Monday, December 29, 2014

My Review - The Quarryman's Bride


3 out of 5 stars
THE QUARRYMAN’S BRIDE by Tracie Peterson, was entertaining, but a bit on the slow side.
Emmalyne Knox is set to wed the love of her life, Tavin MacLachlan, when a devastating accident strikes her family.  The custom of the youngest daughter caring for her parents has fallen to Emmalyne. And because of that, she is no longer free to marry Tavin.  Out of obedience to her parents, she moves with them leaving Tavin and the broken pieces of her heart behind.
Eleven years later, the Knox family returns to St. Cloud, Minnesota.  Emmalyne’s mother has never recovered from the tragedy that tore her family apart and lives in a daze and poor health.  Emmalyne’s father is cold-hearted and unfeeling.  He rules his family with an iron fist and sharp words, making life unpleasant for Emmalyne and her brother.  But returning to St. Cloud is almost more than Emmalyne can bear.  Knowing her path will cross with Tavin’s will make an already difficult life even harder.
Tavin has never recovered from losing Emmalyne.  He hates her father for going back on his word, and he hates Emmalyne for not running away with him.  Now that they are both back in St. Cloud, he feels his anger and hatred reignited, even though his love for Emmalyne has never waned.  But nothing has changed.  Emmalyne is still out of reach.
THE QUARRYMAN’S BRIDE was a good story . . . I enjoyed it, but the momentum was a bit slow.  Some of the sub-storylines seemed distracting and unnecessary to the main plotline.  I liked the characters well enough, it just seemed like something was missing.  But this will not detour me from reading THE MINER’S LADY, book three in the Land of Shining Water series.

 

 

 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Announcing the release of my fourth book - BADGE OF RESPECT


I am excited to announce that Badge of Respect was released today on Amazon and Kindle.  This has been a long process that I couldn't have finished without the help of my friends and family.  Thank you Marylu Tyndall, Bob Phillips, Jeanne Halstead, Charlene Ponzio, Michele Nordquist, and Scott Saunders, for all your help, assistance, and encouragement. 

Check it out at http://smile.amazon.com/Badge-Respect-Novel-Tamara-Tilley/

Sunday, December 14, 2014

My Review - The Icecutter's Daughter


4 out of 5 stars
THE ICECUTTER’S DAUGHTER by Tracie Peterson is a warm romance with characters you can’t help but like.
Merrill Krause has been outnumbered her entire life.  Caring for her brothers and her father hasn’t left her with much time for self, but she doesn’t mind.  She loves working alongside her brother’s, and caring for her father’s horses brings her joy.  But, sometimes Merrill wonders what it would be like to have a suitor pursue her, that is, if they could get past her imposing brothers determined to protect her.
Rurik Jorgenson has come to help his Uncle Carl in his furniture business.  When he meets Merrill he is immediately intrigued.  She is strong and independent, and unlike any woman he’s ever known.  Spending time helping her brother’s bring in the ice harvest is his excuse to be near Merrill and soon their attraction for each other grows.  But when Rurik’s previous fiancée comes to town making outrageous claims against Rurik, his relationship with Merrill is threatened. 
I thoroughly enjoyed THE ICECUTTER’S DAUGHTER.  Merrill is a strong character and Rurik is genuine and kind.  I loved watching their relationship develop.  The secondary characters in the book added to my overall enjoyment of the story.  As some have said, the story might have been predictable, but there were a few twists I didn’t expect.  Next up, THE QUARRYMAN’S BRIDE.

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Review - Raina's Choice

 2.5 out of 5 stars

RAINA’S CHOICE, the third installment in the Western Justice series just didn’t seem to have the same momentum as the previous two books.

RAINA will do anything to get away from her brutish brother-in-law and the sordid Louisiana saloon she works in, even team up with a stranger headed Fort Smith.  Wanting to find the father she’s never known, Raina is willing to confront the dangers of Indian Territory with the help of Tyler Kincaid. 
Tyler Kincaid has just broken out of a Mexican prison where he was wrongfully imprisoned.  Though he is quite sick, his intentions are to team up with Judge Parker and become one of his Marshal’s. 
Knowing Kincaid is her only chance to get out from under the thumb of her brother-in-law, Raina comes up with an idea to get Tyler out of prison. As Tyler’s health weakens, Raina must nurse him back to health if they hope to accomplish their goals. 
Though I wanted to like RAINA’S CHOICE, I felt the characters came across as pretty flat.  Their conversations seemed monotone, neither of them showed much emotion.  The story seemed to progress slowly and without much excitement.  The author had all the right tools: desperate situations, love triangle, lives in danger-but he didn’t take full advantage of these plotlines.  I did appreciate the struggle Tyler had as he came to grips with God and His plan for his life.  But as for the rest of the story, I felt like it went through the paces without really capitalizing on all the groundwork the author laid out.  

Saturday, December 06, 2014

My Review - Sabrina's Man


4 out of 5 stars
SABRINA’S MAN is the second installment in the Western Justice Series.
Sabrina Warren is your typical spoiled southern belle.  Used to getting whatever she wants, Sabrina pays little mind to anyone but herself.  But, when her younger sister is romanced by a wicked con-man in disguise and is whisked away to parts unknown, Sabrina’s love for her sister fuels her determination to see her sister safely returned home.
Waco Smith hasn’t had the easiest life, but things are looking up.  As a partner in a successful hardware store and courting the lovely Alice Malone, Waco sees nothing but blue skies ahead.  That is until he is forced to rejoin the Confederate Army.  While away, his life is changed, turning Waco into a bitter and angry man.  Turning to a life of crime, he finds himself serving time in jail when his act of heroism garners him the possibility of a shortened sentence. If he will help Miss Sabrina Warren free her sister from the clutches of the vile Trey LeBeau, he will be pardoned for his crime. 
Sabrina hates the fact that she has to rely on a criminal to help her find her sister.  But she has no alternatives.  Waco Smith is the only person who can work himself into LeBeau’s gang and devise a plan to free her sister.  Along the way, Sabrina is transformed from spoiled debutante into a gritty and determined woman.  Her impression of Waco undergoes a transformation as well, one that has her heart tied in knots.
Gilbert Morris has a very deliberant writing style.  Dividing the book into four parts, each section concentrates on a timeframe in each of the lead characters’ life, setting up the story for the time that their two paths cross.  At first I found this distracting, now I realize it is just the style in which Morris prefers to write.  Much like ROSA’s LAND, Morris takes a man that is not your typical hero type, and turns him into just that.  Waco is quite and solemn, and his feelings for Sabrina grow slowly and without his permission.  He sees himself as unchangeable and unworthy of her love, but that doesn’t keep him from protecting Sabrina and wanting to see her sister safely home. 
The Western Justice series is unique in its delivery, but it grows on you.  I have already started RAINA’S CHOICE, and I’m excited to be treated to another fascinating story from Gilbert Morris.

