Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Sunrise, Sky King Ranch #1 by Susan May Warren

Book description:


 Coming home was never the plan

After a terrible family fight, pilot Dodge Kingston left home to join the Air Force. A decade later, he's headed back to the destiny that awaits him as heir to Sky King Ranch. But that's not all that's waiting for him at home.

Echo Yazzie is a true Alaskan woman--a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. After her childhood best friend and former flame, Dodge, fled Denali, she settled into life on the Alaskan range. She's made her peace with being left behind--by her mother and by Dodge. And she's strong enough to live without them.

When one of Echo's fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. What she doesn't know is that there are more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

As Dodge sets out to find Echo, he can't ignore the feelings he still has for her. But will he be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?

My review:

   I just started reading Susan May Warren's books in the last couple of years, and have enjoyed everything I have read by her. I was excited to see a new series by her to start the new year.

 Two things to know:
#1 There will be three books, all releasing this year. 
#2 The books are about triplet brothers, with each book being about one of the brothers: Dodge, Colt, and Ranger

  Awesome gets thrown around a lot, but this book was an awesome read. I loved the characters: Dodge, holding on to anger and unforgiveness towards one of his brothers and his dad, neither of whom he had seen for 10 years. Echo, loving a man who had left her 10 years ago, and she struggling to forgive her mother.

 This is not what I would call a mystery/suspense novel, yet the book is full of drama and suspenseful situations: poachers, a lost woman, stressful landings of planes, and more. Warren does an excellent job of describing the area of Alaska the book is set in, and weaves a great story around the characters and setting. I did find the book difficult to put down once I started reading it, and fortunately had the time free to read it in one setting.

 The book is categorized as a contemporary romance, and that has a big part of the story.

 The theme of forgiveness plays a big part in the story, and some great truths are brought in on that subject.

  There was a very satisfying end to the book, and then you turn the page and it says "what comes next". The author sets the stage for the next book, and leaves you dangling over a cliff with what is a major cliffhanger, and makes you wish the second book was out already. 

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 85 novels with more than 1

million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series, as well as Sunrise and Sunburst. 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.
   

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

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

                                                   Coming June 2022, Ranger's story


Monday, January 3, 2022

Life Flight, Extreme Measures #1 by Lynette Eason

Book description:


 EMS helicopter pilot Penny Carlton is used to high stress situations, but being forced to land on a mountain in a raging storm with a critical patient--and a serial killer on the loose--tests her skills and her nerve to the limit. She survives with FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield's help. But she's not out of the woods yet.

In the ensuing days, Penny finds herself under attack. And when news reaches Holt that he may not have gotten his man after all, it will take all he and Penny have to catch a killer--before he catches one of them.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lynette Eason is back with another high-octane tale of close calls, narrow escapes, and the fight to bring a nefarious criminal to justice.

My review:

   Lynette Eason never disappoints, and I am always excited to see a new book and series coming out by her. I have read all of her Revell books and loved them, and read all, or most of her Love Inspired books and also loved them. To review this book was a no-brainer.

  The book does not slowly go into the drama and suspense these books have. It launches immediately into it on page one with a life flight in trouble, then a forced landing, and a serial killer on the loose.

  There was a lot going on in this book, and everything was pretty much non-stop action, drama, and suspense. There were some things I did not see coming at all -  especially in regards to the serial killer - and there was one thing I did see coming in regards to a criminal towards the end of the book, I am kind of proud to say.

  Both main characters were extremely likable, and Eason did something that is not quite the normal for romantic suspense novels: the two main characters were already dating when the book began, and did not meet, fall in love, and get married while dodging bullets...not that there is anything wrong with that. It was just a good kind of different that the hero and heroine were already involved, and made the romance angle all  the more interesting and believable. 

  This was a read in one sitting book, if you can make the time......and I did. The idea of Life Flights has always intrigued me, so that made a great story all the more interesting to me. And of course the serial killer stalker ramped up the suspense. Life Flight is definitely a great start to a new series that promises to be standard setting Christian suspense. 

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 Life Flight and 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.


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

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.


Coming August 2022: Crossfire, #2 in the Extreme Measures Series




Saturday, December 11, 2021

Crosshairs, Natchez Trace Series #3 by Patricia Bradley


Book description:


 When evil just won't quit, good must prevail

Investigative Services Branch ranger Ainsley Beaumont wishes the visit to her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, was under better circumstances. When she arrived to investigate the murder of a pregnant teenager, she never imagined that she would become the killer's next target--or that she'd have to work alongside an old flame.

After he almost killed a child, former FBI sniper Lincoln Steele couldn't bring himself to fire a gun, which had deadly consequences for his best friend. Crushed beneath a load of guilt, Linc is working at Melrose Estate as an interpretive ranger. But as danger closes in on Ainsley during her murder investigation, Linc will have to find the courage to protect her.

The only question is, will it be too little, too late?

