Sunday, October 01, 2017

My Review - Memphis Cold Case Series Book 1&2


The Memphis Cold Case series by Patricia Bradley will keep you turning page after page. Since I read both JUSTICE DELAYED and JUSTICE BURIED in quick succession, I decided to combine my reviews.
JUSTICE DELAYED - Andi Hollister, TV crime reporter, is always looking for a story. Unfortunately, she has a knack for getting herself into dangerous situations. Andi’s brother, Detective Brad Hollister, and his best friend, Detective Will Kincaide, are constantly after Andi for taking unnecessary risks. Even so, if there’s a riveting story to flesh out, Andi will do whatever it takes to get the exclusive. However, she never thought she would see the day when she would help Will collect evidence to set her sister’s murderer free. She likes Will, even more than she lets on, but doesn’t think he sees her as anything more than Brad’s kid sister.

Detective Will Kincaide has been life-long friends with Andi and Brad Hollister, and is cousin to Jimmy Shelton. Jimmy is awaiting execution for the murder of Stephanie Hollister. Will never believed his cousin was guilty, but since he confessed, there was nothing he could do, until now. New evidence has come to light, and he needs Andi and Brad’s help to find the truth. Unfortunately, his attraction to Andi grows stronger the more they work together.

Once again, Ms. Bradley has penned a riveting story that will captivate readers. The way she weaves the past with the present is seamless and easy to follow. The suspect pool for Stephanie’s murder is deep, so the story keeps you guessing. All the main characters are great. Andi is a gutsy woman trying to forge her own path. Brad is the protective brother trying to keep her safe. And Will is trying to navigate his feelings for Andi without ruining his friendship with Brad. The banter between the three is witty and very entertaining.

JUSTICE BURIED – Kelsey Allen is a security consultant, trying to make a name for herself. She offers to break into prospective clients’ businesses in order to expose their vulnerabilities. Since what she does borders on illegal, few people know what Kelsey does, and the media has dubbed her, The Phantom Hawk. Unfortunately, Kelsey gets caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because of that, one of two things is going to happen. One-she’s going to be the prime suspect in a murder case. Or two – the murderer is going to believe she can identify him. Detective Brad Hollister is investigating two murders that coincide with the antics of The Phantom Hawk. When he finds out that person is Kelsey Allen, he is more than irritated. Of course, his irritation with Kelsey isn’t solely work related. His attraction for her also frustrates him. When it’s obvious someone is after Kelsey, Brad does what he can to keep her safe, but he wonders whether that will be enough.

Like JUSTICE DELAYED, Ms. Bradley’s character development in JUSTICE BURIED is spot on. She creates believable, loveable characters that you can’t help but like. I enjoy books with strong female characters, and Andi Hollister and Kelsey Allen definitely fit the bill. The storyline in each of these books is quite unique. Diamond smugglers and security hackers (because that’s what she really is) adds a fresh composition to Ms. Bradley’s works. I look forward to getting the next installment in The Memphis Cold Case series.

JUSTICE BURIED provided for review purposes.

Monday, September 25, 2017

My Review - Liar's Winter by Cindy K. Sproles

4 out of 5 stars
Like MERCY’s RAIN, LIAR’S WINTER chronicles a difficult time in history and in the life of a little girl.  
Set in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1800s—a time when people grappled to survive—Lochiel Ogle is raised in a dark world of hatred and fear. Literally marked since birth, Lochiel is stolen away from her mother and raised by a family that treats her like she is the plague incarnate. Called the Devil’s child because of the red-wine birthmark on her face, Lochiel is abused physically, emotionally, and psychologically. She is brainwashed into believing she is evil and constantly told she is worthless and has the ability to hex others. When her brother beats her, and leaves her to die, a stranger rescues her. Instantly Lochiel’s world changes. She is treated with kindness and compassion for the first time in her life. Suspicious why strangers would treat her so well, she soon finds out Walton and Edna aren’t strangers at all. What follows is a story of discovery and hope. Lochiel learns of her past and looks forward to a new future. Unfortunately, even with people who love her and want to protect Lochiel, the world might never be a safe place for her. When her life is threatened once again, she must be spirited away to safety.
There are both pros and cons to Ms. Sproles artistic style. Though the writing vernacular is authentic to the time period, it takes some getting used to, and the darkness of the subject matter can weigh heavy on the reader. However, if you can get past those snags, and allow yourself to attach to the characters, the story moves quicker. This isn’t a series I would necessarily recommend to the typical fiction reader. Someone with an interest in the historical value would appreciate the authenticity, but for the average reader, it might be a stumbling block.
Book provided for review purposes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

My Review - Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore

4.5 our of 5 stars

The Line of Duty series is off to a great start with CRISIS SHOT!

