Saturday, February 9, 2019

Breach of Trust, Atlanta Justice #3 by Rachel Dylan

Book description:

Corporate litigator Mia Shaw suffers the shock of her life when she finds her colleague and friend brutally murdered. Grief-stricken and furious, Mia vows that she will do anything to seek justice and make the killer pay.

The man accused of the murder is a friend of security tech guru Noah Ramirez, but the evidence just doesn't add up. To save his former ATF partner, Noah needs to convince Mia that the real killer is still on the loose.

Mia soon has more than the criminal prosecution to worry about, however. She is tasked with taking over her friend's last case and learns he was hiding secrets about his client. She thinks she may have stumbled upon corporate espionage that has turned deadly, but she has no idea of the danger involved. Her only ally is Noah, despite their difference of opinion on the homicide case. Can he win Mia over to his side and protect her from ever-growing threats?

My review:

  I enjoy legal thrillers, and there haven't been many authors on the Christian market who write them. The few who have done so have been men......which is fine, as there are not enough "guy books" on the Christian fiction market.

 Rachel Dylan is one of two female authors who have started writing legal thrillers in the last few years, and she does a great job of it. Legal thrillers can be tricky things. If the legal talk and work is too complicated, readers like me who aren't very well versed in legal "stuff" will lose interest and be lost.

  This third and final book in the suspenseful Atlanta Justice Series revolves around corporate espionage, which doesn't sound too interesting to be honest. However, Dylan makes it interesting. I was fascinated by how and why some things happened in the book.

 These three books center on six people: three female friends who are all lawyers, and three guys who are all members of a security company. (Spoiler: the three guys get the girls). :) The male in this story is Noah, the tech expert of the company. The author used him to help work on the espionage case with his computer expertise, which also was interesting.

 Not only is the legal and courtroom parts of the book done well, but so is the suspense. Maybe I am wrong, but it seemed the suspense was ratcheted up even more in the third book than the other two...regardless, this suspense junkie loved those parts of the book and kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.

 I mentioned the guy getting the girl....so romance also plays a big part in the story, and it also was well done and not cheesy or gag inducing. (Hey, I am a bachelor!)

 And last, but not least, the Christian element. Mia is a fledgling Christian, and there were some interesting and thought provoking things that came up in discussions between her and Noah, a preacher's son who had not always lived his faith.

 This was a great conclusion to a very good series.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


About the author:


Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five fur kids--two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at www.racheldylan.com.


The Atlanta Justice Series is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.








Saturday, February 2, 2019

Never Let Go, Uncommon Justice #1 by Elizabeth Goddard

Book description:

As a forensic genealogist, Willow Anderson is following in her late grandfather's footsteps in her quest for answers about a baby abducted from the hospital more than twenty years ago. The case may be cold, but things are about to heat up when someone makes an attempt on her life to keep her from discovering the truth.

Ex-FBI agent--and Willow's ex-flame--Austin McKade readily offers his help to protect the woman he never should have let get away. Together they'll follow where the clues lead them, even if it means Austin must face the past he's spent much of his life trying to forget. And even if it puts Willow's tender heart at risk.

In this fast-paced and emotional page-turner, bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard keeps the stakes high, the romantic tension sparking, and the outcome uncertain until the very end.


My review:

  This was a new author to me. I think it is the author's first trade paperback book, having written mass market paperbacks in the Love Inspired Suspense line of books. I had the chance to join the launch team for the book, and jumped at the chance since it sounded good and I like Christian suspense.

  The forensic genealogist was a new one to me, and one I found interesting.

  Characters are important to me, and I really liked Willow and Austin. The story pretty much focused equally on both, especially with Austin's past and his dealing..or not dealing with it. It looks like each book in this series is going to center on each of 3 brothers, which begs the question to why there are women on the books instead of guys......hey, I am a guy, of course I'd wonder :)

 Christian suspense is my favorite genre' to read, and Goddard brought it in spades. This is not one of those books where you go a few chapters before something exciting happens. The exciting and suspenseful parts happen a lot. This was a book that once I started reading it, I didn't want to put it down. Unfortunately the day I started it, I read it on my breaks at work, so I had to put it down.....but finished it that evening at home.

  I even enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story. This was a book where the couple had dated before, but had broken up....a bad break up, but now are working together. You know they will get back together, but it is fun and entertaining to watch how it happens.