My Review - Rosa's Land

3.5 out of 5 stars

ROSA’S LAND is the first installment in the Western Justice series by Gilbert Morris.  If you enjoy the old west coupled with romance, this is a series for you.  Though the cadence in Gilbert Morris’ writing is a bit unique, with the book broken up into four different sections, it was a quirk I was willing to overlook because the characters drew me in.
Lafayette Riordan is a consummate momma’s boy.  Raised by his mother to be an artist and student, he is nothing like his tough and ready brother’s. Though Lafayette shows no outward signs of discontent, inwardly he longs to handle a pistol and work alongside the marshals under Judge Isaac Parker’s leadership.  His family is shocked when he strikes out on his own to accomplish his dream.  Though Lafayette does join up with Judge Parker’s marshals, his only jobs entail shoveling stalls, washing dishes, and cooking.  But Lafayette knows one day he will get his chance.
Rosa Ramirez and her family have left Texas behind hoping for an easier life on the Oklahoma ranch of her grandfather’s.  But Rosa finds out life is just as hazardous among horse thieves and renegades.  When the ranch is ambushed by outlaws and a ranch hand is killed, Rosa asks Judge Isaac Parker for assistance.  Rosa is livid when the only help Parker is willing to offer is a fragile looking stable hand.
Rosa does little to hide her disdain for Riordan.  But it doesn’t take long for Riordan to prove there is more to him than meets the eye.  Quietly, he establishes himself as quite a gunman and slowly earns not only the respect of the Ramirez clan but more importantly Rosa’s admiration.  When an outlaw Riordan has bested decides to take revenge, Rosa becomes the pawn he uses against Riordan.  It’s up to Riordan to save her, even if it means walking into a trap no man can survive.
I was a little frustrated at first by the way Gilbert writes in sections.  There are four distinct parts to this book and Riordan and Rosa don’t meet up until the end of part two.  To me it seemed like glorified backstory.  But once our hero and heroine met, I was hooked.  Riordan is the strong silent type while Rosa is a firecracker.  As these two learn how to interact with each other, a slow, thoughtful romance develops.  I loved the way Gilbert created such an unassuming character in Riordan, and grew in him all the elements of a true hero.  It was a refreshing twist.  It’s easy to make a heroine and readers fall in love with tall, dark, and handsome, but it takes talent to make us fall for the qualities that make up a true man.

 


Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Review - Tidewater Inn


4 out of 5 stars
TIDEWATER INN had a unique storyline with plenty of suspense and romance.
Libby Holladay and her partner Nicole renovate and save buildings with historical value.  It’s Libby’s true passion in life.  Well, Libby’s life has just turned upside down.  Thinking her father died when she was young, Libby has just found out his death was more recent and that he left her an inheritance in the form of an old seaside house.  She’s also just learned she has a half brother and sister that want nothing to do with her, and her business partner, Nicole, has been kidnapped before her eyes.  Feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on around her, she also learns she is the sheriff’s main suspect in Nicole’s disappearance.  Finding Nicole is Libby’s top priority even though her own life is being threatened.  Though Coast Guard Lieutenant, Alec Bourne, makes it clear he’s suspicious of Libby, he’s the only one that seems willing to help her find Nicole.  What follows is a race against time to find Nicole and her kidnappers, before they find Libby.
I really enjoyed TIDEWATER INN.  Though I read the three books that comprise the Hope Beach series out of order, it did not lessen my enjoyment of the story or the characters of Libby and Alex.  The pace was fast-moving, and I was surprised by not only who the culprit was that was trying to silence Libby, but some of the discoveries Libby made as well.  Alec was a stand-up guy who was honest with Libby about his suspicions, but soon saw that Libby was genuinely kind and carry, and would never intentionally hurt someone.  Libby couldn’t help but be drawn to Alec’s protective manner but tried to keep her feelings under wraps.  Libby’s need to gain her brother and sister’s approval was admirable considering how poorly they treated her.
Out of the three books in the series, I think TIDEWATER INN was my favorite.  A good read with good characters.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

My Review - Seagrass Pier


3.5 out of 5 stars
SEAGRASS PIER is the second installment in the Hope Beach series.  I enjoyed the story, but must say, parts of it were confusing, and other storylines seemed to drop off without resolution.
Elin Summerall’s life of late has been filled with difficulties.  The loss of her husband and a heart transplant has brought her to Seagrass Pier, a place where she can concentrate on her recovery and building a new life for her and her daughter, Josie.  Unfortunately, that is not to be.  When Elin experiences terrifying flashbacks of events she doesn’t remember, she realizes she is witnessing her heart donor’s murder.
FBI agent, Marc Everton isn’t sure he believes Elin’s fantastical story of having her donor’s memories, but something else convinces Marc to stay close to Elin to make sure she and Josie are not in danger.  It doesn’t take long for Marc to realize the flashbacks Elin is experiencing are real and she is being stalked by a killer.  He and Elin have to filter through a list of suspects before the murderer makes good on his threat to eliminate Marc and take Elin for himself.
I enjoyed SEAGRASS PIER, but was frustrated at times by inconsistencies and dropped storylines.  I love the story that developed between Elin and Marc, and the historical background of the house, but with so many characters to keep straight, things got a bit confusing.  I felt like the drug smuggling storyline was thrown in there just for the sake of having a character planted in Elin’s house, a major discrepancy regarding Ben was a bit disappointing, and the story of a lost city was never even tied-up.  Even with all that, it was the story of Elin and Marc that kept me hooked, so the other issues were never big enough to keep me from wanting to finish the book.  But, to be honest, it did seem like there was a lack of proofing that might’ve led to these minor inconsistencies to slip through the cracks. 
 