Commander Tess O’Rourke has police work in her blood. Following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps, her ultimate goal is to be chief of the Long Beach Police Department. Regrettably, a controversial shooting, and the death of a fourteen-year-old boy, has her sitting on the sidelines. Knowing she did what she was trained to do, and choosing to put her faith in the system, she breathes a sigh of relief when she is cleared of wrong doing by a grand jury. Unfortunately, a venomous blogger who hates cops won’t let the community forget what’s happened. He continues to post inflammatory articles and stirs vengeance in the gang communities. Hating the unrest she sees in the city she loves, Tess decides to resign and remove herself so the city can heal. 
Ending up in Rogue’s Hollow, Oregon, Tess takes the job of chief of police. The title might be what she always wanted, but the department is all of twelve people, including herself, not the eight hundred strong she dreamed of leading one day. Knowing the vote of the city council wasn’t unanimous, Tess knows there are people that don’t necessarily want her in Rogue’s Hollow. Be that as it may, she is their chief, so she puts all her energy into her new position.
Tess isn’t on the job two months when there is a murder. Things get even crazier when one of the townspeople goes missing. What follows is a bizarre twist involving prestigious residents of the Hollow, a bag of money, a homeless woman, a dog, and a kidnapping. The more convoluted the case becomes, the more pressure the mayor puts on Tess to solve the murder before someone else dies. 
I enjoyed CRISIS SHOT as a suspenseful novel, but to me, there wasn’t enough romance in it to garner the label. Everything else was there for sure. There were lots of twists and red herrings for the readers to follow, and great secondary characters that brought the town to life. Tess even felt an attraction for local deputy sheriff, Steve Logan. Even so, what seemed like a mutual interest never really got off the ground. I guess I will have to wait until the next installment in the series to see if the flicker grows into a flame. Even though I was slightly disappointed in the lack of romance, the story itself was great. I thoroughly enjoyed CRISIS SHOT and will keep an eye out for book two in the Line of Duty series.
Book provided for review purposes.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Review - Naomi's Hope

3 out of 5 stars

NAOMI’S HOPE by Jan Drexler was an enjoyable read. The pacing is slow, but the story is charming.
Naomi Schrock has come to terms with her future. Knowing she isn’t overly attractive, and that she’s a single mother to Davey, an orphaned boy, Naomi figures her chances at love and marriage are not to be. Even when Cap Stoltzfus shows up and befriends Davey, Naomi figures his interest is solely in Davey. Though they strike up a friendship, Naomi assumes that is the extent of Cap’s feelings for her.
Cap Stoltzfus is still mourning the death of his wife and child. Settling on property next to the Schrock family, Cap feels an instant attachment to Davey. The young boy is curious, bright, and makes Cap feel alive again. Cap also develops a friendship with Naomi, but they have different opinions when it comes to God and raising Davey, so Cap isn’t sure their relationship will grow deeper than friendship.
As Naomi and Cap navigate their feelings for each other, a stranger shows up in town, causing trouble for Cap and Naomi, and division in the community. Cap knows this man from his past, and expects he’s up to no good. But, never in his wildest dreams would he have guessed the lengths this man would go to, to seek his revenge.
NAOMI’S HOPE is much like other Amish-themed books. There is a situation that challenges the characters commitment to the church and the rules of Ordnung. At times, the story slowed, having more talking than action, and the day’s events became repetitive. I understand the Amish culture is simple, but portraying that simplicity slowed the story down. I did like the characters Ms. Drexler penned. Cap is charming, Naomi is feisty despite her Amish upbringing, and Davey is adorable. The secondary characters rounded out the story well. But, I must say, the actions of Shem Fischer seemed a bit extreme. Overall, NAOMI’S HOPE was still an entertaining story.
I received this book through Revell Reads Blog Tour, and was not required to give a positive review. The review given is my honest opinion of the book. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Review - Weaver's Needle by Robin Caroll

