. Now they're cut off from any rescue--right where the killer wants them.

My review:

  I have been hooked on Dani Pettrey's books since I read and reviewed her first book, Submerged, the first in the five-book series Alaskan Courage back in 2012. And she just keeps getting better.

  What I liked about this book:

The characters: I love all of the characters in this series, and this one focused on the new team member, Mason, and his childhood acquaintance, Rissi. Their relationship was a bit different from the usual in romantic suspense novels. They had been foster kids together years before to the same abusive man, and Mason had been her protector. This added a different and cool aspect and angle to their relationship. I have come to not just tolerate, but actually enjoy the romantic aspect of these books, and it was fun watching them renew their friendship and realize both felt more than just friends.

 I liked both main characters, but Mason was just a really awesome one you can't help but liking. One thing I love about a series where the same characters are in each book, is there is so much time and room for character development, and Pettrey excels at that. Logan is one of the most interesting and likable characters, the atheist who is so witty and almost flamboyant. I love his interactions with Emmy, and laughed out loud more than once at their arguing and slams at each other.


The suspense: A lot of the action takes place on an oil rig where unexplained and suspicious accidents keep happening, resulting in some deaths.  This truly was one of those books where you don't know what is going to happen next, nor who the guilty party is. The oil rig isn't your usual setting for a suspense novel, though not everything happened on it, but the plot did revolve around it....and it made for an interesting story.


The action: There was a lot of action in the series, and the book was fairly fast-paced, which I like.

The setting: This is the first series I have read that centers on the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and I am loving it and the setting for the story. In this book, Mason and Rissi took a day trip to my favorite vacation spot, The Outer Banks...which was an added enjoyment for me.

The romance: As I mentioned, I enjoyed the developing relationship between Mason and Rissi. The author has thrown me for a loop though in what to hope for next.....I was hoping the next book would center on Logan and Emmy, but after reading this book, I also want it to feature Noah and Caleb and their possible relationships. I definitely am looking forward to book #3.

  The Crushing Depths was an awesome read, just as good as the book it follows. Pettrey again shows why she is one of my top favorite authors.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.



About the author:


Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]" (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award.

Dani considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves--full of plot twists, peril, love, and a longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.


  The Crushing Depths is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.


                                                     #1 in The Coastal Guardian Series




                                                    The Alaskan Courage Series:




The Chesapeake Valor Series:



Don't Keep Silent, Uncommon Justice #3 by Elizabeth Goddard

Book description:


Justice comes easy for these two. But forgiveness? That's another matter altogether.

Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her.

As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other . . .

My review:

  Ever since I closed my copy of the second book in this trilogy, I have been looking forward to this book. Goddard left just enough of a teaser about the 3rd and last brother in this series, that I couldn't wait to read it.

 Previously to my reading and reviewing this series, I had not read any books by this author, but since reading #1 in this trilogy, I have read several of her Love Inspired Suspense novels and enjoyed them as much as this series.

 Don't keep silent brings together Liam and Rae, who had previously had a romantic relationship that ended very badly.....with Rae blowing his DEA cover on the assignment he was on. This made an interesting dynamic between these two that I enjoyed throughout the book.

 The plot for Don't Keep Silent was very suspenseful and tangled. The author had me pretty much clueless to why Rae's sister-in-law was missing, and who had taken her. The journey to finding that out was full of drama, suspense, and pretty much non stop action.

 The Uncommon Justice Series revolves around three brothers who did not have the best upbringing, thanks to a drunk and sometimes abusive father, and the series showed how each brother dealt with it differently. Liam had run away to the military as soon as he turned eighteen, but being back home forced him to deal with his past. That element in all three books was a sad but necessary issue that needs to be discussed, and Goddard did a great job of addressing it in all three books.

 Don't Keep Silent was a thrilling conclusion to this awesome series, and has left me wanting to read more by this author. And Baker has the first book in her next series on their site: Present Danger, #1 in the Rocky Mountain Courage Series, due out in April.

   I do have one slight complaint: about this series. It did center on three brothers, and to me it would have made a lot more sense to have them pictured on the covers instead of the women they were involved with......but I still loved this series and highly recommend it, and anything Godddard has written.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the author:


Elizabeth Goddard has sold over one million books and is the award-winning author of more than 40 romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery The Camera Never Lies--a 2011 Carol Award winner. She is a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense finalist for her Mountain Cove series--Buried, Backfire, and Deception--and a Carol Award finalist for Submerged. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.ElizabethGoddard.com.



Don't Keep Silent is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.



