Friday, June 24, 2022

Season of My Enemy by Naomi Musch

Book description:


 Only last year, Fannie O’Brien was considered a beauty with a brain, and her future shone bright, despite the war pounding Europe. With her father’s sudden death and her brothers overseas, Fannie must now do the work of three men on their 200-acre farm—until eight German prisoners arrive and, just as Fannie feared, trouble comes too. Someone seems intent on causing “accidents,” and Fannie is certain the culprit is one of the two handsome older Germans—or possibly both. Can she manage the farm, keep the prisoners in line, and hold her family together through these turbulent times?


My Review:

    This was a new author to me, never even hearing of her before to my knowledge. The book description intrigued me enough that I requested it to review.

    This was a slower paced book than I usually read, and it did take me a while to get into it. Once I did catch my interest more, I was able to get into it and enjoy it. The setting for the book was a great one: a busy Wisconsin farm, and the author came up with some great and likable characters....American and German.

  Not only is the book interesting for entertainment value, but it really brought home the realities of being around the enemy, and how Christians still need to abstain from hate when it involves people from a country they are at war with.

  The feelings of different characters are all over the map throughout the book. Fannie is totally against the idea of using German POW's to help out on the farm, and has severely intense feelings against them. Her feelings go back and forth some throughout the book. Some of the German soldiers hate Americans and having to work for them, while others were unwilling participants in their country's war, and were thankful for the chance to get out of the prison camp and work. 

 I feel the author did a great job of portraying the struggle in different characters on both sides of the war to forgive and not hate.

 The relationship between Fannie and Wolf was a long slow process, and I will not say how that ended....but I was happy with the ending of the book, and did enjoy reading the book. I am already looking at the author's other books, and am considering reading The Love Coward next.

 After I finished the book, I Googled what happened in the book. We did indeed have prison camps in the US for German soldiers, and they were used to work for pay outside of the camps. There were very strict rules on how they were treated.

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


About the author:


Naomi loves stories rich in American history, but occasionally writes in other genres as well. She pens stories from the pristine north woods, where she and her husband live as epically as God allows near


their five adult children and passel of grandchildren. She has worked as an editor for a small press, a staff writer for an EPA award-winning newspaper, a ghost writer, and has published dozens of magazine and internet articles for the encouragement of homeschooling families and young writers. Naomi is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Lake Superior Writers, and the Wisconsin Writers' Association. She loves engaging with others and always discovering kernels of a new story. She is available for speaking and book groups. Her newest novel is Mist O'er the Voyageur, and she anticipates re-releasing several of her back-list novels in 2019.

Connect with her through her website: http://www.naomimusch.com

FB: Naomi Musch - Author

Twitter: NMusch

  Season of My Enemy is available from Barbour Publishing.

Thanks to Barbour for the review copy.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Elysium Tide by James Hannibal


Book description:

Dr. Peter Chesterfield is the top neurosurgeon at the Royal London Hospital. He's also a workaholic, and after a blow-up with a colleague, his boss orders him to attend a medical symposium at the luxurious Elysium Grand on the island of Maui. During a midnight walk on the beach, Peter pulls a woman with a skull fracture from the water. Despite all his skill, she dies in his arms, leaving him with only one clue to what happened to her: the word "honu."

Obsessed with finding the cause of his patient's death--discovering what or who ripped the power over life and death from his surgeon's hands--Peter becomes entangled in an ongoing investigation. He also becomes a source of deep irritation to detective Lisa Kealoha, who has jurisdiction over the case.

The reluctant pair join forces, diving deep into Maui's evolving gang culture, and unearth a conspiracy that runs deeper than either could have imagined. Knowing too much is deadly--and they must catch the killer before the killer catches them.

My review:

  I have been a fan of James Hannibal's books since I read his squeaky clean and curse free Nick Baron books written for the secular market. I was excited when he began writing for the Christian market, and have devoured every book he has written since. He is one of the most interesting authors when it comes to his personal life that I have read. (Read his bio!)

 And every book he writes is different. Elysium Tide is kind of a whodunnit, with the police detective trying to figure that out with the help of Peter.