My Review - Tears of the Sea


5 out of 5 stars
TEARS OF THE SEA is a fantastical story, the likes of which I have never read before!
Perdita was once a woman who dreamt of true love but the evil warlock, Forwin insists such love does not exist. Entering into a bargain with him, Perdita’s world is shattered when her beloved proves Forwin’s words true. Now cursed to swim the oceans as a mermaid, Perdita is given an opportunity every ten years to seek out this true love she so believes in.  But after three hundred years, her hope is dwindling.  Until she meets Savion. A man of exemplary noble character, Perdita is convinced he will be the one to break her curse.  But Savion is not taken with her seductions.  Perdita does everything she can conjure up to make Savion fall in love with her.  And though she feels his love, he does not concede to her immoral ways.
Savion in many ways is under his own curse.  Separated from his father and his kingdom, Savion goes about doing good, knowing one day he and his father will be reunited.  A gifted man who is led by an amulet and his heart, he goes to those in need and provides them with justice and care.  When Savion meets Perdita, he is drawn to her, but is exasperated all the same.  A siren who wishes to entangle him, he does his best to keep her safe but not give into her sensual behavior.  He knows there is more to Perdita, and doesn’t understand why she is so willingly gives herself to men.  He sees the good in her, but unfortunately, that good is buried under layers of conniving and deceit.
Perdita and Savion’s story is an allegory of Christ and those who are lost.  The more you read, the more you pick up on the subtleties Ms. Tyndall as woven into this unique love story.  This is a slight departure from MaryLu’s other novels.  Though she stays true to her passion for adventure on the high seas, she creates a world of fantasy that quickly draws you in.  I am not a reader of fantasy or Sci-fi, but I am a fan of Ms. Tyndall, so I was willing to read outside my genre.  I must say, I am glad I did.  I truly enjoyed both the story of Perdita and Savion, and the reminder that Christ loves us in spite of ourselves..  TEARS OF THE SEA is a cross between Narnia and the Little Mermaid with a rich undertow of love, redemption, and sacrifice.
TEARS OF THE SEA is a page-turner for sure!

Monday, November 17, 2014

My Review - Recipe for Love


4.5 out of 5
RECIPE FOR LOVE is the second book I’ve read from Brandy Bruce, both were quite entertaining and enjoyable. 
Alison Taylor is facing an uncertain future.  Widowed, raising a young son, and running a struggling B&B, Alison has to decide if it’s time to give up on her dream. 
Chef Jeremy Mitchell needs some time away. Though he is passionate about his work, a bed and breakfast and some fishing seems like the perfect getaway.  When he arrives at the Mountain View B&B, he notices it looks a little tired, but his hostess more than makes up for that.  Immediately, Jeremy feels a connection with Alison and Nicholas, and enjoys spending time with them. 
Not thinking she could ever have feelings for another man, Alison is confused by the attraction she feels for Jeremy.  Hesitant, but wanting to pursue her feelings, she know she has to take it slow for Nicholas’ sake.  Jeremy is more than accommodating and willing to give Alison as much time as she needs-because he knows what he’s feeling is love.
I have to say, there’s something about Brandy’s writing I really enjoy.  There’s no suspense or high drama, just a simple story with genuine characters and a natural realism in their interaction.  Usually stories either lean towards suspense or are a little too sweet for me.  Somehow Brandy takes a simple story, removes the saccharine, and leaves a rich full story for the reader to enjoy.
Book provide for review purposes.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

My review - A Heartbeat Away

5 out of 5 stars

A HEARTBEAT AWAY by Harry Kraus was thought-provoking, suspenseful, and pulled me in at every turn.


Dr. Tori Taylor is cold, abrupt, and has no tolerance for incompetence.  She has little need for anyone but her patients.  But that’s all about to change.  After undergoing a heart transplant, Tori realizes, with chilling regret, she has no friends among her colleagues.  Alone in her recovery, Tori begins to have nightmares that feel all too real.  She also experiences a change in her emotions.  Never the expressive, touchy-feely type, Tori now finds herself crying all the time, and needing the physical touch of others.  When she realizes the hospital she works at has put her on administrative leave because of her intolerant behavior, she has no recourse but to apologize to the nursing staff and undergo counseling.  Those are the least of her worries.  Tori is convinced the nightmares she’s having are events in the life of her donor.  Tragic events.  So she begins to investigate.  Soon Tori becomes the hunted.  With the help of Phin, her counselor, she begins to unravel the events leading up to her donor’s death.

A HEARTBEAT AWAY was captivating!  Though Tori is a complete pain in the butt, she becomes a character you empathize with and only want the best for her.  Her relationship with Phin is unique and endearing and just what Tori needs.  The storyline is a bit twisted but believable, especially since Harry Kraus is a doctor.  The flow of the book is unique since Kraus highlight’s several characters that could be Tori’s donor, keeping the reader guessing until the end.  A fascinating read I would highly recommend.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Review - Surprised by Love

4 out of 5 stars
SURPRISED BY LOVE is the third installment in the Heart of San Francisco series.  It had been a while since I read book one and two so I had to reacquaint myself with the characters and couplings that had previously taken place. But other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the plotline, characters, and Ms. Lessman’s unique style.
Megan McClare has experienced quite the makeover.  Before leaving San Francisco, she was shy, awkward, and weighed down with insecurities and a few extra pounds.  But when she returns from a year in Paris, she has shed not only her extra weight, but her wallflower mentality.   She is a new woman, transformed and ready to tackle the world. When her mother makes arrangements for her to intern at the District Attorney’s Office, she is beyond thrilled.  That is until she finds out her arch nemesis; Devin Caldwell will be working side-by-side with her.  Devin’s cruel and merciless ridicule made Megan an outcast throughout her school years, and even though she hated him for it, she was always secretly enamored with him.  But Megan’s true friend and confident is and always will be Bram Hughes.  Bram, a family friend, ten years her senior has treated Megan just like a little sister.  His constant encouragement and care helped Megan through the awkward stages of life.  Now, Megan can’t wait to see Bram again and see if their relationship can move past friendship.  What happens next it not at all what Megan had expected.  While Devin is doing everything he can’t to win her over, Bram is keeping his distance and at times even pushing her away.  Confused, Megan must decide if she can trust Devin with her heart, a heart that has always belonged to Bram.
SURPRISED BY LOVE was very enjoyable with not only the main story of Megan and Bram, but it also brought closure to the story of Cait and Logan.  The McClare family is large, with many siblings and spouses so you have to work at keeping everyone straight.  But once you do, you will be thoroughly immersed in the affection this family has for each other.  My only one critique would be that the author constantly reminds the reader of the characters past woes and predicaments.  At times, this got a bit heavy-handed.  Other than that, SURPRISED BY LOVE has all the components you would expect from a Lessman novel.
This book provided by Revell, a divison of Baker Publishing for review purposes. 
 