                                                                         Book #1




                                                                      Book #2




         And look for Present Danger, #1 in the Rocky Mountain Courage Series, April 2021


Monday, June 29, 2020

Stories That Bind Us by Susie Finkbeiner

Book description:


Rediscover the power of story to open the doors of our hearts

Betty Sweet never expected to be a widow at forty. With so much life still in front of her, she tries to figure out what's next, never imagining what God had in mind.

When her estranged sister returns to town, Betty finds herself taking on the care of a five-year-old nephew she never knew she had. In 1960s small-town Michigan, they make an odd pair. Betty with her pink button nose and bouffant hair. Hugo with his light brown skin and large brown eyes. But more powerful than what makes them different is what they share: the heartache of an empty space in their lives. Slowly, they will learn to trust one another as they discover common ground and healing through the magic of storytelling.

My review:

  This was a new author to me, but the book intrigued me. The idea of storytelling healing and drawing two people together was something that made me want to read the book.

  The book was different, but I found myself enjoying it. Hugo was such a great character, and it was cool to see how storytelling drew he and his aunt together. I would have preferred the book to have been told in the third person point of view, but first person point of view worked OK for the book - it just isn't my favorite.

 The book covers and deals with a variety of topics, including depression. I thought the author did a great job of weaving a story around the various issues she dealt with in the book. And it was cool to see how Betty tried to make a normal childhood for this little boy she suddenly had thrust on her.

 Though this wasn't an exciting or fast paced book, it was an interesting and enjoyable read.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:


Susie Finkbeiner is the CBA bestselling author of All Manner of Things, which was selected as a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, as well as A Cup of Dust, A Trail of Crumbs, and A Song of Home. She serves on the Fiction Readers Summit planning committee, volunteers her time at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and speaks at retreats and women's events across the country. Susie and her husband have three children and live in West Michigan.

  Stories That Bind Us is available from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group.

 Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

A Dream Within a Dream, Coffey and Hill Series #3 by Mike Nappa and Melissa Kosci

Book description:

He may be the key to solving one of the greatest unsolved art heists in history

Trudi Coffey hasn't seen Samuel Hill in weeks. Then the FBI shows up asking about him. After a strange encounter with an armed man demanding her help and an attack by a member of the Boston mob looking for someone named Dream, Trudi manages to find Samuel--or rather, he finds her. He's made some pretty powerful enemies, but right now his full attention is on protecting Dream from the mob. Because Dream has something they want--the map to the location of artwork stolen from the Gardner Museum during the infamous 1990 heist.

With danger closing in from all sides, Trudi and Samuel will have to call on all their allies to keep Dream safe and discover the identities of the people who have been hunting down Samuel. The real questions are, whom can they trust? And who will make it out of this alive?

My review:

  Two odd things about this book: The first two were published in 2016 and I reviewed both. It had been so long, I was about to get rid of the other two, thinking the series was not going to be finished. Secondly, the first two were solo works by Mike Nappa. This book has two authors.

  This book was kind of weird, but in a good way...but then each book in this series is based on one of Edgar Allen Poe's works...which are weird.

  There were times in the book I wasn't sure what was going on. The one character, nicknamed "Dream" would go back into his memories without any warning, and it wasn't always easy to realize right away where he was in his timeline. That did make him an interesting character.

 I like the two main characters a lot: Sam Hill and his ex-wife Trudi. They make an excellent pair in  their detecting and protecting "Dream." It did take me a while to realize everything revolved around a big art heist, and where "Dream" played into things. However, the authors did a great job on spinning their tale and keeping the reader guessing as to what was going on.

 Even with the confusing mind of "Dream" and the occasional weirdness, I did enjoy the book. It had a lot of suspense and action. I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, and am hoping there is another book to pick up where it left off....hopefully not in 4 years. :)

 And this series should be read in order.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the authors:


Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at FamilyFans.com, as well as a bestselling and award-winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide. When he was a kid, the stories of Edgar Allen Poe scared him silly. Today he owns everything Poe ever wrote. A former fiction acquisitions editor, Mike earned his MA in English literature and now writes full-time. He is the author of Annabel Lee and The Raven.







Melissa Kosci is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books. She and Corey, her husband of twenty years, live in Florida, where they do their best not to melt in the sun.




A Dream Withing a Dream is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for the review copy.





The Key to Everything by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Book description:

"Promise me you'll never come back here, Peyton. It's too much--it's just way too much."

Peyton Cabot's fifteenth year will be a painful and transformative one. His father, the heroic but reluctant head of a moneyed Savannah family, has come home from World War II a troubled vet, drowning his demons in bourbon and distancing himself from his son. A tragic accident shows Peyton the depths of his parents' devotion to each other but interrupts his own budding romance with the girl of his dreams.