 Peter is the character who made the book. At the start of the book, he wasn't very likable, and was basically a jerk. Fortunately, he becomes more likable as the book progresses, and is somewhat amusing with his unwanted help he keeps giving Detective Kealoha.

 The plot is an excellent one. Everything is tied together, and there are plenty of bad guys. This is the second book in a few months that had a lot of Hawaiian customs and words used, and I found that interesting as it played into how Lisa had to approach working on the case.

  Elysium Tide was a faster paced book than some Hannibal has written, and that made it a definite read in one sitting book for me. Once I started it, I kept at it, happy I could read it and not have to put it down. The exploits of Peter as he determinedly helped work the case kept me on the edge of my seat until the satisfying ending.

  There were a couple of loose ends, in my opinion. I won't give any spoilers, but I expected more on the spiritual aspect for Peter, and was hoping for a romantic angle. The book still had a great ending, and James Hannibal can add this to another of his great works of Christian fiction. Hopefully he writes many more.

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


About the author:


James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. This former stealth pilot from Houston, Texas, has been shot at, locked up with surface-to-air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a three-time Silver Falchion Award winner for his children's mysteries, and a Carol and Selah Award winner for The Gryphon Heist and Chasing the White Lion. His latest spy thriller is The Paris Betrayal. James is a rare multisense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells, and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment. Connect with James at www.jamesrhannibal.com.

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

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.


Also available by James Hannibal from Revell Publishing:











Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Sunburst, Sky King Ranch #2 by Susan May Warren


Book description: 

When former Navy SEAL and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt from terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others. And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he'll need Noemi's help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding--which would bind Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, the trouble they're fleeing has found them--again. It's clear anyone around Noemi is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her potential new husband.

She'll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

My review:

     This is probably the most anticipated book of this year for me. It isn't just because Warren is such a great author, but she ended the first book with a major cliffhanger to set up this book. I have very eagerly waiting for this book to come out, often thinking "how could she do that to her readers?!"

   The wait was definitely worth it. This was mostly a fast paced read, with at least half of it taking place in Nigeria. I learned a lot about Nigerian customs and food, and I will say if it came down to dying or eating some of it - i.e. a fish head - I might choose dying. 

   Book #1 featured Dodge, and this book features the second of the triplets: Ranger. This book also brings all three brothers together for the first time in ten years, and they are a force to be reckoned with.

  Sunburst is classified as a contemporary romance, but it is definitely more of a suspense novel with all that goes on in the book: Muslim kidnappers/terrorists, Russian bad guys, several narrow escapes, hospital visits, and more. And of course romance. Ranger and Noemi were such an awesome team and couple, though it took pretty much the whole book for them to admit it, which just made the story all the more entertaining.

   I waited until I could read Sunburst uninterrupted, and finished it in almost one sitting - took my three nephews out to lunch - then it was back to Ranger and Noemi. It was definitely hard to put down.

  In addition to a great story, the author hit on themes of trusting God, and of God truly seeing us and caring about us. Those points gotten across in a very non-preaching way.

 The book had an awesome satisfying ending worthy of such an awesome read, and then the author set up the next book with another cliffhanger. I am definitely looking forward to the third and final book, Colt's story.

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 nearly 90 novels with more than 1.5 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.

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

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

 

                                                                          Book #1



Book #3, Coming November 2022





Friday, May 27, 2022

In Honor's Defense, Hanger's Horsemen #3 by Karen Witemeyer

Book description:

 He's Faced Countless Perils on the Battlefield, but Nothing so Dangerous as Falling in Love.

Luke Davenport has been fighting all his life--for respect, for country, and for those unable to fight for themselves. But now that his Horsemen brothers are domesticated, he's left alone to battle the wildness within. When an opportunity arises to take a job on his own, tracking down a group of rustlers, he jumps at the chance.

Damaris Baxter has mastered the art of invisibility. Plain and quiet, she hides in books and needlework, content to be overlooked. Until her brother dies suddenly, leaving her custody of her nephew. She moves to Texas to care for Nathaniel, determined to create the family for herself that she never thought she'd have and to give him the family he desperately needs.