4.5 out of 5 Stars
Landry Parker and Nickolai Baptiste have three things in common. They are both recovery specialists, they both have been hired to recover a stolen map that leads to a legendary gold mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, and they both distrust each other. A lot.
Landry Parker is a better recovery specialist then she is a business woman. Needing the payoff from this case to get her business solvent again, she’s beyond frustrated when she finds out Nickolai has also been hired to find the map.
Nickolai Baptiste, a former police officer, debates the wisdom of taking a case that is still an active police investigation. But, needing the extra income to pay for his sister’s special therapy, he decides to take the case. Knowing Landry has no intentions of backing down, fortifies his determination as well.
As both Landry and Nickolai work their investigations, they each find clues the police and each other have overlooked. But, when someone threatens Landry, Nickolai’s defenses go on full alert. Deciding that working together would be safer, Landry and Nickolai team up. Navigating personal threats, Indian folklore, and a near tragedy, Landry and Nickolai’s feelings for each other turn personal. As their attraction for each other grows, they piece together their clues. But is it too late?
I really enjoyed WEAVER’S NEEDLE. This is the first book I’ve read from author Robin Carroll, and I will definitely be looking for more. Landry and Nickolai were great characters, made even more attractive by their love for their family. I liked them as individuals, but so much more as a couple. The story definitely had some unique twists due to the superstitions surrounding the map at its rumored fortune. The ending was definitely unexpected. It left me wondering what was truth and what was Landry’s imagination. Good characters. Good story. Good read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

My Review - When Angels Cry by MaryLu Tyndall

5 out of 5 stars
WHEN ANGELS CRY is an amazing story. Fiction . . . yes, but profoundly prophetic.

Angelica (Angel) Smoke has been marked by God to be a messenger to the last person on earth she wants to interact with. Daniel Cain, a prominent preacher, just so happens to be her ex-boyfriend. They were an item when Daniel was a seminary student, and she was a cocktail waitress. Despite their difference, they fell in love and planned to marry. Unfortunately, an argument led to their break-up, and forced them to go their separate ways. Twelve years later, Angel is a single mother, still working as a cocktail waitress in order to make ends meet, and loves the Lord with all her heart. She hates her job, but has no choice. The world is an ugly place that has outlawed the Bible, evangelizing, and hunts down those who don’t obey the law. Angel continues to tell others about Jesus—even as she serves them liquor—because she is confident God will protect her as she tries to be a witness and messenger of His. With a message given to her by God, Angel goes to see Daniel. When she confronts him with God’s message, he doesn’t even recognize her, which is fine with Angel. She did what God asked, and now she can move on with her life. Or so she thinks.

Daniel Cain is a very successive preacher of a mega-church in Florida. His good looks, charisma, and ‘positive’ message of love and acceptance has garnered him a flock of over twenty thousand. His career is on an upward trajectory, one that could lead to a job in the White House. At first, Daniel doesn’t recognize Angel when she tries to give him a prophetic message from God. But then, he sees her again, and becomes obsessed with her. Angel accuses Daniel of losing his first love—that the ‘positive’ message he’s preaching is NOT the Word of God—and he needs to open his eyes to how distorted the world has become. He’s reminded several times by Thomas—his friend from college who also knew Angel—that spending time with her is going to derail his career and ruin everything he’s worked for. But, Daniel is convinced, somehow, someway, they can still make it work.

As angels and demons spar in the spiritual realm, the time of decision is drawing to a close. Angel senses the urgency and continues to see Daniel, even though her life, and the life of her son are being threatened.

This outline just scratches the surface of WHEN ANGELS CRY. There is so much more to the story that will keep you turning page after page. One of the most fascinating sections of WHEN ANGELS CRY is the segments told from the perspective of the angels protecting Angel, Daniel, and those around them. These angels know what’s coming and wants their charges to turn before it’s too late. But they can only protect; they cannot interfere. WHEN ANGELS CRY also shines a light on the demons who are in this world, always close by, waiting for any opportunity to destroy whomever they can. Though WHEN ANGELS CRY is steep in spiritual warfare, and prophecy, the romantic facet is well represented by the chemistry between Angel and Daniel. They are meant to be together, but is it meant to be?