Struggling to cope with a young life upended, Peyton makes a daring decision: He will retrace a journey his father took at fifteen, riding his bicycle from St. Augustine, Florida, all the way to Key West. Part declaration of independence, part search for self, Peyton's journey will bring him more than he ever could have imagined--namely, the key to his unknowable father, a longed-for reunion, and a calling that will shape the rest of his life.

My review:

  My favorite genre' is Christian suspense, so I don't always gravitate towards this kind of book...especially by an author I have never read. The description intrigued me enough to request it to review, and I am glad I did. I'll admit after I got it, I wondered if I'd be able to get into it. No worries there.

  I loved the author's style of writing. She put so much emotion and description into the story, I felt myself pulled into the story and didn't want to put it down. The main character is 15 year old Peyton, who is an awesome and very likable character. The author did a tremendous job of describing his long bicycle ride, and brought into the story the emotions he experienced as he made the same journey his dad had made when he was the same age. I loved the characters he met on his journey and the colorful descriptions of them. The scene with the dollar bill about did me in, I'll admit.

 Though this is not a suspense novel, it was a book that was extremely difficult to put down. And when I picked it up the second time, I was determined to read it til the end, which I did.

  This novel is set in 1947, when things were different. It wouldn't be safe for a 15 year old boy to bicycle what I figured out must be close to 500 miles. Plus, this is fiction.

 There is not a lot of Christian content in the book - not a criticism, just an observation. However, it is a clean book that was an absolute delight to read. After I finished it, I went on Amazon and ordered another book by the author. This one was that good. It is the best non-suspense novel I have read in quite a while. I definitely recommend it.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:


Valerie Fraser Luesse is the bestselling author of Missing Isaac and Almost Home, as well as an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently senior travel editor. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse received the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society for her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana. A graduate of Auburn University and Baylor University, she lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Dave.

The Key to Everything is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Check out the author's other books, Almost Home, and Missing Isaac.






Friday, June 5, 2020

A Shepherd Suspense Novel, #2: Cross Shadow by Andrew Huff

Book description:

All journalist Christine Lewis wants is the truth. All pastor John Cross wants is to avoid it.

Former CIA agent turned evangelical pastor John Cross is busy caring for the small community of believers he ministers to in Virginia. Journalist Christine Lewis is busy with the demand for her talents from top news agencies in New York City. Neither has any time left for their relationship, which began eight months before when they paired up to prevent the detonation of a chemical bomb in the nation's capital.

But when Christine hears that her stepbrother has been arrested for murder in Texas, they team up again to discover the truth about the crime. Untangling a web of conspiracy, the couple finds themselves in the center of another dangerous situation-and in trouble far deeper than they expected.

With an assassin on the loose, a trusted colleague acting as a double agent, and unreliable artificial intelligence connected to mercenaries who have Cross on their hit list, these two may not get out of the Lone Star State alive.

My review:

  Cross Shadow is one of the books I have been most looking forward to in 2020. Huff's first book in this series - and his first book ever - released in November. This second book in the trilogy was released on my birthday, something I worked out with the author. (Just kidding!)

  The Christian fiction market tends to be a women's market, so it is great to have male authors putting out quality suspense like this, and they are too few.

  This second book in the Shepherd Suspense series was just as great as the first was. I hate to over-use the word awesome, but John Cross is such an awesome character: former CIA agent turned pastor. Side note: I find myself envying his spirituality, which is crazy since he is fictional.

  The description of Cross Shadow sounds a bit tame, but the book has a lot of action and suspense in it. There are a couple of high speed chases, and Huff did an excellent job of describing everything going on in the chases. I could easily visualize it in my mind, and it rivaled some of the high speed chases I have seen in movies.

 The plot was a good one, and there were some things that happened that I did not see coming. I was a little disappointed about the romantic angle - I won't give spoilers away, and that may change in the third book, which cannot come out any time soon!

 Cross Shadow is as much of a thrilling ride of suspense and action as A Cross to Kill. Huff is setting a standard of Christian suspense which is a standard others should strive for. Definitely five stars out of 5.

 By the way, the first chapter of the third and last book, Right Cross, is that the end of this book. And yes, I made the mistake of reading it. Can't wait to read the rest of the book.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Huff spent ten years in local church ministry as a youth pastor and creative arts pastor before pursuing God’s calling into creative storytelling and media production as the product director at Igniter Media, a church media company (ignitermedia.com).

He is a two-time finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest for unpublished authors (2014, 2017) and also won the best screenplay award at the 2015 48 Hour Film Festival in Richmond, VA. A Cross to Kill and Cross Shadow in the Shepherd Suspense series are his first releases.