 
 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

My Review - At Bluebonnet Lake


3 out of 5 stars
AT BLUEBONNET LAKE is a sweet romance, predictable but enjoyable.
Kate Sherwood is on her way up.  An advertising professional, she’s close to her goal of making partner with her current firm.  The last thing she wants to do is go off the grid for a month, but that’s what she has to do.  She’s promised to accompany her grandmother to Rainbow’s End, a resort in Texas that hold fond memories for her.  What Kate’s not ready for is to spend time in a rundown ranch with very little charm and no internet or cell reception.  Doing her best to enjoy herself and time spent with her grandmother, it gets a little easier when Kate meets Greg, another guest of the ranch.  Encouraged by her matchmaking grandmother to spend time with Greg, Kate does, but has no interest it striking up a romance.  Texas is a long way from Manhattan, and that’s where she’ll be returning after the month is over.  Or so she thinks.
I enjoyed AT BLUEBONNET LAKE for its simplicity.  There were no amazing hooks or plot twists but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment.  We, as the readers, know what Greg’s background is, even if Kate doesn’t.  We are just waiting for the time she finds out and what her reaction will be.  I enjoyed the simple town feel of this story.  I could picture the town of Dupree and enjoyed the secondary characters Ms. Cabot highlighted from the town.  The relationship between Kate’s grandmother and Roy was sweet and added to the overall enjoyable of the story.  Like I said, no surprise twists or turns, just a simple story of love found in unexpected places.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Review - Critical Condition


3.5 out of 5 stars
CRITICAL CONDITION by Richard Mabry, M.D. is chaotic suspense that will keep you guessing.
Dr. Shannon Frasier’s life is about to be turned upside down.  When a random shooting leaves a man dead on her lawn, it brings back difficult memories from her past.  Coupled with her wild-child sister needing a place to crash once again, her father being diagnosed with cancer, and her failure to commit to the man she thinks she loves; Shannon’s emotions are on overdrive. But it’s when she finds out she’s being stalked by a known killer that just about sends her over the edge.  Shannon must compartmentalize her feelings in order to function.  Questioning the actions of the police in charge of the shooting, and wondering if they can even be trusted is making in even harder for her to know what her next step should be.  All she knows is a killer is after her for information she doesn’t have.
CRITICAL CONDITION was quite suspenseful as Dr. Mabry’s books usually are.  I felt he tried to inject a little more romance in this book, but unfortunately the dialogue between Shannon and Mark (her fiancé to be) was so lackluster, I had a hard time believing he was as in love with her as he claimed to be.  But, since Dr. Mabry did not claim this was a romance book, I’ll judge it for what it was-Suspense/Action, and that’s what he delivered.  The only other criticism I have is that he made Detective Steve Alston seem like a real creep.  Not knowing what Alston’s angle was, it made me not like him as a character.  I think if Mabry had given us some key info on Alston earlier on, it would have made me feel empathic for him, instead, I just didn’t like his tactics.
Overall, CRITICAL CONDITION was another winner in my book. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Review - A Promise to Protect


4.5 our of 5 stars
A PROMISE TO PROTECT by Patricia Bradley was a quick read because I didn’t want to put it down.
Leigh Somerall left Logan Point years ago with no plans to return.  But ten years later she is back at the request of her brother.  Leigh has only two goals while in Logan Point- for her son to feel a sense of family, and to stay as far away from Ben Logan as possible.  But when tragedy strikes, her and Ben’s world’s collide.  Hurt and confused, Leigh doesn’t know what to do and her traitorous heart is not helping.  Knowing she and Ben can never go back to what they once had, she makes plans to leave town.  If someone doesn’t kill her first.
Sheriff Ben Logan never knew what went wrong between him and Leigh.  But he plans to find out.  When Leigh is threatened, Ben must put personal feelings aside and do all he can to keep her and her son safe.  A job that would be a lot easier if Leigh would stop pushing him away.
As Leigh and Ben search for answers as to why Leigh is being threatened, old feelings begin to resurface.  Leigh knows it is only a matter of time before Ben finds out the truth, but she plans to be long gone before that can happen.
A PROMISE TO PROTECT was a great follow-up to SHADOWS OF THE PAST.  Though both books are in the Logan Point series, they can easily stand alone.  There is very little overlap between the two.  Though Leigh’s secret wasn’t hard to guess, I felt Ms. Bradley did a good job at crafting a whodunit with several suspects, keeping readers wondering until the very end. Patricia Bradley is a top-notch romance/suspense writer.  I will definitely add her to my list of authors to watch for.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My review - Firewall


