Friday, October 8, 2021

Since You've Been Gone by Tari Faris


Book description:

With her vision and his know-how, this thing just might work . . .


Leah Williams is back in the quaint town of Heritage, Michigan, and ready to try again to make her business a success. But blank slates are hard to come by, and a piece of her past is waiting for her there. Heir to the Heritage Fruits company, Jonathan Kensington is the guy who not only made Leah's past difficult, but he also seems determined to complicate her present as well.

In order to avoid forcing a buyout of Leah's building, Jon will have to strike a compromise. Can the two of them work together? Or will their troubled past set the tone for their future?


My review:

   I rarely review books that are contemporary romances, but this one sounded good, and I like to try out new authors.

  This is actually the third book in a series, and characters from the previous two books along with references to events appear in this one.

  I did enjoy the book, enough that I will most likely read the first two at some point. The setting and the idea of restoring heritage.

  There was some bouncing back and forth between something that happened between the two main characters six months ago and the present, and that was a bit distracting to me from the main plot of the book......but that is a personal observation.

 The two main characters were both likable, though at times I wanted to smack them both and tell them to get on with it.......

 I typically read suspense novels, but there is a bit of suspense in any book of this kind. You know the couple is going to get together eventually, but it is fun waiting it out til it happens and how it happens.

 This was a fun and enjoyable read, and I recommend to anyone looking for a bit of a lighter read. 

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


About the author:


Tari Faris is the author of You Belong with Me and Until I Met You. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, she is the projects manager for My Book Therapy, writes for learnhowtowriteanovel.com, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for 25 years. Learn more at TariFaris.com.

 Since You've Been Gone is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.


                                                                            Book #1



Book #2





Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A Deep Divide, Secrets of the Canyon #1 by Kimberly Woodhouse

Book description:
 

With her past behind her, she has nothing--and everything--to lose.

After being kidnapped as a child, heiress Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it. When she discovers her father has offered her up as a bargaining chip to expand his empire, she disappears into the night. Determined to stay hidden, even if it means always looking over her shoulder, she finds herself working as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel.

When Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel on business, he is immediately captivated by the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Though his fame-seeking father aims to lure new investors to the Arizona Territory, Ray dreams of one day taking over the family business and doing good with the profits.

Ray immediately admires Emma Grace, and though an attraction begins to form, she can't let go of the deep-rooted fear that he's just like every other wealthy man she's known. When suspicious activity follows Emma Grace and Ray to the El Tovar, they are pulled into a mystery that stirs up their worst fears. And as shocking revelations come to light, they are left to question all they thought to be true.

My review:

   I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but Kimberly Woodhouse is a favorite author and she does it well. It is obvious she does a lot of research, and I have Googled things in her books before and found them to be accurate. i.e. the El Tovar Hotel the book takes place in and around. Built around the time of this book takes place, the early 1900's, the hotel is still there and operating. 

  A Deep Divide is the first in a series, and was a very enjoyable read. Also a big part of the book is the hotel staffed by Harvey Girls, and it was interesting to learn more about them.

  In addition to a great setting, the book also had great characters and a terrific plot. Emma Grace was a great heroine and a somewhat damsel in distress, struggling with doubts of God and if He cared about her. Ray was also a very likable character with his own struggles about his past mistakes before becoming a Christian.

 Woodhouse does not shy away about putting Christian content in her books, whether she is writing solo or co-writing with Tracy Peterson. The reader will walk away with some sort of encouraging and sometimes convicting message woven through the story, and this book definitely had that.

 The author also usually has some sort of suspense in the plot, not on the edge of your seat, biting fingernails scary, but still suspenseful enough to appeal to  the suspense lover in some of us....and A Deep Divide had an awesome plot with suspense and a kidnapping thrown in that made the book all  the more interesting.

 Romance....I didn't used to like the romance part of these stories much, but that has slowly changed, and this author is one author who changed that as I became a fan of her books. This book of course has a romantic aspect, but slight spoiler: it is a very slow boil. In fact, I was wondering if they ever were going to kiss. (Oh, how I have fallen).

 The book had a great ending - well great all through the book with no boring parts - and also ended with forgiveness and a definite change for the hero and heroine. It left me eager to read more in the series, but book #2 is a whole year away....

 I definitely recommend.

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


About the author:


Kimberley Woodhouse (www.kimberleywoodhouse.com) is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books including The Heart of Alaska series and The Treasures of Nome series. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-nine-plus years have two adult children. She loves the gift of story and is passionate about music and Bible study. You can connect with Kimberley on her website www.kimberleywoodhouse.com.