 If this is an example of Goddard's writing, I am hooked and want to read more by her. I really liked the book, all parts of it: plot, setting, romance, suspense, drama, investigating techniques, etc. It wound down to a suspenseful and satisfying climax, and only left me wanting more, and looking forward to the next book in the story: Austin's brother Heath's story. (Again, the dude should be on the cover if it is his story)  :)

 This is a book and author I can honestly recommend, and deserves every one of the possible 5 stars possible.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


About the author: 


Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than thirty romance novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of becoming an author.

Check out her website at ElizabethGoddard.com

Never Let Go is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Secrets at Cedar Cabin, Lavender Tides #3 by Colleen Coble

Book description:

From USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble comes the third book in her beloved Lavender Tides series. 

Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was—can Bailey even trust herself anymore?

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down. 

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava. 

Filled with Colleen Coble's custom blend of suspense and romance, Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington's coast where nothing is quite as it seems. 

My review:

  When asked who my favorite author is, I cannot narrow it down to just one. I have more than a few, and Collen Coble has become one of those favorites. She never, ever disappoints. Of all the series she has done, this has to be her best so far...though I was partial to the series she did at the Outer Banks, my favorite vacation spot.

  Each book in this trilogy is its own story, but there is one story woven through all three. Three siblings separated over 20 years before, the youngest two not knowing the other two existed, and the oldest not knowing at first the other two were alive. In addition to the usual awesome suspense in Coble's books, this made the series even more interesting as she slowly reuinted these two sisters and their brother, all very likable characters.

 Secrets at Cedar Cabin revolves around human trafficking/sex trade. It isn't the first novel I have read that addresses it, but as entertaining and suspenseful the book was, it also brought a new horror and disgust at the reminder that this goes on in our country, and most likely more than we realize or want to think about.

  Coble brought back several of the characters from the other books, and added some new ones that are just as likable. The suspense was non stop, and I was honestly surprised and shocked at the identity of the bad guy. I didn't even consider the person as a suspect of the evil trafficking ring.

 As with all of Coble's books, this is a romantic suspense novel, so you knew the two main characters were bound to get together by the end of the book. I have come to enjoy the romantic element, and root for the guy to get the girl, even though that may not be the typical male response to romance in a book.

 There were some pretty intense moments in the book where it looked like all was lost......even though I didn't figure that was the case....but that is a mark of a true suspense novelist. Even though you are pretty sure of a happy ending and rescue, it is suspenseful enough to keep you on the edge of the seat. And Secrets of Cedar Cabin did just that.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



About the author:



USAToday bestselling author Colleen Coble lives with her husband, Dave, in Indiana. She is the author of dozens of novels including the Rock Harbor Series, the Aloha Reef Series, the Mercy Falls Series, the Hope Beach Series, the Lonestar Series and two Women of Faith fiction selections, Alaska Twilight and Midnight Sea. She has more than 2 million books in print.


Check out her website at CollenCoble.com

Secrets at Cedar Cabin is available from Thomas Nelson, along with the other two books and novella.







Stratagem by Robin Caroll

Book description:


A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect. . .for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created…making him the prime suspect for murder.


My review:

This is a different kind of book for being Christian suspense. For one thing, the book centers on and is from the perspective of a male, though the book is was written by a woman. Kudos to her for doing so. The Christian fiction market tends to be geared more for women, and it was refreshing to read a book that wasn't that way so much.

The plot was really good, and the game that the plot centered around was quite a genius idea for Carroll to come up with.

This is a classic "who dun it", and it was a great one. I had a suspect early in the book, but was wrong. I was leaning towards another, who turned out to be the correct one, though the author did change my mind briefly on that and had me suspecting the opposite sex briefly of who I was suspecting

There are a lot of police interviewing suspects and others involved, which could be monotonous, but Caroll did those well and they were interesting and even amusing at times.

Grayson was the main character, and was a very likable one who you could not help but feel bad for and believe in his innocence. Even though a fictional story, the issue of forgiveness was addressed and the necessity of him forgiving his dead wife.

This was different from Caroll's usual books - which I have been reading for several years now - but it was a great read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

 Stratagem is not a book I was given for review, but one I purchased and decided to do an official review for.


About the author:

“I love boxing. I love Hallmark movies. I love fishing. I love scrapbooking. Nope, I've never fit into the boxes people have wanted to put me in.” ~Robin Caroll is definitely a contradiction, but one that beckons you to get to know her better.

Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of more than twenty-seven novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of twenty-eight-plus years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home.

Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.

Check out her website at RobinCaroll.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Forsaken by Gina Detwiler

Book description:

He was forsaken but not forgotten.

Nine months have passed since Grace Fortune saw the boy she loves, Jared Lorn, die before her eyes. But Grace’s suspicions have her wondering if Jared really dead. Along with her friends, she sets out to find answers, and the investigation leads to an unexpected place: Silo City, an abandoned silo complex that houses as many dark secrets as it does forsaken people.

Very much alive, Jared’s on a mission to save the girl he loves by collaborating with the enemy—a young, brash rock star named Lester Crow who fronts the punk metal band Blood Moon. Jared’s “deal with the devil” will take him on a cross-country journey into the heartland of darkness. The music of Blood Moon is a weapon against God, and Jared must wield this weapon while trying desperately to preserve his mind and soul from its power.

Jared and Grace are desperate to be reunited, but first, they must defeat the demonic forces arrayed against them. And pray that Jared, a Nephilim forsaken in God’s eyes, has a chance at a future. 

My review:

   I really liked the first book in this series, but this one was even better. At the end of book one, Jared, a main character, was killed off....and then it was revealed that he was not dead. Book two begins with Grace still believing he is dead.

 Detwiler has done a great job on creating some great likable characters, and character development. In my opinion, none are as likable as Jared. Half angel, half human, doomed from his birth, yet determined to do right and fight evil with all he has in him. In both books the author switches back and forth between first and third person point of view, but I Jared was only third person in the first book. In book two, he has a lot of first person point of view, which is cool as you get to see what he is thinking and going through better.

 I'll do my best to avoid giving away any spoilers, but I will say I kept wishing the author would move something along faster, but then it did make a climatic moment when it finally happened.....so I guess she knew what she was doing. :)

 This book gives an interesting look at the possible link between some kinds of music and demon possession and how the devil can use that music. I am no fan of rock music, and believe it is not for Christians, but I don't think the author is trying to say all rock music is connected to the devil and demon possession. And what happens in the book and the effects of certain kinds of music on people may not happen exactly the way it is portrayed, but it is food for thought.

 Forsaken was even more suspenseful than Forlorn, and it had its share of surprises and kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I don't know where the author is headed with Jared, who wonders if redemption for someone like him is possible and if God can love him, but I guess that will be addressed more in the next two books in the series which I am looking forward to reading when they are released.

 These are books for teen readers, so I was bothered more than usual by a few words I don't like to see in Christian books: pissed, ass, and I think damn. But overall this book and the one before are very awesome reads, and as I said in the previous book review, similar to Frank Peretti's earlier books with his battle between angels and demons.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



About the author:


Gina Detwiler was planning to be a teacher but switched to writing so she wouldn't have to get up so early in the morning. She is the co-author with bestselling author and speaker Priscilla Shirer of The Prince Warrior series for middle grade readers. She has also written the novels Hammer of God and Avalon under the name Gina Miani.


 Check out her website: Ginadetwiler.com

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Lies Men Believe by Robert Wolgemuth

Book description:

You are being hunted.

Like a seasoned angler, our enemy opens his tackle box and selects the lure most likely to attract his intended prey—usually the one you and I are least likely to consider harmful. Each lie we bite on causes us to feel pain, lose or injure relationships, and miss out on the abundant life that God wants us to have. Lies Men Believe exposes the lies that men most commonly believe, and shows you how to combat those lies with the truth.

Lies like:


Pleasure and Entertainment Can Truly Satisfy Me
If I Mean Well, That’s Good Enough
If I Discipline My Children, They’ll Rebel.
I’m Measured by How I Compare with Other Men.
Find out how lies are holding you back from freedom, joy, and intimacy with God and others. Discover the power of the truth. Because once you fully embrace the truth, nothing is ever the same.

My review:

 This book is split up into 8 sections of lies believe:

1) About God
2) About themselves
3) About sin
4) About sexuality
5) About marriage and family
6) About work and wealth
7) About circumstances
8) About the world

  None of the chapters are very long, and he mainly hits on some main points of what he discusses in that chapter. For example, one that was of particular interest to me since I have that particular struggle is chapter 19: if I experience same-sex attraction, I should pursue a same-sex relationship. This chapter, and most of the others, covers 5 brief pages. However, in those 5 pages, I feel he covered why homosexuality is wrong, and why a Christian cannot have a same-sex relationship.