When Nate finds himself knee-deep in trouble, Luke's attempt to protect him leaves Damaris feeling indebted to the Horseman. But suspicions grow regarding the mysterious death of Damaris's brother. And the more questions they ask, the more danger appears, threatening the family Luke may be unable to live without.

My review:
 I ran onto this author's books last June when she popped up as a similar author to one I had been reading. I read The Short Straw Bride, bought all of her books in print, and have read everything she has written since.

 This series is her best writing yet, in my not so humble opinion. I loved the first two books, and was eagerly awaiting this third one, and it completely bypassed my expectations. In Honor's Defense is definitely the best of this great series, and it will be a challenge for the author to top it with her next book/series......but I believe she is up to the task.

   I loved the characters in this book:


 Damaris: quiet and unassuming, faithfully taking care of an aunt who didn't appreciate her at all....then suddenly moving and taking custody of her 14 year old nephew who was not at all the loving little boy she had met years ago. I like books with kids in. They make a book all the more interesting, and rebellious Nate definitely made the story more interesting.

Luke: the only one of the horsemen single and unattached, determined to always do the right thing....even if it is helping a young woman with her bratty nephew, and risking his life to save the life of that nephew.

Nate: the bratty nephew, yet a grief stricken teenager who lost both of his parents, and now is stuck with an aunt he hardly knows. An aunt he pulls all sorts of pranks on involving snakes, locking her in the cellar, and more. Yet, he is just as likable as the other two main characters.

  My first love in reading has always been suspense/mystery starting with Hardy Boys books. This is classified as Christian Historical Fiction, yet has a lot of suspenseful aspects to make me enjoy the story all the more: bad guys, rustlers, things happening to try to scare Damaris into selling her nephew's birthright....and more. In Honor's Defense was truly a hard book to set down, so it is good that I read it when I could read it through to the end and not set it down.

  The book did not just entertain, but had some great truths in it about trusting God and more. One of the parts of the book that stood out to me was a conversation between Luke and Damaris. She told him that he is a good man, and he replied that if she knew who he really was, she wouldn't say that. So she asked him "Then tell me who you are? Really?"

 Luke starts telling her about his past, and she interrupted him at one point with "I didn't ask you to tell me who you were, Luke. I asked you to tell me who you are." I won't expound on that, but it is a great quote and has a lot of truth in it.

  The book had a great ending.....does the guy get the girl? I won't give spoilers away, but will say that Nate was a totally different person by the end of the book, but maybe they all were. 

 I am not exaggerating when I say this was a totally awesome book, and it was worth the wait. I am looking forward to what this author comes up with next.

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


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.

  The Hanger's Horsemen Series is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group. In Honor's Defense will be available June 7 2022.

                                                               Book #1


                                                                           Book #2




Thursday, April 28, 2022

Fatal Code, The SNAP Agency #2 by Natalie Walters


Book description: 

In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession--and a target on her back.

SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she's his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.

As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. And with danger closing in on all sides, Elinor will have to trust the man who has been spying on her to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands--and she stays alive.

My review:
   This is only the second series by this author, and she has definitely become a favorite. Her first series, Harbored Secrets was a great series. This series is totally different, but just as great as the first. I enjoy a series that has a team that works together and has a different team member featured in each book, and this series has that.

   Fatal Code is not one of those fast page turners with chases, shootings, and on your edge suspense. It is a slow moving suspense novel with a lot of technical jargon, and trying to figure out who the bad guys are, and how to stop them. That does not mean it is not a great read, for it definitely is.

  This book centers on Kekoa, the Hawaiian member of the team who is their technical guru. He is hilarious,  I learned a lot about Hawaiian foods and culture - and not all of those foods sounded like anything I wanted to try....like a hamburger patty smothered in gravy tucked into a bed of rice and a fried egg....no thanks. :)

  There is a lot of technical and computer terms throughout the book with the two main characters being computer and code experts, but the author did it in a way that didn't cause my eyes to glaze over or cause me to skim. I am not saying I understood it all, but it was written in a way that I at least had an idea what was going on and found it interesting.

 As with the first book, the interplay between the team was very entertaining, and had me chuckling throughout the book.