5 out of 5 stars
A MUST READ!!
FIREWALL by DiAnn Mills was amazing!
I just finished reading NO ONE TO TRUST by Lynette Eason.  It was fast-paced and incredible.  One of the best books I’ve read this year.  Then, I pick up FIREWALL, and again, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, exhausted from the fast-paced, thrilling storyline.
Software developer, Taryn Young is on cloud nine.  After a whirlwind three month courtship, she has married the perfect man.  Francis “Shep” Shepherd is her everything and she can’t wait to start their honeymoon.  But when a bomb decimates the airport terminal she’s in and her husband is nowhere to be found, she is terrified thinking he is among the dead.  But she soon learns that is only the beginning of her nightmare.  When she wakes in the hospital she learns the FBI suspects her and her husband in the airport bombing.  Knowing she is innocent and the FBI is grasping at straws, she waits for word on Shep.  When surveillance footage shows him leaving the airport minutes before the bomb goes off she’s confused.  When she finds out nothing about Shep is real, she id devastated.  Taryn is rocked by Shep’s duplicity.  Realizing their entire relationship was motivated by his need to get his hands on the high security software she was working on leaves her feeling betrayed and numb.  Knowing it is up to her to prove her own innocents, she teams with the FBI to find out what all this means.  Why the bombing?  And who is after her software?
Agent Grayson Hall is tasked with catching the airport bomber.  And even though all evidence points to Taryn Young and her imposter husband, his gut tells him she is innocent.  Grayson is determined to help Taryn clear her name, but his first objective is to keep her alive.  Grayson and Taryn become the hunted by those who want her software and a mole within the FBI.  With their lives and national security on the line, Taryn and Grayson are running out of time.
AMAZING book!!  After reading back-to-back thrillers I am mentally exhausted.  The action just kept coming.  I could barely catch my breath.  A must read for anyone who likes action/suspense/romance, because FIREWALL had it all.

My Review - No One to Trust


5 out of 5 stars
Spectacular!
NO ONE TO TRUST by Lynette Eason is one of the most gripping, high speed books I have read in a long time.  At times, my heart was racing as fast as Summer and Kyle were running.  A real thriller!
Summer Abernathy awakes to find armed men in her bedroom in search of her missing husband.  The story they tell her regarding her husband is ludicrous.  But, if she doesn’t do what they say, they’ll kill her.  Not knowing what to do or what to believe, Summer sets out to find Kyle’s laptop.  Instead, she finds Kyle and is devastated to learn everything she thinks she knows about him is a lie.  On the run together, Kyle/David tries to explain to Summer why he has been living a secret life. Summer is pulled into David’s world of organized crime, murder, and an FBI mole that keeps painting a target on their backs.  Even if they outrun the criminals, Summer realizes she has no idea what kind of man she’s married to.
I can’t say enough about NO ONE TO TRUST.  The title says it all, and if I elaborate much more than that, I will give too much away.  An action-packed, seat-of-your-pants, novel that you won’t want to put down.  I thoroughly enjoyed NOWHERE TO HIDE, but NO ONE TO TRUST was spectacular! 

A MUST READ!!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

My Review - Shadows of the Past


4.5 out of 5 stars
SHADOWS OF THE PAST by Patricia Bradley was a ‘just one more chapter and then I’ll put it down” kind of book.  The kicker . . . one chapter always led to another.
Taylor Martin is a psychology professor and a top-notch criminal profiler.  Unfortunately, her skills have failed her in her most important case-the disappearance of her father twenty years ago.  When Taylor feels she has a new lead, she heads back to her hometown of Logan Point, Mississippi.  Once there, a stalker begins to threaten her.  Thinking her stalker is one of her previous students, Taylor sets out to find Scott Sinclair, only to butt heads with his brother, Nick Sinclair. 
After the loss of his wife in a tragic accident, mystery writer, Nick Sinclair wants to find Scott, his estranged brother and the only family he has left.  When he finds out his brother is being pursued by the police, Nick does everything in his power to prove Scott’s innocents.  Knowing Taylor Martin is hot on Scott’s trail, he asks Taylor if they can combine their resources to find Scott.  Even though he and Taylor have two completely different agenda’s, Nick can’t help but be attracted to Taylor.
Taylor and Nick try to ignore their mutual attraction for each other while looking for answers in both her father’s disappearance and the indisputable evidence proving Scott is her stalker.  When it’s clear someone is trying to silence Taylor, she’s not sure if it’s ghosts from her past or someone trying to protect Scott.  All she knows is things are not what they appear.
I bought this book because I am schedule to do a review for book two in this series, A PROMISE TO PROTECT.  I wanted to make sure I read book one in case there was information I needed.  I found very little overlapped between book one and two, but I am so glad I read SHADOWS OF THE PAST.  It was fiction-romance-suspense at its best.  I would compare Ms. Bradley’s style to that of Irene Hannon and Lynette Eason – other romance/suspense writer’s that are on my favorites list.  The main characters were well fleshed out and genuine.  And with a substantial list of secondary characters, the reader has numerous suspects to choose from as they try to solve who is after Taylor Martin.  I guessed early and happened to be right, but that in no way lessened my enjoyment in the book.  I am almost done with A PROMISE TO PROTECT and will post its review later this month.  But let me just say, I will be keeping my eye out for book three.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

My Review - Deceived


5 out of 5 stars
DECEIVED, book three in the Private Justice series, was another great read from Irene Hannon.
Kate Marshall has made great strides moving on after the tragic death of her husband and son. Leaving New York and starting a new life in St. Louis, Kate has found a career that suits her.  Counseling woman who want to reenter the work place has given her life meaning. But, a single glimpse at a boy on a mall escalator sends her spiraling. Convinced the boy she saw is her dead son, Kevin, she follows after the boy and the man he is with.  When they vanish, she turns to the police. When the police are less than helpful, Kate turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan.  Though Connor explains to her the chances of finding the boy is a long shot, he agrees to take her case.
Former Secret Service agent, Connor Sullivan knows there isn’t much he can do to find the mystery boy Kate thinks is her missing son, but he’s willing to do whatever he can to give her closure.  But to his amazement, pieces to a broader puzzle begin to emerge. The boating accident that took Kate’s husband and son might not have been an accident at all.
As Kate and Connor work closely together gathering evidence, their relationship become more personal.  Kate isn’t sure if she’s ready for a romantic entanglement, and Connor doesn’t believe in fraternizing with clients. But no matter how hard they try to push their feeling aside, their connection continues to grow stronger.  When all evidence points to Kate’s son being alive, Connor can’t help but feel that Kate is endanger.  Someone has gone to great lengths to cover-up a murder and a kidnapping. Kate is the only person standing in the way of that person’s success. 
What can I say, Irene Hannon is a top notch romance/suspense writer.  Her stories are always exciting page-turners.  Her heroines seem to have the right mix of need and grit, while the male lead is the consummate hero. Though most times the reader knows who the bad guys are, it’s always an exciting journey to watch the story play out. I can’t wait for the Men of Valor series coming Spring 2015.
Book provided of review purposes.
Available September 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Review - Love's Fortune

