Sunday, February 26, 2012

Heart’s Safe Passage
By Laurie Alice Eakes

Laurie Alice Eakes writes a stirring tale of love, intrigue, and adventure on the high seas. In book 2 of The Midwives series, you will feel the salt spray and the rolling waves as you make the journey with these vivid characters on the treacherous path toward redemption.

It's 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.

Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.

When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the shores of England in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?
Laurie Alice Eakes is the author of Lady in the Mist, A Necessary Deception, and several other novels. She won a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007 for Family Guardian. Laurie Alice writes full-time from her home in Texas, where she lives with her husband and sundry dogs and cats.

Endorsements for Heart’s Safe Passage & Laurie Alice Eakes

"In her delightful and descriptive style, author Laurie Alice Eakes has once again crafted a story that will capture readers' hearts from the first page. Her tales are both exciting and tender, and her characters speak to us right where they are, despite the different cultural and time settings. Heart's Safe Passage may well be her greatest offering to date."--Kathi Macias, author of Deliver Me from Evil and A Christmas Journey Home

"I'm still thinking about the characters in Heart's Safe Passage, the new novel from Laurie Alice Eakes. Her turn of phrase and twist of a plot had me smiling long after the last page was turned. Eakes has crafted a don't-miss story. Well done!"--Kathleen Y'Barbo, author of The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

My Review - Heart's Safe Passage

HEART’S SAFE PASSAGE, the second installment in The Midwives series, had as many emotional highs and lows as the Davina did navigating the open seas.

Midwife, Phoebe Lee is taken against her will so she can be on hand at the birth of sister-in-law, Belinda Chapman’s child. The fact that the birth may take place on privateer, Captain Rafe Docherty ship as they sail across the Atlantic is what has her panicked.

Captain Rafe Docherty has agreed to sail Mrs. Belinda Chapman across the sea and aid in her husband’s escape from prison, because Mr. Chapman has information Rafe needs in order to exact revenge on his most hated enemy.

Phoebe hates the fact that Captain Docherty appears to be without moral conscious. He thinks nothing of endangering the lives of two women, one great with child, in order to see his rival dead. But the more Phoebe studies the Captain, the more she realizes he is an anomaly she can’t quite figure out, and her attraction to him is nothing more than a mutiny on her soul. The more Captain Docherty tries to dismiss his feelings for Phoebe, knowing she could never love a rogue such as himself, the more intense his feelings become.

HEART’S SAFE PASSAGE is another swashbuckling tale from Laurie Alice Eakes. The high seas, dangerous battles, a scoundrel of a ship’s captain, and a woman drawn to a man who hides beneath the mantel of privateer captain, are just some of the sparks that ignite this novel into a blazing tale of bitterness, hatred, and love. The characters are rich and colored with a wide spectrum of backgrounds. The character of Mel was a great addition, aiding the reader in overlooking Rafe’s belligerence and seeing him instead as the compassionate man that he is. I feel the difficulties of Phoebe’s past could’ve been explained earlier, but other than that, I enjoyed the escapism of sailing on the high seas once again. I anxiously await the next book in the series.

Book provided for review purposes.

“Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Words spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart

Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father's newspaper offices. She can't imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855. Then Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of
reporting, takes over failing competitor the Herald, and the battle for
readers gets fierce.

When Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit tea, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune's future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story-and the girl. Can he do both before it's too late?

Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold readers in its grip until the very last page. Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart once again delivers an enthralling and enduring tale for her loyal and ever-expanding fan base.

"I've come to expect wonderful books from Ann Gabhart, and her latest historical romance, Words Spoken True, doesn't disappoint. In this novel, Gabhart gives readers a peek into the lives of two news reporters--one a man and one a woman--both intent upon creating the best newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. Amid unsolved murders,
riots, and adversity, the ability to trust each other and trust God is put to the test. Gabhart weaves a story that is a page turner from beginning to end. This is one you'll highly recommend.

My Review - Words Spoken True

WORDS SPOKEN TRUE by Ann H. Gabhart made for an entertaining read. And though the book had a slow start, I soon found myself engulfed in the historical story of the newspaper business and political unrest in the 1850s.

Adriane Darcy is a woman after my own heart. Feisty and talented, she refuses to allow social graces to dictate her limitations and keep her from her passion–writing the news alongside her newspaper mogul father. She is determined to see the Tribune stay on top, even though the Hearld, with its new controversial editor, is quickly gaining ground. When Adriane meets Blake Garrett, the Herald’s hotshot editor, she is not prepared for the feelings he stirs in her. Even though she is unhappily betrothed to Stanley Jimson–the son of a very prominent political figure–Adriane knows she mustn’t give way to her confused feelings.