  Even though this was a slower paced book, a lot happened and I had a hard time putting it down, and I did read it in one sitting.

  The book had a great ending, but left me wanting more. Looking forward to the next, and I assume last book, which will feature the last two members of the team who refuse to admit they are interested in each other: Garcia and Layla.

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.


Fatal Code will be available from Revell Publishing on May 3.
Revell is part of the Baker Publishing Company.

  This series is best read in order, including the prequel that shows how the team met and was set up.


                                                                           #0.5



Book #1






 

Monday, April 4, 2022

The Catch, U.S. Marshals #3 by Lisa Harris


Book description:


 Everything hidden is eventually found

After a harrowing attempt on a judge's life at the courthouse, Deputy US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are tasked with finding a missing woman and an endangered child in connection to the murder of the judge's wife. What seems like a fairly straightforward case becomes hopelessly tangled when the marshals discover that the woman they are searching for is not who they think she is.

Madison and Jonas are forced into a race to find the woman and the child before the people who want her dead discover her location. And in a final showdown that could cost her everything, Madison will come face-to-face with the person who murdered her husband.

My review:

   This has to be my most anticipated book of 2022. This trilogy is different than most as in it is about the same two characters throughout all three books, and one continuing case, though there are others solved. 

  Before book #1, Madison's husband was murdered. Slight spoiler: the same person shot her at the end of the same book. Throughout the other two books, she has been trying to remember who shot her, while also trying to solve her husband's murder five years ago.

  This book finally clears that all up, while bring a new case their way.

  The Catch is the best of the three books, in my option. Of course, everything finally got tied up and solved, so that plays into it. The book definitely had a lot going on: chases, kidnapping, shootings, murders....and it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and reading until I finished it.

  Another different thing about this series: there was definitely romantic interest between the two main characters, but - slight spoiler: it was a slow kind that didn't really come to much until the last book. In fact, I don't think they kissed until this book. That was kind of refreshing. I like romance in books, but it was not the main focus on this series.

  The Catch did have some surprises. I thought something happened one way, but it didn't. I thought the guilty party of one murder was one person, but was wrong....and one guy was a bad guy but I did not realize it. All in all, this was an awesome series, and ended with this awesome ending to it. Harris has steadily been getting better and better with each book and series, but she knocked it out of the park with this one.

 This trilogy definitely needs to 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 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 Catch is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

                                                                          Book #1


Book #2



Friday, March 11, 2022

The Prince and the Prodigal by Jill Eileen Smith

Book description:

 Two brothers. One betrayal.

The patriarch Jacob has made it no secret that young Joseph is his favorite son. Growing up as the pampered heir to his father's legacy, Joseph thrives under the praise of his father but struggles with the disdain of his older brothers, especially Judah. When a chance comes along to rid themselves of Joseph, his brothers sell him to slave traders and deceive their father about his fate.

Joseph, now serving the captain of Pharaoh's palace guard, is imprisoned after being falsely accused of rape. Back home, Judah leaves his father and builds a new life in Canaan, attempting to flee the memory of his complicity in the betrayal of his younger brother.

Decades later, the brothers will come face-to-face, and this time Joseph has the upper hand. Will forgiveness or vengeance win the day?

My review:
   I don't read much Biblical fiction, but this book grabbed my attention. The story of Joseph is one of the best Bible stories, and the cover of the book is very eye catching.

 As is often the case with Biblical fiction, the author brought out things in a new way and even helped me see aspects of the story that I had not considered before, and brought out insights one may not consider while reading the story in the Bible. Sure, it is Biblical fiction, so  the author did take some liberties, but she did no harm to the original Bible story. 

  The thing with Biblical fiction: you know what is going to happen....yet the author wrote the book in such a way that it was fresh and still exciting. 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:


Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of the biblical fiction series The Wives of King David, Wives of the Patriarchs, and Daughters of the Promised Land, as well as The Heart of a King, Star of Persia: Esther's Story, and Miriam's Song. She is also the author of the nonfiction books When Life Doesn't Match Your Dreams and She Walked Before Us. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.

  

The Prince and the Prodigal are available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.