 Wolgemuth does a great job covering the many other lies that men can tend to believe, and he also did a great job picking out the ones to address. I found the book an interesting read as he has a way f writing about these issues that is not at all dull and boring, and I also feel this is a book that will be helpful to any man following Christ. With the wide variety and the amount of issues addressed in the book, there is something in here for everyone.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



About the author:


ROBERT WOLGEMUTH has been in the media business for thirty-nine years. He is former president of Thomas Nelson Publishers and the owner of Wolgemuth & Associates, Inc., a literary agency exclusively representing the writing work of more than one hundred authors. Dr. Wolgemuth is a speaker and best-selling author of over twenty books, including She Calls Me Daddy, the notes to the Dad's Devotional Bible, The Most Important Place on Earth, and What's in the Bible: The Story of God Through Time and Eternity, co-written with R. C. Sproul. He is a 1969 graduate of Taylor University, where he received an honorary doctorate in May 2005. Dr. Wolgemuth is married to Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and has two grown daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren.
 


Monday, January 21, 2019

Forlorn by Gina Detwiler

Book description:

Bad luck seems to follow Grace Fortune wherever she goes. She was orphaned at a young age, and her musical talent got her accepted to a prestigious school for the arts, where she was caught in the middle of horrific school shooting that nearly takes her life.

But then she meets gorgeous loner, Jared Lorn, and falls madly in love. There is only one problem. Jared is not exactly human. He's a Nephilim, an angel/human hybrid, descended from a cursed line of fallen angels known as the Watchers.

Having a half-demon boyfriend who's under a curse from God can be tough enough. But then Grace decides that she wants to help free Jared from the curse by killing his angel father, Azazel, who is bound up in the Abyss, where he will be judged at the End of Days.

She has a powerful ally in her guardian angel Ariel, who has given her a weapon: a Song that can tame demons. With a crew of loyal friends, Grace and Jared will travel to the ends of the earth, battling the forces of heaven and hell that seek to defeat them. Yet as their love grows stronger, they will find themselves in danger of succumbing to the very corruption that caused the Watchers' downfall.

My review:

  Gina Detwiler is a new author to me, and I was looking forward to reading and reviewing her books since I got the opportunity to do so.

 There is a passage in Genesis that talks about the sons of God coming into the daughters of men and children were borne of those unions. Much has been theorized and said about what that could mean. Many Bible scholars believe it was angels who were the sons of God. This author took that approach, and is not the first to come up with beings half angel and half human as a result of that union. These beings are referred to as Nephilim, a term that has been around for a while.

 I really enjoyed Frank Pertetti's earliest novels with tales of angels and demons fighting for and against God and God's people. This novel falls into the same category of books, but is geared for teens.

 I really enjoyed the book. Characters are important to me, and can make or break a book. Detwilwer did a great job on all of her characters, but especially the main ones who take center stage in the book. My favorite character is Jared, the 150 year old half angel/half human who looks like a teenager in appearance. Though his future looks bleak and bad, he has the desire to do right and to protect his friends, especially the girl he falls in love with. Then there us Grace - the heroine of the story, her friends Ethan, Bree, and Penny, and the self appointed guardian of Jared.....Ralph.

 There is a lot of action in the book, conversations between angels, fights among angels, demons, and manifestations of demons in people. There is definitely a spirit world, and more of a battle for our souls than we comprehend. I thought the author did a great job of portraying what that unseen world may look like.

 There are guardian angels in the book, and I liked the way the author portrayed them and how they possibly may work and act. Sure, it is the author's imagination, but it is still fascinating to read and think about.

 The book is a fast and easy read. There were times I read it on my breaks at work, and had a hard time putting it down to go back to work. Though it is written and geared for teens, I am proof that adults can enjoy it also.

 There is an ending to the book that makes you want to immediately start the next book, which I do have ready to dive into.

 This is going to be at least a 4-book series, and Forlorn is a great start to the series. I am looking forward to reading more about these characters, and the war between good and evil.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



About the author:


Gina Detwiler was planning to be a teacher but switched to writing so she wouldn't have to get up so early in the morning. She is the co-author with bestselling author and speaker Priscilla Shirer of The Prince Warrior series for middle grade readers. She has also written the novels Hammer of God and Avalon under the name Gina Miani.