My review:

    This author is one who became a favorite when I read her first book. To be honest, it took me a while to get into this one. I started it, and read a few chapters, and  didn't get back to it til a couple of weeks later. That is likely just me, as I have never had that problem before with her books, and had no problem getting into it after that. It did seem to have a somewhat slow start though.

  Once I got past the first few chapters, the book really picked up, and I read the rest of it in one evening. There was a lot happening, and a lot of suspense....and more than one bad guy, which becomes evident fairly early in the book.

 Topics of fear, forgiveness, regret, and guilt are dealt with in addition to the suspense and drama. 

 The identity of the bad guys is kept a secret and really had me guessing, and I was totally surprised at the identity of one, which brought a couple other surprises with that revealing.

 Once I got past the first few chapters - which may have been just me - the book was another awesome read from this great author.

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 Standoff, Obsession, and Crosshairs, as well as the Memphis Cold


Case novels and 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; she was a Carol Award finalist; and three of her books were included in anthologies that debuted on the USA Today bestseller list. She is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc., and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Sisters in Crime. Bradley makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at www.ptbradley.com.

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

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

                                                                        Book #1


 
                                                                           Book #2


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Lights Out, The SNAP Agency #1 by Natalie Walters

 


Book description:

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.

My review:

   Natalie Walters is still a fairly new author, having just one trilogy published before this series....and it was a great series.

 If this book is any indication, she is just getting better. It was a truly great read, and has all the ingredients to make it that great read:

Plot: A very current and danger is terrorism, and in this book: terrorists targeting the power grids of the USA. 

Characters: Walters created some awesome characters for the SNAP team, all of them totally different and all very likable. Kekoa, a huge Hawiian, the "size of a mini van" is hilarious and makes everything more interesting. (He gets his own story coming out in May). Jack, the main character of this story, is more serious and just as likable. 

Suspense: There is a lot going on in this book, and it kept me on the edge of my seat reading as fast as I could. Knowing this fiction could happen some day (hope not!), made it all the more of an interesting and suspenseful read. 

Romance: This is the third book I have read recently that had two main characters who had previously been in a relationship. I like that.

   I am no expert on the ins and outs of procedures of law enforcement, but it seems the author did a lot of research and did a great job describing tech stuff and such procedures that make sense and were still interesting.

  I definitely recommend this book, and am looking forward to the other books in the series. 

 The author wrote a novella that is a prequel to the series, and it tells how the SNAP team became a team, and how each team member was recruited. I recommend reading it first. It is available in paperback or e-book.

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


About the author:


Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with her family, and connecting with readers on Instagram and Facebook. Learn more at www.nataliewalterswriter.com.

  Lights Out is available from Revell Publishing.

 Thanks to Revell for the review copy.


                                                                 Prequel



Book #2, coming May 2022





                                                       Harbored Secrets, 1-3





Saturday, November 6, 2021

The Thin Space by Dann A Stouten

 


Book description:

When Psychologist Rocky Devos lost his wife to cancer, he also lost his faith in the fairness of God. For over a year, he lived in the thin space between his love for God and his hatred for what he believed God did. Each night, he banged on heaven’s gate demanding an explanation.

“Why Rachel, Lord? Why would you let her suffer like that? Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you give us a miracle?”

The longer his prayers went unanswered the more frustrated he became. Eventually, he meets God’s silence with a silence of his own. But then, a year and four months later, the answer arrives disguised as a homeless vagabond who claims to be the apostle Paul. Clearly, Rocky believes he was delusional. But in their court-appointed sessions, he finds a kindred spirit. As Paul unpacks the pain of losing his wife in childbirth the two men connect. Rocky believes he’s there to help Paul. Paul believes the opposite.

The book explores the thin space between faith and doubt. Rocky’s questions are our questions. At some point we will all lose someone we love. When we do, we will find comfort in the company of those who have walked the path of suffering before us. Rocky invites us to join him on his journey of redemption. His conversations with Paul will not only change the way he thinks about God, they may do the same for you as well.

My review:

  I read and reviewed the author's first book eight years ago, The Gate. It has been compared to The Shack (a book I hate), but I feel it is nothing like that book, and I really enjoyed it.

 The Thin Space is different, but still an engaging read. The main character is a psychologist who had lost his wife around a year ago, and was still struggling with that and with his faith because of that. He begins counseling a man who thinks he is the Apostle Paul. The author never quite says so, but the idea that I got was that the man wasn't crazy, but actually was the Apostle Paul....but I could be wrong. :)

  It is an interesting and easy read. There is a lot of back and forth between Paul and Rocky, and there is a lot of great truths and theology in those conversations. There is also a lot of background about the Apostle Paul, most of which I knew, but it was still interesting to get a refresher on Paul and his past and his exploits after encountering Jesus.

 A book such as this is not just well written Christian fiction, but is also a book that could help people who are struggling with their faith, especially due to a loss in their life. The author gets a lot of great truths across in a non-preachy way using the medium of Christian fiction.