Huff holds a bachelor of science in religion degree from Liberty University and a master of arts in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He resides in Plano, TX, with his beautiful wife, Jae, and their two boys.

Learn more Andrew Huff and the Shepherd Suspense novels at www.andrewhuffbooks.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@huffwrites), Twitter (@andrewjohnhuff) and Instagram (@andyhuff).


What others are saying:

“In the tradition of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti, Cross Shadow is a strong, taut thriller that retains a Christian sense of optimism and hope while acknowledging the existence of great evil in the world. Huff raises the stakes on every page all the way through the white-knuckle finale—like watching an action movie through the written word.”

~ Kyle Mann, editor in chief of The Babylon Bee and author of How to Be a Perfect Christian

“Andrew Huff’s writing is as fast-paced and tight as his enticing story lines. Masterfully balancing a well-developed plot with a cast of characters you feel like you’ve known forever, Huff creates one page-turner after another in his Shepherd Suspense trilogy. He may be a new author, but his talented word-spinning is anything but novice and will linger long in the reader’s subconscious.”

~ Betsy St. Amant Haddox, author of All’s Fair in Love and Cupcakes


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Friday, May 22, 2020

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner

Book description:

Get ready for a heaping helping of humor, romance, and second chances

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show, To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel's other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.

When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum and is sent packing, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public's good graces is to work alongside Hadley. As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love.

In the meantime, hide the knives.

My review:

  This isn't the type of book I usually review, but it grabbed my attention since it sounded like it was an amusing read. I wasn't at all familiar with the author, but I decided to review it anyway..... and I am glad I did.

  Hadley Beckett's Next Dish isn't an overtly Christian novel, but that is OK. It is a clean book with Christian themes. And the book is definitely amusing. Throw two very different chefs in the kitchen together and hilarity definitely ensues.

 Hadley and Max are both great and likable characters.....well, Max isn't likable at the beginning of the book. The only thing that did kind of bother me about the book was Max's transformation from a jerk with a temper who drank too much into a very likable and decent guy abstaining from drinking, bad temper, and cursing...for the most part. Hadley was a Christian, but I would like to have seen Max's change come from Christ, not from a rehab center. And yes, these kind of books can be predictable with boy meets girl, one is not a Christian, but there is a conversion and they live happily ever after. Slight spoiler: if Max became a Christian, there is no mention of it in the book. It was still cool to see a the change in him throughout the book.

 That aside, it was a truly entertaining read. I found myself laughing out loud more than once as these two very different personalities clashed, and Max spent more time apologizing than cooking. It was also interesting to watch as they went from barely tolerating each other, to becoming the most important person in each other's lives.

 On the serious side, were themes of forgiveness, trust, and the lesson that fear can hold us back from happiness and fulfilling lives.

 I loved the climatic moment of the book, along with the "6 years later" part at the end. I definitely recommend the book.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:


Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former bank executive and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.


Hadley Beckett's Next Dish is available from Revell Publishing.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Standoff, Natchez Trace Park Rangers #1 by Patricia Bradley

Book description:

The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It's the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for Luke Fereday, it's also perfect for moving drugs.

Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers. John's daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father's murder but soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her.

Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who's going to keep him safe when he realizes he's falling--hard--for the daughter of the man he failed to save?

My review:

 I always hate to see a series end by an author I like, and the last series by Bradley was quite awesome. Now she is starting a new series, which made me happy.

 Bradley has never written anything that disappointed me, so it is no surprise to me that I thoroughly enjoyed this great start to a new series. I was barely a few pages into the book, and two murders had already been committed, so I knew it was going to be an exciting read.

 I enjoyed the setting for the book. By the way, Natchez is not a fictional town. I googled it, and it sounds like the town described in the book.

 I loved the main characters, especially Luke. Undercover work intrigues me a lot, so he was an even more likable character since that was his role in the story.

 And there was a lot of action and suspense. This was a book where you don't know what is going to happen next, nor who the bad guys all are. There was one I was suspicious of, and was correct. (Score!)

 There was of course the obligatory romance, but this was one where the the couple had known each other for years, and had had feelings for each other for a long time. (Sometimes the boy meets girl while someone is trying to murder them as they fall in love can be a bit unbelievable...but then I am a bachelor) :)

  Standoff is a great start to what promises to be another awesome series from this author. It left me wanting more, and I am looking forward to however many books are in this series.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the author: 


Patricia Bradley is the author of Justice Delayed, Justice Buried, Justice Betrayed, and Justice Delivered, as well as the Logan Point series. Bradley won an Inspirational Reader's Choice Award in Romantic Suspense, a Daphne du Maurier Award, and a Touched by Love Award, and she was a Carol Award finalist. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.


Standoff is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.