Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Who I Am With You, Legacy of Faith #1 by Robin Lee Hatcher

Book description:

For these two broken hearts, the first step toward love will be a huge leap of faith. 

Jessica Mason isn’t looking for love when she meets Ridley Chesterfield. Instead she is still reeling from the tragic, unexpected loss of her husband and daughter—and awaiting the arrival of her unborn child. Harboring the secret of her husband’s betrayal, her pain is deeper than anyone knows.

Ridley Chesterfield is hiding out in Hope Springs, Idaho, avoiding a political scandal and the barrage of false media headlines that have tarnished his good name. The last thing Ridley wants is a relationship—but when fate leads Ridley to form a friendship with his reclusive and pregnant neighbor, he wonders if this small-town hideout might be more of a long-term destination. 

When Jessica begins to read her great-grandfather’s Bible, she finds a connection with a man she never knew. Somehow the verses he marked and the words he wrote in the margins open her heart to healing. And as Ridley and Jessica help each other forgive the people who have wronged them, they must decide if the past will define them or if they will choose to love again. 

Who I Am With You weaves together a modern-day romance with Jessica’s great-grandfather’s story from the 1930s, reminding us that some truths can cross generations and that faith has the power to transform families forever.

My review:

   I don't read many books that are just romance, but I have always enjoyed Robin Lee Hatcher's books. When I got an invitation to review the book, I jumped on it. I'll say up front I am not a big fan of a book where there are two stories going on - one modern day, and one in the past. I tend to enjoy the modern day one more, and when I read the one in the past, anticipate going back to the modern day one.

  That said, I really did enjoy the whole book. Yes, I enjoyed the modern day parts most...and most of the book did center on it, but I also enjoyed the forays into the past. The story of the past dealt a lot with trusting God in difficult times, forgiveness, and working to keep a marriage together, no matter what.

  Ridley and Jessica's story, the modern day one, also dealt with forgiveness. Ridley is reeling from false accusations of wrong doing that he is innocent of, and is the target of a lot of hate and anger. Jessica is dealing with the death of her daughter and her adulterous husband, while carrying his child. I enjoyed the developing relationship, the interactions between the characters, and the message of the book.

 As for the romance....too many books have a whirlwind romance, but this one was a slow developing one that was more believable and realistic. I love the title of the book, which comes to play at the very end of the book. Slight spoiler - hey you know they get together anyway - Ridley asks Jessica if she is happy, and she replies "Unimaginably so. And you?" He replies, "The same. Only it is more than that. I like who I am with you. I like the man I am because you are part of me." I like that.

 Forgiveness can be difficult, and though this book is fictional, it shows that it is not just necessary to move on and not be bitter, but it is also possible. The book also shows God can work things together and bring good out of bad.

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

About the author:

Robin Lee Hatcher discovered her vocation as a novelist after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writer of America and the winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and numerous other awards and recognitions, Robin is the author of over 75 novels/novellas. Her books have been translated into Dutch, French, and Chinese (to name a few).

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. She and her husband make their home outside of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon puppy named Boo and a persnickety tuxedo cat named Pinky. Join her on her Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/robinleehatcher) and/or Twitter and/or her website & blog.

Who I Am With You is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Monday, November 5, 2018

In Too Deep, Dive Team Investigations #2 by Lynn H Blackburn

Book description:

How do you choose between loyalty and the truth?

When the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team is called in to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren't prepared to find an encrypted laptop--or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant. 

Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming to recover the files from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes. When evidence implicates members of Adam's own family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case. 

The truth could set hundreds free--but someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets. 

My review: 

 My favorite genre' to read is Christian suspense, and that means I have read a lot of it. I can honestly say this author is one of the best I have read. I was wowed with the first book, and the wowing continued in book 2.

 I enjoy a series of books where the same main characters are in the whole series, but each book centers on a different person in each book. This series revolves around 4 members of a dive team of investigators, who do most of  their work on land, but obviously diving is part of their work.

 Book 1 centered on Ryan, and book 2 on Adam. It is normal to have a favorite character in a series, and I was hoping book 2 would center on Gabe....the one who has the funniest lines in the book, and was disappointed when that didn't happen.....but how wrong I was to be disappointed. Though it didn't seem to me that Adam was much of an interesting character in book 1, that was proven wrong in this book. I came to like him and Sabrina very well throughout the book, though the author has created some great and likable characters besides them.

 This may be a slight spoiler, but isn't anything that will ruin the book: the main plot of the book revolves around human trafficking. Though the book and accounts of it are fictional, the reality that it exists in our country is not fiction. Though it is sad to read even of fictional accounts of it, it does one good to be reminded there is such evil in the world, and even in our own country.

 In Too Deep was full of suspense, drama, romance, and humor. I may have mentioned it in the review for the first book, but Blackburn is a master at the banter between her characters, and I was laughing out loud a lot throughout the book. The romance part.... I may be a bachelor for life, but I am a romantic, so I usually enjoy that part of romantic suspense, and this one was done very well. It is refreshing to read a book where there is no whirlwind romance that ends with a marriage at the end of the book. In this case, the couple had known each other for 2 years, and just had never acted on their mutual attractions.

 I like to figure things out in a suspense novel, yet I also enjoy surprises.... and the book had plenty of those. A lot happened that I didn't see happen, and the motives for things were a surprise also.

 I enjoy police procedure and crime investigation, and though I am no expert, Blackburn's description of those were not only interesting, but seemed like what would actually happen.

 This was truly an great read from start to finish, and had a very awesome ending. It may be better than the book it follows. It definitely left me wanting to read more in this series, and more from this author.

 My copy of In Too Deep was given to me in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

About the author:

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the Surface, Hidden Legacy, and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She's passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don't make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children.

In Too Deep is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell and the author for the review copy of In Too Deep.

I recommend this book, and the book it follows.....Beneath The Surface..... and they should be read in order.