A fascinating, provocative, thought-provoking book. A real leap in genre for Ms. Tyndall, but she executes it flawlessly.

I received complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my
own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Review - Rescue Me by Susan May Warren

5 out of 5 stars
RESCUE ME, book two in the Montana Rescue series, is the perfect follow-up to WILD MONTANA SKIES.
Willow has always loved Sam Brooks. But, now that he’s dating her sister, Willow knows she needs to let that dream go. Her sister, Sierra deserves to be happy. So, Willow takes a step back and focuses her energy on her dream job—youth leader at her church. Unfortunately, Willow’s free-spirited personality has gotten her into trouble on more than one occasion. When a youth group trip goes sideways, Sierra is looked at as the irresponsible adult who put kids in danger. Now, she must suck it up, and be willing to take a backseat to someone new leading the group.
Deputy Sam Brooks is a born leader who takes responsibility seriously, unlike his brother, Pete. Sam sees the same traits in Sierra Rose. Sierra is practical, conscientious and the polar opposite of her sister Willow—a free-spirited hippie. Now that Sierra is no longer in a relationship with Ian Shaw, Sam pursues her, knowing they’re the perfect fit for each other.
During an emotional low point, Sam accidentally mistakes Willow for Sierra and the connection they make is something he couldn’t have predicted. Both know the situation was a misunderstanding and are committed to putting it behind them. But, when Willow and Sam find themselves in a life-and-death situation, they have to contemplate if the spark between them is something they can ignore.
RESCUE ME is another amazing story from Susan May Warren. Her character development causes you to become attached to the people in her novels. Sam is a tortured soul you have compassion for, but also want to slap up the side of the head because of his unforgiving attitude towards his brother. Willow has a heart of gold, but somehow all anyone sees is her impulsiveness that gets her into trouble. Pete is trying to make amends for his past behavior but has a hard time when his brother is always throwing it in his face. And Sierra . . . you know she is still pining for Ian, and you want the idiot to realize what he threw away. All this makes for captivating reading. I was curious to see how Ms. Warren was going to handle the I think I’m in love with my girlfriend’s sister storyline. I mean, who wants to like the person who ruins a relationship or a man who’s that fickled? But, she did it flawlessly without turning either of the characters into a villain. With the scene set and more secondary characters to develop, the Montana Rescue series is a must-have for the person who loves romance/action/suspense.

Monday, March 20, 2017

My Review - Fatal Frost by Nancy Mehl

5 out of 5 stars
FATAL FROST by Nancy Mehl is chilling.

U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan has been injured both physically and emotionally. She’s recovering from an on-the-job shooting and dealing with the reappearance of her absentee father. If that’s not enough, her boss teams her with ex-boyfriend Mark St. Laurent in a witness protection assignment.

When a freak ice storm strands Mercy, Mark, and childhood friend Tally Williams, in the middle of nowhere, short of their rendezvous point, and cut off from all communication, their carefully fabricated cover begins to unravel. Mercy is furious when she finds out Mark and Tally have been sent to protect HER. Somehow, her last interaction with her father has put her in the crosshairs of one of St. Louis’ most notorious gangs. Hold up in a farmhouse, feeling like sitting ducks, Mercy, Mark, and Tally must wait out the storm, praying their back-up shows up before the gang members find them. And, knowing there is a mole in the department, they’re not sure who they can trust.

This is my first Nancy Mehl novel, and you can be sure I will be back for more. Suspense, romance, great characters, and interesting plot twists all work together to create a great story. Knowing this is the first in a series, I can’t wait to read book two in the Defenders of Justice series.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Review - Moving Target by Lynette Eason

5 out of 5 stars
Lynette Eason has done it again! MOVING TARGET is not just fast-paced, it will leave you breathless.

Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe are at a crossroads in their relationship. She has stood by him through painstaking therapy, solidify a deep friendship between them. But, when Quinn continues to push people away—Maddy included—she decides to give him the space he needs.