Blake Garrett’s immediate attraction to Adriane throws him for a loop. And though she is soon to marry Stanley Jimson, he doesn’t allow that to stop him from telling Adriane how he feels. When he is convinced she has feelings for him as well, he stops at nothing to show her that Jimson is not the man for her.

As the Tribune and the Herald go head–to–head in the political arena, Adriane and Blake go toe–to–toe on a more personal front. Sparks fly, fears are exposed, a serial murderer wanders the streets of Louisville, and political unrest is about to explode into the streets.

WORDS SPOKEN TRUE meshed romance with history seamlessly. Though I found the book to have a slow start (first 50 pages), as soon as Adriane and Blake were introduced momentum built. Adriane’s stubbornness mixed with Blake’s assertiveness was a great combination. Though I was able to predict much of the plot, it did not interfere with my enjoyment. I was not a fan of Gabhart’s book The Blessed (Amish is not my genre), but I am glad I took another chance of this author.

Book provided for review purposes.

“Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Love and to Cherish (The Bliss Creek Amish)To Love and to Cherish by Kelly Irvin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH was better than I expected. I am not a fan of Amish themed books, but since I received the book in exchange for a review, I didn’t want to shirk my responsibilities.

Emma Shirack feels abandoned once again. Four years earlier Carl, the man she would marry, left her for the Englisch world. Now, the tragic death of her parents leaves her feeling forsaken. Without children of her own, the maternal feeling she has for her brothers and sisters because even more real. Though she desires nothing more than to marry and have children of her own, she sadly feels without Carl that will never happened. When Carl unexpectedly returns from his time in the world, she struggles with offering him forgiveness, which in turn, has her questioning her faith. When Thomas, a family friend and widower begins to show her attention, her feelings are confused even further. Two men vie for her attention. Her one true love, and a man who shares her deep seeded devotion to their quiet lives in the small town of Bliss Creek.

TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH actually kept my interest. Ms. Irvin allowed enough action to keep the story flowing at an even pace, something I feel is usually missing from Amish books. I am easily frustrated with romance novels that don’t allow the hero and heroine any real time together, especially when the main characters are self-deprecating and constantly flip-flop in their feelings for others. But, TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH, for whatever reason pulled me in and kept me entertained.

Book provided for review purposes.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Series from Lynette Eason

“Get out, Alexia. Now!”
“Got to check the closet first, sir.”
“Get your tail outta there. Immediately!”
She needed air. How had her oxygen run out? She should have had at least another five minutes. Reaching up, she disconnected the hose from her tank and shoved it up under her
heavy turnout. The coat would protect her as much as possible from smoke inhalation. And she wanted to minimize
the blast of hot air that would fill her lungs. She caught a breath.The dizziness receded.The countdown was on. The decision:leave or check the closet? She scanned the imaging device over the door. Bingo. “I’ve got something. Definitely a child.”
“Alexia! Get out!”
“She’s here, sir. Can’t leave without her.”
Alexia went to the door and turned the knob. A little girl. The child looked up at
her, eyes wide, stark terror stamped on her tear-streaked features. Then she coughed and her eyes rolled back. Alexia slung the imager over her shoulder and leaned in to pick up the little girl. Alexia took another breath and coughed.
Dizziness returned full force and she went to one knee. Vaguely, she felt the
sweat roll down her back. “I’m in trouble,” she said into her radio, keeping her cool,refusing to panic. Help was just a second away. “Where’s RIT? No air.”
She pulled in a lungful of smoke this time.Coughing, sputtering, she turned with the child, frantic to get her out before the flames caught up with the smoke.
And then the spots before her eyes merged into one big black dot. Then nothing.

My Review - When the Smoke Clears

WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS is the debut book in the Deadly Reunions Series. What a start! Lynette Eason is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors in the Romance/Suspense genre.

Smokejumper, Alexia Allen is being swallowed up by misfortune. A near deadly accident on the fire line has her suspended while the incident is under investigation. Deciding to go home – something she hasn’t done in ten years – lands her smack-dab in the middle of a homicide investigation. With many skeletons creeping from her adolescent closet, Alexia’s world is turned upside down. Being hunted by an unknown person, for an unknown reason, she isn’t sure who she can trust. Detective Hunter Graham is willing to offer her the help she needs, but soon she deduces that she is turning up on the top of the suspect list. If he doesn’t have faith in her, she isn’t sure how she will prove herself innocent.