A Deep Divide is available October 5 from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hostile Intent, Danger Never Sleeps #4 by Lynette Eason


Book description:

 Secrets are about to be revealed . . . but will the guilty be brought to justice?

Ava Jackson entered the military shortly after high school, but her mother's illness has forced her to request an early discharge. She already lost her father while deployed, and there's no way she's going to let her mother die alone. But after a visit to the nursing facility where her mother lives, Ava is attacked walking back to her car. Fortunately, FBI Special Agent Caden Denning arrives in time to help fight off her attacker.

Caden reveals to Ava that she may hold the key to the murders of three families, and he needs her help before anyone else is harmed. The hits show a pattern, and clearly the killer has an agenda. But if Caden and Ava can't discover what it is, Ava may be next on the hit list.


My review:

  I have been a fan of Lynette Eason's books since the first one I read and reviewed ten years ago. She has written six different series for Revell, and each one has been totally different from the others. This series has revolved around mostly characters in the military, or who were formally in the military.

  This last book in the series was a wild ride, and a definite page turner. The plot was very well done. There was a lot going on and no visible connection between murders of whole families, nor was it obvious at first what the heroine of the story had to what was going on. The bad guy's identity also was not obvious for a while.

 I loved the characters in this series, and Caden - the hero of this book - was one of the most likable ones. 

 This is a somewhat difficult review to do without giving what are somewhat spoilers away if I say what the book involved....but it was an awesome read and had a lot of old and new secrets .

  The romance part of the book was very well done, and had its humorous moments, especially since Ava never gave a guy a third date and Caden was determined to have a third date and beyond.

  Hostile Intent was an awesome read, and had a great ending to the book and series that had some of the charters from the other book.

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


About the author: 


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.

                                                                           Book #1

                                                                     

                                                                            Book #2



                                                                           Book #3











Wednesday, August 4, 2021

At Love's Command by Karen Witemeyer

Book description: 


 He's fought through ruthless outlaws and injury. But with her, he's tempted to surrender.

Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger's Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler's bullet leaves one of them at death's door, they're the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she's not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew's dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine's respect, and when her brother is abducted, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

When plans go awry and Josephine is caught in the crossfire, Matthew may have to sacrifice everything--even his team--to save her.

My review:

  I just discovered this author back in May of this year, and loved what I read so much that I have since bought and read all of her books.....including this one. I read it on June 11, and left a brief review on Goodreads. I rarely leave a long review for books I buy and did not receive to review.

 However, with the controversy about the book and the wrong actions of the Romance Writers of America, I felt I should write a review.

  Quick explanation: some whiny people claims the book romanticizes genocide, so after the author received an award for the book, the Romance Writer's of America took the award back to make a whiny minority happy.

  The book starts out with the Cavalry rounding up some Native Americans, but some of the Cavalry started slaughtering them. The 4 main characters of this series tried to stop it, and afterward left the military in disgust at what happened, and formed a group to fight injustice. The book does NOT romanticize genocide, and in fact makes it out to be very, very bad and evil.

 On to the review: I loved the book. The author created 4 very different and likable guys, and the book has a lot of action and romance. It is pretty much a western, but so much better than the westerns I read when I was a lot younger. I thought it sounded good enough, so I pre-ordered the sequel and enjoyed it just as much.....and am looking forward to reading the third and final book when it comes out.

 I highly recommend this book, and the author.....and stand firm against the accusations against it and the actions of the deplorable Romance Writers of America. 


About the author:


Voted #1 Reader's Favorite Christian Romance Author of 2019 by Family Fiction Magazine, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer (www.karenwitemeyer.com) offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. She makes her home in Abilene, Texas, with her husband and three children.


Also available in the Hanger's Horseman Series, #2




Friday, July 23, 2021

The 5-Minute Visual Guide to the Bible by Michael Wittmer

 


Description

Want to read the Bible but find it daunting?

Wish there was a guide to simplify the overall storyline?

Think it would help to “see” the people, places, and events?

 

The 5-Minute Visual Guide to the Bible is designed to make scripture easier to approach. . .and come alive when you do. This brand-new guide keys beautiful, full-color illustrations—classic paintings, landscape and artifact photos, maps and charts—to a helpful chronological time line of God’s Word.


Inside, you’ll find clear, succinct descriptions of

major divisions

events

people

places

doctrines

of God’s Word, along with numerous related references if you’d like to study further.