Quinn Holcombe is a loner. His relationship with Maddy is complicated. His feelings for her run deeper than just friendship, but he doesn’t know how to express himself. When she walks out on him, he decides he needs to take the next step and tell her how he feels. But, before he can, Maddy and he are abducted and become the target of a psychotic predator who hunts his victims in a twisted game. While Maddy and Quinn try to stay one step ahead of the serial killer who’s stalking them, they open up about their feelings for each other.

MOVING TARGET is a thrilling rollercoaster ride! Lynette Eason is a master of suspense. Even if you figure out who’s behind the killings, you turn page after page, praying Maddy and Quinn stay one step ahead of the killer. With their relationship in the balance, you sympathize with both Quinn and Maddy. He’s s gun-shy, with a lot of unresolved baggage. She’s frustrated that the man she loves, could very well walk away from both her and God. I still have a hard time accepting the fact that the Elite Guardian Agency is made up of all woman. Very young woman. But other than that, the series is romance/suspense at its best!

Monday, January 30, 2017

My Review - Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful by Susan May Warren

5 out of 5 stars
OH, THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL, finishes the Montana Fire series with, a snow storm, a baby, a wedding, and another relationship that must find its footing if it’s going to survive.

C.J. St. John is fighting back to recover from the injuries sustained in the plane accident that almost took his life. If not for Hannah Butcher, he’s convinced he wouldn’t have survived the crash. Not only did he survive, but C.J. knows in his heart of hearts, he fell in love with Hannah that night. But somehow, he can’t bring himself to admit his feelings to Hannah. Especially since his career is over.

Hannah Butcher was there for C.J when he needed her, keeping him from going into shock and surviving a harrowing plane crash. But, Hannah wouldn’t have made it through her rookie summer with the smoke jumpers if it wasn’t for C.J.’s encouragement. The night they spent on the mountain, Hannah saved their lives, but lost her heart—to C.J. When they get back to civilization, C.J. and Hannah fumble over their feelings for each other, allowing distance to grow between them.

Six months later, Hannah pursues C.J., forcing him to keep his end of their bargain—to dance with her at their team member’s wedding. Unfortunately, a blizzard and a car accident derail them from their plans and forces them once again to turn to each other and God if they are going to survive.

Though this installment had a lot of back story, for those who might not have read the other books, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. BURIN’ FOR YOU was from the point of view of Gilly and Reuben. This novella allowed readers to experience the same plane crash from C.J. and Hannah’s POV, and then the fallout that followed. The characters in this series were so good, because they weren’t perfect. With every strength that defined them, there was an underlying weakness they were struggling with. Throughout the series, each character grew in the relationship with God and each other. A series that is now on my favorites list.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Review - Burnin' For You by Susan May Warren

5 out of 5 stars
BURNIN FOR YOU, the third installment in the Montana Fire Series sizzles.

Smoke jumper Reuben Marshall has his demons. Feeling he could have prevented the death of his crew boss, he struggles with grief. But he also struggles with his attraction for smoke jumper and pilot, Gilly Priest. He knows she’s not interested in a relationship with a teammate, but that doesn’t make her any less captivating.

Gilly Priest has worked hard to get where she’s at. Petite and tenacious, she’s a gutsy pilot who will do whatever it takes to get her smoke jumping team in and out of danger. Reuben Marshall has not escaped her notice, but having a relationship with a team member rarely works out.

When Gilly’s plane goes down with her team on board, only she and Reuben are capable of going for help. With their team running out of time, Gilly and Reuben must navigate not only the wilderness and a forest fire, but quite possibly the person who’s been sabotaging their team.

BURNIN FOR YOU was another amazing installment in this fast-paced, suspense-filled series. With each new installment, we learn more about other members of the smoke jumping team, while catching up with the main characters of the other books in the series. Reuben and Gilly work well as a team, but their chemistry goes beyond that of teammates. I love that each member we learn about has a superhero-type persona, but inside, they all struggle with their own insecurities and fears—fears they slowly realize they have to surrender to God. Great characters. Great stories. Great series.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

My Review - Playing with Fire by Susan May Warren

5 out of 5 stars

PLAYING WITH FIRE, book two in the Montana fire series was just as hot as WHERE THERE’S SMOKE.