3 out of 5 stars

LOVE’S FORTUNE, the third installment in the Ballantyne Legacy was good, but not necessarily great.
Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne is something of a lame duck.  Though she is an heir to the Ballantyne fortune, she has lived in relative obscurity in Kentucky.  All that changes when her father is summoned to Pennsylvania and Wren must accompany him.  Thrown into a world of formality, ball gowns, etiquette, and suitors; she must maneuver the upper crust with the propriety expected of a Ballantyne. When she is expected to have a ‘season’, her aunt arranges for James Sackett to be her escort.  Completely taken by the former steamboat pilot, Wren is excited to spend time with James.  She only wishes he saw more in her than just the duty of being her escort.
James Sackett, is like an adoptive son to Silas Ballantyne.  When he is asked to escort his granddaughter through a season, he does so willingly.  Though he feels a growing infatuation for Wren, he must not show it. There are those seeking to harm James for his abolitionist leanings, and he refuses to subject Wren or any of the Ballantynes to such dangers. 
I have had a love-hate relationship with this series.  While I loved LOVE’S AWAKENING, LOVE’S RECKONING fell short.  LOVE’s FORTUNE fall somewhere in-between.  I love the characters of Wren and James, and many of the secondary characters as well.  I just feel as if the story was a bit drawn out and slow.  There were so many sub-plots going on, at times, it got a bit confusing.  The drama towards the end of the book made up for some of the lag time in the middle, I guess I just would’ve preferred more pages being devoted to Wren and James.  I must admit, this time period isn’t one of my favorites so my patience is easily tested. For someone who loves this period, I am sure the book would hold your attention better than mine.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

My Review - Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard


4.5 out of 5 stars
DEADLY DEVOTION is book one in the Port Aster Secrets series. Romance, suspense, and more twists than a mountain road.

Herbiest, Kate Adams insists her friend Daisy did not kill herself.  But the Port Aster Police Department does not agree.  Though she knows Detective Tom Parker is annoyed with her, she doesn’t care.  Kate will do whatever is necessary to prove Daisy was murdered, even if she has to use herself as bait.
Detective Tom Parker is beyond frustrated with Kate Adams.  With her wild accusations and uncanny way of getting herself into dangerous situations, he has no choice but to look into Kate’s allegations, if only to keep her out of trouble.  Unfortunately, his chief doesn’t want him wasting time on a closed case so Tom’s is unofficially keeping his eye on Kate.
While Kate and Tom sidestep their growing attraction for each other, they have come to the agreement Daisy was indeed murdered - now to prove it.
I really enjoyed DEADLY DEVOTION and BLIND TRUST, book two in the series.  Though I read them out of order (book two was sent to me as part of a contest so I couldn’t post a public review), both books kept me interested and involved.  I enjoyed the characters of Kate and Tom.  Kate is a go-getter and Tom has just the right mix of exasperation and protectiveness.  Tom’s family and the other members of the Port Aster community added small town charm to the story, and lent to the myriad of suspects.  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the next installment in the series.

 

Monday, September 08, 2014

My Review - Nowhere to Turn


5 out of 5
NOWHERE TO TURN was fast-paced and intense, from beginning to end.
Danielle Harding’s life has taken one difficult turn after another.  Wanting nothing more than to protect her eleven-year-old son from her abusive husband, Danielle decides to flee.  But, in a freak turn of events, Kurt Harding is killed.  And with his death, Dani finally feels safe.  Unfortunately for her, the danger is just beginning.  It seems Dani’s husband has been working with less than reputable people.  When these people suspect Kurt has taken something of value, they go after Danielle.  Dani has no idea why someone is stalking her and her son.  All she knows is there is nowhere to turn but to Operation Refuge – a privately funded organization that helps people disappear.  Dani experiences a rollercoaster of emotions.  She immediately finds herself trusting Adam Buchanan the man assigned to protect her, but her wounded psyche questions if she should trust another man with her life and the life of her son.  But the more time she spends with Adam, and seeing the positive and caring interaction he has with Simon, she feels her heart softening and allows herself to believe maybe there could be something more between them.
Adam Buchanan of Operation Refuge moves in to assist Dani and her son, Simon.  Though he feels an immediate attraction for Dani, Adam recognizes he needs to keep his demeanor professional.  What he thinks will be a smooth transition in moving Dani and Simon to safety quickly turns into an intricate game of cat and mouse.  Barely being able to keep one step ahead of Dani’s pursuers, Adam does all he can to keep them safe, find out who is calling the shots, and why they want Dani dead.
NOWHERE TO TURN was the consummate page-turner where the action never seemed to stop.  Dani and Adam were great lead characters.  And Simon was a wonderfully written charmer.  I am a real fan of Lynette Eason and was shocked to find out she had a new series I was unaware of.  NOWHERE TO TURN is the second installment in the Hidden Identity series.  I will definitely be going back to purchase NO ONE TO TRUST, the first book in the series.  If you like action-adventure with romance, you definitely want to read NOWHERE TO TURN.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available August 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Review - A Bouquet of Love


3 out of 5 stars
A BOUQUET OF LOVE was a light, quirky romance set amongst a family feud rivaling the Hatfields and McCoys. 
Flowers are Cassia Pappas’ life.  She dreams of being a florist.  A dream that will never be realized if her father has anything to say about it.  Niko Pappas runs his family Gyros business with an iron fist and demands nothing but loyalty from his family.  And loyalty to Niko Pappas means no fraternizing with anyone in the Rossi clan.  That becomes increasingly difficult since the Rossi family has their hands in just about every business at Galveston Island.
When Cassia does the unthinkable and secretly gets a job at the local florist owned by a Rossi family member, she hopes to ease her father into the idea of her working somewhere besides the family restaurant.  When she meets Alex, the local flower supplier, she is more than smitten.  She and Alex immediately hit it off.  But when Cassia finds out he too has close relations to the Rossi’s, she is sure her father is going to disown her . . . if he doesn’t kill her first.  What follows is a cavalcade of characters from both the Pappas and Rossi clans trying to nurture relationships without the family patriarchs finding out.
A BOUQUET OF LOVE was just a bit too quirky and chaotic for me.  I need to clarify that my genre of choice is action/suspense/romance so I am sure that has a lot to do with why A BOUQUET OF LOVE didn’t hold my interest.  The story of the feuding families definitely overshadowed the budding relationship between Cassia and Alex, making their storyline feel more like a filler than the focal point.  But that’s just my opinion.  Anyone who likes slapstick comedy and cozy stories would probably appreciate A BOUQUET OF LOVE.  It just wasn’t my piece of cake, or should I say Baklava.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available August 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Review - Second Chance Cafe