 

The 5-Minute Visual Guide to the Bible will point you to the most important, interesting, and inspiring aspects of scripture, helping you to get more from your time in God’s Word.

My review:

  I thought this looked like a cool book, so I requested it to review. It is not a huge book, coming in at 294 pages, but there is a lot packed into those pages. It covers from Creation up through Jesus' return, and has a lot of short informational facts about each person or topic.

 The book is also filled with a lot of pictures. There are artists' versions of Bible characters and other things along with a lot of photographs of the Holy Land and other subjects and places. At the end of the book is a few pages of all of the Scriptures referenced and used throughout the book.

  I found the book interesting and informative, and also enjoyable with all of the pictures and photographs. If one knows their Bible very well, this may seem an elementary kind of book, yet even the most knowledgeable Bible scholar should be able to enjoy a book such as this. I found it interesting to have so much of the Bible visualized in the pictures, and it would make a great tool to keep handy when reading and studying the Bible. It is definitely an attractive and far from boring book, and is one I would recommend......especially to new Christians and/or those not too familiar with the Bible.

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

 The 5 Minute Visual Guide to the Bible is available from Barbour Publishing. 

 

 

The Chase, U.S. Marshals #2 by Lisa Harris

Book description:

 Failure isn't an option

US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing--it's time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery gone wrong--and things are about to get complicated.

For these bank robbers, it's never been about the money. It's about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else--someone close to them--gets hurt . . . or worse.


My review:

  Eleven years ago, was the first time I reviewed a book by this author. It was good, and I enjoyed it.....but she has so surpassed that book in recent years to become one of my favorite authors. This series may be her best yet.

 The previous book ended on a cliffhanger, and this book picks up where it left off. This series is different from most Christian suspense series in that it has the same two main characters throughout it, and - slight spoiler - there is no immediate happily ever after that includes a engagement and wedding. The romance factor is there, especially in this book, but it is a slow part of the book that kind of takes a back seat to everything else.

 The Chase is totally different than The Escape. This book involves bank robbers on the run, and the book is filled with non stop action, suspense, and chasing of bad guys. There is also the plot of solving the murder of Madison's husband five years ago that covers all three books in the series.

 I thoroughly enjoyed this book and saved it for an evening I could read without having to put it down. It had a great conclusion to the book, yet left me wanting more and eager to see the five year old murder case solved. I also enjoyed seeing more character development of the two main characters that you don't normally see in a series that has different main characters in each book. I cannot wait for the last book in the series coming April 2022, The Catch.

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


About the author:


Lisa Harris is a USA Today bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than forty books, including The Escape, The Chase, The Traitor's Pawn, Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, as well as The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent over 17 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. She is currently stateside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

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

The books should definitely be read in order.


                                                                 Book #1 The Escape


                                                   Book #3 The Catch, coming April 2022



Friday, June 25, 2021

Before, Jared's Story, Forlorn Series Prequel by Gina Detwiler

Book description:


 Before Jared met Grace, he had lived several lifetimes of heartbreak, struggle, loneliness, and sometimes joy. His father tried to kill him, and his family shunned him for an original sin he didn’t truly understand until he came face to face with true evil and discovered the demon within himself.

Born in the mid-nineteenth century to a family of itinerant circus performers, Jared didn’t understand why his body grew so slowly or why his parents were ashamed of him and tried to hide him from the world. Through the years he discovered more disturbing things about himself—his unusual strength, the way his body healed with remarkable speed, and the “shadow people” who whispered dark and terrible things in his ear. Only music seemed to subdue their wicked urgings, and the prayers of his mother, the one person in his life who had loved him.

He soon came to realize that he was a danger to the world, and it would be better if he left it alone. But the more he tried, the more he was drawn into a whirlwind of darkness and evil from which he couldn’t escape.

My review:
  I have read and reviewed all three books in the Forlorn Series...and enjoyed them, even though they are written for teens. :)

  This is a prequel to the series, and gives the back story on Jared and where he came from before his explosive entrance in the first book in the series.

 Jared is an extremely likable character in the series, and though the series is fictional, it was still cool to have the author come up with a history for him. It makes the other books even more interesting after reading it.

 It was a great and enjoyable read, though shorter than the others, written in the great style that Detwiler used in her other books. As I said before, these books are a great alterative to the vampire and other weird books on the market for teens.

  If one has not read this series yet, I would recommend reading the prequel first. Even though it is a great addition to the series after reading it, it would definitely be a plus to read it first.


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