When Liza Beaumont is in danger of a grizzly attack, she does the first thing that comes to mind. She calls Connor for help. Even though she and Connor parted ways a year ago because of commitment issues, Liza needs help-and there is no one in the world she trusts more than smoke jumper, Connor Young. Now that he’s back in her life, Liza’s feelings for Connor deepen. When they are forced to explore their feelings for each other while searching for two missing teenagers in the nearby mountains, Liza realizes she’s willing to take a chance on a relationship, even if Connor can’t make any promises.

Connor Young is shocked when Liza calls him for help. The thought of losing her to a grizzly attack churns in him the feelings he has for Liza-feelings that have never gone away. He let her walk away once because he was unable to make her any promises. Now that they’ve reconnected, Connor is ready to address his phobias and do whatever it takes to prove to Liza they belong together.

In the midst of figuring out their feelings for each other, Liza and Connor are dealing with more than just their relationship. They need to find two missing campers, Connor is being pursued by the authorities regarding arson fires being set by drones-Connor’s hobby, and Liza comes face-to-face with a tragedy from her past.

PLAYING WITH FIRE was just as incendiary as WHERE THERE’S SMOKE. This series is chock-full of: passion, action, suspense, and tension. Liza and Connor are meant to be together, but they each are struggling with emotional baggage from the past and allow miscommunication to sabotage their relationship. Now that they are thrown together in a life or death situation, they are forced to decide if they’re going to let their insecurities dictate their future. I love these characters-actually all the characters introduced in book one. They are wounded people with hero-sized hearts.  I’ve already started reading BURNIN’ FOR YOU, book three in the series, and was engulfed by drama in the very first paragraph.

Friday, January 20, 2017

My Review - Avenged by Janice Cantore

5 out of 5 stars
AVENGED, the third installment in the Pacific Coast Justice series, wraps up with a bang. Literally.

As Officer Carly Edwards gets prep to testify at the trial of a cop killer, three gang members are shot execution style. When a trunk load of weapons is confiscated from known gang members, Carly and her husband, Sgt. Nick Anderson—head of the Las Playas gang unit—fear a gang war is in the making. When it is discovered the weapons were stolen from a military base, along with explosives, the La Playas PD prepares for the worse.

When Carly has a run-in with an ex-con, she thinks nothing of it. Even though he took a swing at her, he’s a family member of Carly’s friend, and she lets him go as a favor. Unfortunately, from that point on Carly is embroiled in one bad situation after another. The ex-con files a complaint against Carly and a noted reporter accuses Carly of being a dirty cop and sets out to ruin her reputation. That’s when Carly realizes something isn’t adding up. In fact, she’s convinced it’s all a set-up. If she is discredited before she testifies in the upcoming trial, a cop killer could get off. Trying to figure out the missing pieces, both Carly and Nick put their lives on the line, praying they aren’t too late.

AVENGED was a multi-plot novel that kept me turning page after page.  There’s not too much I can say without being a spoiler. Gangbangers and drive-by shootings, activists and demonstrations, a slanderous reporter, and friends being bullied by their ex-con brother—so many things going on at the same time, and they all seem to be connected to Carly. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the stories unfold and the connections being made. This was a great crime drama, with a lot of players to keep straight, but as I stated in my previous reviews of ACCUSED and ABDUCTED, the romance is very understated. You sense the love Carly and Nick have for each other, but they share very few scenes. I’ve really enjoyed Janice Cantore’s novels and the precision in which she writes. I will continue to seek out her books in the future.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

My Reviews - Where There's Smoke by Susan May Warren

5 out of 5 stars

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE is the first book in the smokin’ hot Montana Fire series from Susan May Warren. And believe me, the forest is not the only thing on fire.

Kate Burns was born with the same instincts and dedication to smoke jumping as her father. She is a legend, known to put herself at risk with her whatever it takes mentality. That’s why she can’t let anyone know she’s afraid of fire. After a near-death experience, Kate is struggling with her fears but keeps them to herself. After all, she’s known as Blazin’ Kate Burns, and she refuses to do anything to taint her reputation. But, with the passing of her father, Kate is at odds with her feelings. Going home to clean out his belongings, she knowns she’ll have to come face-to-face with one more confusing, emotional obstacle in her life – Jed Ransom. They have history as explosive as any fire she’s ever fought. Working side-by-side with Jed to train the next team of smoke jumpers is going to force Kate to face her fears: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The normally calm and cool, Jed Ransom, has more on his plate than anticipated. As the protégé of Jock Burns-Kate’s father-it’s up to him to train the next set of smoke jumping rookies. When he finds out Kate has been assigned to help him, his feelings vacillate between love and anger. He loves her-always has-but refuses to encourage her in what Jed feels is a recklessness that will one day get Kate killed or those she’s training.