4 out of 5 stars
SECOND CHANCE CAFÉ was the perfect mid-summer quick read.  The storyline was good and the characters genuine.  The perfect break from the suspense books I usually read.
Isabella Romano is feeling stretched.  Not only does her nursing job keep her busy, but her ailing father occupies her time and her thoughts.  So, when patient Ethan Carter vies for her attention, she convinces herself she has no time for a personal life.  
Firefighter Ethan Carter is smitten with Isabella and does everything he can to convince her to give him a chance.  When his back injury is slow to heal, Ethan decides to fulfill a lifelong dream and buy a café.  Something that pushes Isabella even further away.
Isabella’s family is in the restaurant business, something she wants no part of.  When she finds out Ethan has just purchased the café next to the firehouse, she’s convinced nothing could come of their relationship.  What ensues is the push and pull of two people figuring out if they can really make their relationship work.
SECOND CHANCE CAFÉ was a sweet and enjoyable story.  Isabella is stubborn and Ethan is persistent.  The perfect match for a spark-filled romance. 
Book provided for review purposes.

 

Friday, August 08, 2014

My Review - In Perfect Time


4 out of 5 stars
IN PERFECT TIME by Sarah Sundin was nostalgic romance at its best.
Army flight nurse Lt. Kay Jobson is a professional dater.  Stringing men together like paper dolls, she flirts and teases her way from base to base, only to leave broken hearts when the relationships demands too much. 
Lt. Roger Cooper, a C-47 pilot has crossed paths with Kay on numerous occasions but has never fallen under her spell.  Everyone thinks it is his devout Christian faith that has him walking the straight and narrow, but its Cooper’s past that has him keeping his distance from Kay.  But, Roger isn’t the only one keeping secrets. 
Kay struggles with who she is and what she’s become.  Knowing she will never be good enough for the likes of Roger Cooper, she decides a friendship is all they’ll ever have.  But the more Kay is exposed to the God Roger serves instead of the God from her youth, the closer they get.  Thinking they might really have a chance together, Kay is devastated when Roger pushes her away.  Though she does everything she can to stay out of Roger’s path, they are teamed together for a mission that could possibly be their last.
IN PERFECT TIME is the third installment in the Wings of the Nightingale series, but the first one I have read.  It stood completely on its own, and I never felt like I was missing out from not reading the first two books.  I am not usually a fan of period pieces, but I really enjoyed IN PERFECT TIME.  The characters were rich, diverse, and believable.  While the author leads you to believe that both Roger and Kay are carefree people living in the moment, you find out it’s their difficult upbringings and choices they made in their youth that defines who they are as adults.  The setting and the period really enhanced the story, but at times, I felt the author bogged the reader down with intricate flight details that weren’t really that necessary.  I believe this is the first book I’ve read from author Sarah Sundin, but I might just have to go back and read books one and two.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available July 2014 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

My Review - Predator


5 out of 5 stars

PREDATOR by Terri Blackstock is a chilling tale taken from today’s headlines.
Krista Carmichael is on a quest to find her sister’s murderer.  Fourteen-year-old Ella was brutally beaten, raped, and buried alive.  Krista is convinced her sister’s killer stalked Ella on the social media site GrapeVyne.  With the media site’s Thought Bubble posting member’s whereabouts and activities, members can be easily stalked by predator’s masquerading as friends.  Krista is determined to find the man that killed her sister.  Reaching out to Ryan Adkins, the creator of GrapeVyne, Krista asks him to post warnings on his site to discourage young people from divulging too much information.
Ryan Adkins is touched by Krista’s loss, but his hands are tied.  Though he is the creator of the social media site, he no longer holds controlling power over it.  GrapeVyne’s board of directors feel posting warnings or disclaimers on their site would in some ways be looked at as GrapeVyne claiming responsibility, something they have no intentions of doing.  But, when two more victims are linked to the media site, Ryan can helped but feel as if action needs to be taken.  When he involves himself with Krista and her agenda, he is fired from his own company.  But that doesn’t stop him.  Ryan is bound and determined to help Krista unmasked the anonymous predator.  He knows he is onto something when he becomes the predator’s next target.
PREDATOR was captivating and unsettling.  With our day-to-day world so wrapped up in the internet and social media, PREDATOR unveils the dangers of people allowing their lives to be an open book for all to see.  The story was realistic, and the characters multi-faceted.  From the diligence of Krista’s quest, to the grieving of Ella’s dad, to the feelings that develop between Krista and Ryan, the storylines blend seamlessly.  Once again, Terri Blackstock has me reading when my attention should be on other things.  Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

My Review - Downfall


5 out of 5 stars
DOWNFALL, book three in the Intervention series by Terri Blackstock was riveting.
The Intervention series continues with the Covington family. 
Barbara has moved her family to Atlanta for two reasons.  One – to put some distance between her daughter, Emily and her druggie friends.  Two – so she can be closer to Detective Kent Harlan, the man she’s following in love with.
Emily is two years sober and has slowly put her life back together.  She’s in college and working at a recovery center, but her mother continues to walk on eggshells around her, afraid she’s going to relapse.
Lance, Emily’s teenage brother, is struggling at his new school.  Treated as an outcast, he wishes they never would’ve moved.  His only friend is April, a girl he’s smitten with.  But when he finds out she’s dabbling in drugs, he’s angered and frustrated. 
Barbara and Kent’s relationship continues to progress, but with all the drama in Barbara’s life, Kent doesn’t want to put too much pressure on her.
What follows is the twists and turns that bring all these scenarios together.  Emily is being stalked by someone who wants her dead.  Lance is doing all he can to protect April from drugs and the guy who is supplying her with them.  Kent works a case that could have ties to Emily’s problems.  And Barbara is struggling to keep her family together.
DOWNFALL is the perfect culmination to the Intervention series.  I loved that the Covington family is center throughout the series.  With each book you learn just a little bit more about what makes them tick.  They are a family passionately in love with and protective of each other, but the trials and tribulations they face continue to test their bonds.  I can’t say much without giving plotlines away.  So, I will just say that it was a fascinating, suspenseful, driven series that is worth investing in the whole set.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My Review - Vicious Cycle