  The Thin Space is a great read with the possibilities of helping people who are questioning God because of loss or other bad things in their life.

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


About the author:

Dr. Dann Stouten is the Pastor of Leadership and Teaching at Christ Memorial Church in


Holland, MI. Prior to that he was the Regional Coordinator of Development for the Reformed Church in America. He was also the senior pastor at Community Reformed Church in Zeeland, Michigan. While Dann was leading Community, the church was one of the fastest growing churches in West Michigan.

Dann works with churches to help them assess their current reality, discover their preferred future, and develop a pathway to realize their objectives. His goal is to outfit the church to influence the world for Jesus Christ.

Dann is the author of The Gate: A Novel (Revell 2013), The Thin Space: Where Faith and Doubt Collide (2021), and he has written the Illustration/Application portion of the Teach the Text commentary series (Baker Books 2016).

The Thin Space is available from Elk Lake Publishing.




Lost In Darkness by Michelle Griep

Book description:


 Even if there be monsters, there is none so fierce as that which resides in man’s own heart.

Enchanting Regency-Era Gothic Romance Intertwined with Inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein  


Travel writer Amelia Balfour’s dream of touring Egypt is halted when she receives news of a revolutionary new surgery for her grotesquely disfigured brother. This could change everything, and it does. . .in the worst possible way.

Surgeon Graham Lambert has suspicions about the doctor he’s gone into practice with, but he can’t stop him from operating on Amelia’s brother. Will he be too late to prevent the man’s death? Or to reveal his true feelings for Amelia before she sails to Cairo?

My review:

   This was the first book that I have read by this author. Her Thief of Blackfriar's Lane has intrigued me, but I never read it.

  Lost In Darkness was.....different. The gothic part of the book description should have clued me in. I didn't love it, but I didn't really dislike it either....if that makes sense.

  I did like the three main characters. Graham was somewhat of a lost soul at first, yet committed to doing the right thing no matter what. Amelia set aside her career plans to help the brother she hadn't seen in seven years. Colin, her brother, was a very likable character that you can't help feeling sorry for and wishing....well, no spoilers. I do wish the author had done a better job of describing his deformities.

 Doctor Peckwood was a most unlikable character who got more and more unlikable the further in the book I got.

  The plot was decent, as was the setting. I had some difficulty getting into the book at first, but it got easier after a while. I thought the overall feel of the book was a bit depressing, though the book did have a happy ending.

  This isn't a book I would recommend, except maybe to someone who does enjoy gothic reads....yet I still am interested in checking out other books by this author.

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


About the author:


Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild).

On the Web: www.michellegriep.com

Lost In Darkness is available from Barbour Publishing.

Thanks to Barbour for the review copy.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Labyrinth of Lies, Triple Threat #2 by Irene Hannon

Book description:

 Danger awaits on a covert mission where few are who they seem to be

When the daughter of a high-profile businessman disappears from an exclusive girls' boarding school, police detective Cate Reilly is tapped for an undercover assignment. It doesn't take her long to realize that beneath its veneer of polish and wealth, Ivy Hill Academy harbors dark--and deadly--secrets. But the biggest shock of all? The only man she ever loved is also working at the school.

Zeke Sloan has never forgotten Cate, but now isn't the best time for their paths to cross again. When their two seemingly disparate agendas begin to intertwine--and startling connections emerge among the players--the danger escalates significantly.

But who is the mastermind behind the elaborate ruse? And how far will they go to protect their house of cards?

My review:

    Irene Hannon has been a favorite author of mine for the last 12 or so years that I have been reading her books. She is an author who seems to get better with each book and series she writes. This book is a great example.

  The author came up with a great plot, setting, and cast of characters for this book. The setting of an expensive girl's boarding school made for a very interesting and different setting, and perfect for two different people working undercover for two different branches of law enforcement. It becomes obvious fairly early that the disappearance of a young girl that Cate is investigating has something to do with the drug smuggling that Zeke is investigating.

  It is an exciting suspenseful read, made all the more suspenseful as the two main characters have to work at maintaining their covers, she as a student and he as a Spanish teacher. To make it more difficult, Cate and Zeke have to pull off meeting to compare notes. (And the idea of a 33 year old female going undercover as a 17 year old girl is not that far out. Teens on TV and in movies are often played by people in their 20's and up.)

  As in another book I read recently by a different author, the couple in this novel had previously been in a relationship together, which does make the romantic angle more believable. Zeke was much more interested in reviving that relationship than Cate was, and I was rooting for him. :)

  There have been Irene Hannon books that had more action, but this was definitely one of the more mysterious and intriguing ones. I loved it, and couldn't put it down once I started it.

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 and award-winning author of more than sixty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. In addition to her many other honors, she is a three-time winner of the prestigious RITA Award from Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of RWA's elite Hall of Fame and has received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

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


                                                               Book #1