WHERE THERE’S SMOKE is filled with fast-pace action and sizzling chemistry between Kate and Jed. They both love each other, but allow their fears and flaws to drive a deeper wedge between them. Kate has always felt the need to prove she is one of the best in a male-dominated career, but Jed wants her to quit. He wants a future with Kate, but not if she is going to continue to put her life on the line.

WOW! What a captivating story!  Kate and Jed exude passion on the job and with each other. Their interactions are heat-infused and volatile, but only because they love each other so much. Spiritually, they both are struggling with the pain God has allowed to touch their lives. Head strong and determined, they need to decide if they can completely surrender their lives and their future to God. With a supporting cast of intriguing characters, the action never slows it only simmers. Definitely on my favorites list! I can’t wait to read PLAYING WITH FIRE, the next book in the series.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Review - Stone's Heart by Darby Karchut

4.5 out of 5 stars
STONE’S HEART is the first novel I have read from this author, and I thoroughly enjoyed the simplistic and sweet story.

Linney Van Horn is starting over. Leaving New Jersey with a broken heart and her Arabian horse in tow, she ends up in Venture, Colorado. Looking forward to her new teacher’s position at the local grade school, Linney rents a guest cottage on the property of a sweet older couple. What she quickly finds out is the other cottage is occupied by the local farrier and his seven-year-old son. Still hurting from her failed relationship with a man who had a young daughter, Linney is determined to keep her distance from Stonewall “Stone” Wheeler and his son.

Still dealing with the loss of his wife, Stone Wheeler has only two objectives in life, build his farrier business and take care of his growing son. Love is nowhere on the agenda. When Linney moves in next door, Stone sees her as a good friend and someone who enjoys spending time with his son.  That’s it. That’s all. At least, that’s what he tries to tell himself. Soon, Stone realizes Linney has revived in him the part of his heart that he thought was long dead.

Both Linney and Stone must overcome their fears, doubts, and wounded hearts if they are going to take the leap into a relationship.

I really enjoyed STONE’S HEART. It was a pretty simplistic story, but occasionally, you just want to read a book that warms you heart instead of one that challenges your thinking with plots, subplots, red herrings, and evil people. The characters were genuine and well fleshed out. And the setting, was great for this country girl at heart. My understanding is Darby Karchut usually writes in the paranormal genre. I’m not interested in that genre, but if she releases anymore contemporary romance books, I would most likely pick them up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Review - Sanctuary Forever by Lisa Phillips

5 out of 5 stars
SANCTUARY FOREVER – I don’t want it to be over!! This was a great series with amazing characters; people you really become attached to—especially the Mason brothers.

It this final installment, Gemma—a woman born in the WITSEC town of Sanctuary—finds out one of the citizens was her father. Unfortunately, Hal Leonard is now dead but has left Gemma a secret to guard. Not knowing what to do with this information, Gemma tells her lifelong friend, Pastor Dan. When they discover a link between Hal’s secret and Dan’s late father, the town of Sanctuary begins to fall apart. Others know about the secret and will do anything to find it and silence anyone who gets in their way. With an all-out uprising on his hands, Sheriff John Mason calls in reinforcements. People are dying while others thought dead reappear. John prays back-up will come in time before a man bent on a massacre gets his way.

SANCTUARY FOREVER was jam packed with action and shocking twists. Gemma and Dan are trying so hard to protect each other, they deny the fact that they are actually in love. But, with Dan suffering from a form of PTSD, and Gemma’s questioning reputation, they’re ready to sacrifice everything for each other’s safety. SANCTUARY FOREVER also allows us to touch base in the lives of other Sanctuary residents we have come to love, along with the other Mason brothers. Unfortunately, there were still questions left unanswered. Who is Mei Ling? What does Ben Mason do for a living? And how are they connected? I hope Lisa Phillips is hard at work on another series that might answer these questions.