4 out of 5 stars
VISIOUS CYCLE, the second in the Intervention series was face-paced and exciting.
Lance Covington is a caring guy.  He’s only fifteen, but his concern for Jordan - a pregnant girl he met at his sister’s drug rehab center – is about to get him in more trouble than he thought imaginable.  Wrongly accused of kidnapping Jordan’s newborn, he’s devastated to find out Jordan is the one who fingered him to the police.  But with his Mom and Detective Kent Harlan helping him, he’s sure everything will eventually get ironed out.  But when he gets out of jail, he and Jordan find themselves in even more danger.
VICIOUS CYCLE was a great follow-up to INTERVENTION.  Though Lance was the focus of this installment, Emily, Barbara and Kent’s stories progressed as well. I can’t say much without giving away the story, but the action, suspense, and plotline was intense and riveting.  So glad I already own Downfall-book three -so I can start right in.

 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Review - Intervention


4 out of 5 stars

INTERVENTION by Terri Blackstock is the first in the Intervention Series.  Though the world of addiction and drug abuse is central to the plot, it’s the suspense and intensity that makes this book a page-turner.
Barbara Covington has just done the hardest thing in her life since burying her husband.  She’s put Emily-her drug addict daughter-on a plane in the care of an interventionist, praying it’s not too late to save her.  But, when the interventionist is found at the airport murdered and Emily is nowhere to be found, Detective Kent Harlan labels Emily their prime suspect.  Panicked, Barbara and her son, Lance, rush to Atlanta to help find Emily and prove her innocence.  Though Emily has lied, stole, and spent time in jail for past offenses, Barbara refuses to believe her daughter would murder just to get her next fix.  But with Emily missing, one of two things have happened.  Either Emily witnessed a murder and is now in danger of being the next victim, or Barbara no longer knows her daughter and Emily has done the unspeakable. 
INTERVENTION is a face-paced, consuming novel centered in the world of drug addiction.  As always, Ms. Blackstock keeps the intensity flowing from on page to the next, making it hard for the reader to put the book down.  The characters were well fleshed out.  A panicked mother, a paranoid drug addict, a smarter than average adolescent son, and a cynical detective, all these characters worked their way into my senses, making them believable and people I genuinely cared about.  Though the plot isn’t hard to figure out in advance of the author laying it out for the reader, it didn’t make it any less enjoyable and thrilling to read.  I haven’t read Blackstock’s books in a while, and now I have read three back-to-back-to-back, reminding me once more why I enjoy her as an author.  Suspense, great characters, and gripping stories that have you staying up late just to read one more chapter. Thankfully, I already have Vicious Cycle on hand, the next book in the Intervention Series.  So much for getting anything else done this weekend.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Review - Distortion

5 out of 5 stars

DISTORTION was fast paced and completely consuming.  Terri Blackstock has written yet another riveting, action-filled novel.

Juliet Cole’s world has just been rocked.  When her husband in gunned down in front of her, Juliet is in shock.  But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  What she first thinks is a random shooting she soon learns was an intentional hit.  Finding out her husband has led a secret life takes her out at the knees.  Now she must find a way to protect her children’s memories of their father while she helps the FBI gather evidence against him.  But when the same men that killed her husband go after her sons, Juliet will take whatever risk necessary to protect them. 
In DISTORTION, the Cramer family we were first introduced to in TRUTH STAINED LIES is once again pulled into a vortex of pain and heartbreak.  I would definitely recommend that readers read TRUTH STAINED LIES first so they will know the background of siblings Cathy, Holly and Jay; and Michael Hogan, their close family friend.  Each of these characters are well fleshed out in the first installment of the Moonlighters series and segues seamlessly into the second installment.  I love the tenacity of the Cramer sisters.  And though Juliet is the focus of DISTORTION, we get to see the relationship between Cathy and Michael grow stronger.  I can only assume there will a third installment in the series, which I will anxiously watch for.  But quite frankly, I can’t see how the Cramer family will be handle yet another tragedy.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Review - Truth Stained Lies

TRUTH STAINED LIES is consummate Terri Blackstock. Action, suspense, with just a thread of romance.  I haven’t read one of Terri’s books in a long time.  I stockpile them, but haven’t picked one up lately.  So glad I did.

Cathy Cramer is a blogger of crimes.  A former lawyer, she sits in on high profile cases and then blogs about them, usually adding her indicting two cents.  Well, that’s all about to change.  When she receives a threatening note, she dismisses it.  But, when her sister-in-law is murdered and all evidence points to Cathy’s brother, Jay, she knows he’s being set-up by whoever left her the note.  But why? 

Cathy enlists the help of her two sisters, and Michael Hogan to prove Jay’s innocence.  Once engaged to Michael’s brother, Joe, Cathy and Michael share a special bond.  And now it is there job to convince the local police that the “facts” against Jay aren’t what they appear to be.

TRUTH STAINED LIES is a fast-paced novel that pulls you in from the very first scene.  The characters Ms. Blackstock created are multi-faceted with flaws and scars.  When I read the blurb about Cathy and her sisters moonlighting as investigators I was concerned that the storyline was going to be cheesy.  Maybe that was why it took my so long to choose to read this book.  But, I should’ve never doubted Ms. Blackstock.  The plotlines involving the Cramer sisters and the lengths they took to try and prove their brother’s innocents were well crafted and completely believable.  I can’t wait to read DISTORTION, book two in the series.  Luckily, I already have it on my book shelf.