Detective Hunter Graham is floored when he sees Alexia Allen has returned to Columbia, South Carolina. Though she was a few years his junior, he had a secret crush on her in high school. But when she left immediately after her graduation, he never thought he would see her again. But, here she was, back in her hometown, conveniently at the same time someone is found murdered in her childhood home. Warning himself to put personal feelings aside, he can’t help the feeling he’s getting as more bizarre things seem to be happening. Though each incident happens in her vicinity, his gut tells him she isn’t the assailant, but the intended victim. But, time is running out to prove her innocents.

WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS had all the elements I look for in a romantic/suspense novel. From the first pages, you know this is going to be a book with no easy answers. Twists and turns, red-herrings and dead ends, you find yourself questioning every supporting character that is introduced. Though I figured out early in the book who the attacker was, I have yet to figure out the why. Ms. Eason ingeniously left a few loose ends that will undoubtedly be cleared up in the next installment. Or so I can hope.

Book provided for review purposes.

“Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Firethorn (Discarded Heroes #4)Firethorn by Ronie Kendig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The end has come too soon. The last installment in the Discarded Heroes series is riveting fiction at its best!

Kazi Faron is faced with an insurmountable task . . . reassemble the Nightshade team that someone in a place of power has single-handedly destroyed. With the team members all over the globe–some near death–her job will not be easy. Breaking Griffin “Legend” Riddell, out of a supermax penitentiary is her first task. Executed with precision and great skill, Griffin is stupefied that Kazi–a pint-size blonde–wields such skills. But, he also isn’t sure if he should put 100% trust in the spy that is a loner, and use to looking out for only herself.

Kazi has her own reasons for taking on the near impossible task of bringing Nightshade back together. Revenge against the man that has held her life in the balance for years, and she will stop at nothing to see him destroyed.

Though Griffin is a “team member” through and through, and Kazi is use to working alone, the feelings they developed for each other becomes another obstacle they must overcome. Griffin has no place in his world for a woman, or the commitment that goes with it. Kazi refuses to trust any man, regardless of how loyal he may appear. Never knowing if Kazi is working with him or against him, Griffin keeps her at all times on his radar. But, the more he analyzes the woman, the more he is determine to her that he had no intentions of using her, like the men in her past.

FIRETHORN, brings an incredible close to an incredible series! With the Nightshade team all but blown apart, the pace of the story is death-defying. I found myself turning page after page while I followed simultaneous battles to free the team I have come to love. I found myself taking deep breaths as I read to help me digest the imagery and action that filled this book from the very start. Touché, Ms. Kendig! Never have a read a series with such awe and enthusiasm since the O’Malley Series penned by Dee Henderson.

Book provided for review purposes. But I must add, I already owned books #1-#3, and in no way did the fact that I received this book for review sway my comments in the least.

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My Review - Wolfsbane

Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)Wolfsbane by Ronie Kendig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOLFSBANE, book three in the Discarded Heroes series is a must read!

Danielle Roark has been held captive for six months, enduring unfathomable atrocities. With every breath in her, she fights for freedom, only to find herself being charged with espionage. The only way to prove her innocents is to go back to the jungles that held her captive and prove to the government the danger that lies within the jungles of Venezuela.

Nightshade operative, Canyon Metcalfe’s intense feelings for Dani, perplexes him. Dani is his brother’s love interest, and he knows he has to step off and ignore the attraction he has for her. But, he and Dani are kindred spirits. The demons they struggle with somehow bind them together. When they find themselves deep in the jungles of Venezuela–separated from the rest of the Nightshade team–the magnetism between them becomes stronger than their individual wills. When Dani is once again taken captive, Canyon’s only goal is to see her freed from the prison that holds her both physically and emotionally, even if that means he must sacrifice his future with her.

Excellent writing that doesn’t dummy down or sugarcoat life’s struggles. I commend Ms. Kendig for writing an inspirational based series without sacrificing realism. I applaud Barbour Books for not feeling the need to sensor or filter out scenes and dialogue that give credence to such an amazing story. I have long thought that without being gratuitous in such areas, inspirational novels disappoint their readers when they ignore the trails and traps that can touch a Christian’s life as easily as anyone else. What an incredible series! Thank you, Ronie, for showing us realism not just heroism.

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