A unique setting, great plots, and amazing characters—the Sanctuary series is most definitely the newest addition to my favorites list.

Monday, January 02, 2017

My Review - Death in the Shadows by Paul McCusker

4 out of 5 stars
DEATH IN THE SHADOWS, A Father Gilbert Mystery, is methodical in its delivery and reads like a vintage whodunit mystery.

Father Gilbert is an extremely unique man. Before becoming an Anglican priest, he was a detective. No matter his change in vocation, murder seems to follow him wherever he goes. While attending a church conference, he sees the apparition of a young woman. Feeling the need to find out who she is and why she suffered such an untimely death, Father Gilbert works with a detective associate from his past. What ensues is a tangled web of illegal activity involving police, politicians, priests, and a sex trade industry that is consuming the small seaside village of Englesa.

This is the first Father Gilbert Mystery I have read. Though it had a very slow beginning, my interest was piqued as more details were revealed. Father Gilbert’s character was comforting and even-tempered. Though outraged by all he discovered, he remained cool and calculated in order to extract as much information from the people who had the answers but lived in fear. There were definite twists and turns as you found out how the lives of those in Englesea intersected. However, as others were murdered, you felt a sense of urgency for the police to solve the crimes before all who had evidence were killed.

DEATH IN THE SHADOWS was an interesting read. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Father Gilbert’s ability to see dead people, but it wasn’t the focus of the story so I didn’t let it bother me. Though the pacing was slower than I enjoy, I was still entertained by the story Paul McCusker penned.

Book provided for review purposes.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Review - Catching Heat by Janice Cantore

5 out of 5 stars

CATCHING HEAT, the third installment in the Cold Case Justice series, was jam packed with action and suspense. The romance was more so implied, but you felt the connection growing between the two main characters.

Detective Abby Hart has been on a mission her entire life; find those responsible for the death of her parents and put them in jail. Her father’s killer has been found, and Abby knows the identity of her mother’s killer, now, all she has to do is prove it. The obstacles are great, since the killer is a public figure who has been able to cover her tracks for over twenty-seven years. But, Abby is convinced the key to everything lies in the suspects background. Abby is determined to find the missing piece of the puzzle. So, when her current case takes her to the suspects old stomping grounds, Abby decides to put in a little extra time and work both cases at the same time. With PI, Luke Murphy, as her new partner, she’s not only juggling both cases, but her growing feelings for him. She knows her attraction to him goes beyond professional, but Abby isn’t sure he’s available.

Luke Murphy wants to help Abby solve her parents murder. His uncle was also a victim, and Luke wants to see justice prevail. His concern is that Abby’s determination is turning into an obsession; an obsession that might get her killed. Being partnered with Abby on a newly formed task force is right where Luke wants to be. He’s ready to make his feelings for Abby known, but keeping her safe is another thing. He and Abby butt heads when he cautions her about her growing obsession. Abby rebuffs him, knowing she is on to something and needs to follow the new leads—with or without him.

With an ever-growing plate of cases, suspects, and leads, Abby, Luke, and their other partner Woody, are being pulled in all directions. Abby is looking for the thread that will tie everything together in the death of her parents. She and Luke are looking for the killer in the cold case of a teenager’s death. And, Abby, Luke, and Woody are being asked to locate a man suspected in the chilling deaths of his family. When all three cases come to a head, secrets are exposed, motives are revealed, and truths are discovered. Unfortunately, Abby and Woody might become collateral damage when a killer gets the drop on them.

I thoroughly enjoyed, CATCHING HEAT. I have yet to be disappointed by any of Janice Cantore’s books, but this one was loaded with so many things going on at the same time, I couldn’t put it down. As a retired police officer, Cantore’s stories are infused with realism, adding to the intensity in which the story is delivered. CATCHING HEAT had so many plots, and sub-plots, the reader really needed to remain on their toes to keep up with the information. So people might find that a bit overwhelming; I found it incredibly satisfying. The only negative—and I hate to call it that—is I wish the romance would have been a little more developed. We know how Abby and Luke are feeling, I just wish there would’ve been more outward expressions of their feelings. The entire Cold Case Justice series is a must read for suspense buffs. But—read them in order. It will help you keep information straight and grow with the characters.