Thursday, December 03, 2015

My Review - Only with Blood

2 out of 5 stars
ONLY WITH BLOOD was not my cup of tea. Steep in the history of Ireland in the 40s and the IRA, I had a hard time finishing the book, only doing so because I received the book in exchange for a review. Other than the fact that a good chunk of the story was dedicated to information regarding the IRA, my dislike for the main characters made it difficult for me to draw any attachment to them. Jack Flynn is portrayed as the villain, but in the end, he is the only one with any heart. I didn’t like the character of Donal Kelly because I felt he was manipulative, and obsessive in his attraction to Caitlin—a woman he hardly knew. And Caitlin—who I admit—had reason to be bitter, was so focused on herself and her goals, she never developed as a person. The story dragged, mostly due to the history of Ireland and the IRA. And at times, the writing style was confusing because of the POV shifts that happened quite regularly. Swearing doesn’t bother me, even in Christian fiction when it’s pivotal to the scene, but I felt in this book it was overused and at times unnecessary.

The back of the book portrayed ONLY WITH BLOOD as more of a love story. I felt it was more of a history lesson. Though I didn’t appreciate the book, I am sure anyone who is interested in this period of history, or the growth of Ireland would find it more fascinating than I did.
Book provided for review purposes.

Friday, November 27, 2015

My Review - By Your Side

5 out of 5 stars
BY YOUR SIDE by Candace Calvert gives you a steady dose of romance and suspense, while keeping God at the forefront.
Macy Wynn has survived due to her sheer determination and her unwillingness to depend on anyone but herself. The product of uncommitted parents and a foster care system that let her down, Macy learned long ago that she could trust no one but herself. Now, an ER nurse, Macy intends on making a home for her and her foster sister without any outside distractions. That is until she meets Deputy Fletcher Holt. At first, she sees Fletcher as an interloper, and someone to keep at arm’s length. But the more she gets to know him, the more she opens herself up to the possibility of a relationship.
Deputy Fletcher Holt has always believed everything happens for a reason. But after having to relocate from his beloved Houston, watch his mother battle cancer for the second time, and realize his love for a woman will never be reciprocated, he’s second-guessing God’s plan for his life. If that isn’t enough, he can’t seem to get Macy Wynn out of his head, even though she’s made it abundantly clear she’s not interested.
As both of their paths cross with that of a brutal sniper, they find themselves leaning on each other for strength and comfort. When it’s apparent the sniper has chosen Macy as his next target, both Macy and Fletcher must evaluate where to put their trust and faith.
I love the action and realism Ms. Calvert brings to her books thanks to her own background as an ER nurse. She does a good job balancing technical terminology and dialogue so that the reader doesn’t get lost or confused among the medical jargon. Her characters are always warm and caring, even if they are at times standoffish. Macy has reasons for her need to be in control, and Fletcher’s positive outlook is a byproduct of his Christian faith. When they take the time to better understand each other, they realize they aren’t so different from one another. Ms. Calvart always makes sure to surround her key players with characters the reader would like to get to know better. It makes for the perfect segway into her next installment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My Review - Vendetta

5 out of 5 stars

VENDETTA is a great start in another series from Lisa Harris
Agent Nikki Boyd’s life has been shaped by her sister Sarah. When Sarah went missing ten years ago, Nikki changed career paths. Now an agent with the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force, she’s been called in to investigate a case involving a missing teenager. When clues in her current case resemble those of her sister’s, Nikki realizes the case isn’t about finding a missing girl. Someone is stalking Nikki. Someone with information that was never revealed to the public regarding her sister’s case. Trying to stay one step ahead is difficult when you don’t know who you’re chasing. With time running out, Nikki knows she must find the missing girl before she becomes the unfortunate victim in a killer’s twisted game.
Fast-paced, action-packed, emotionally-charged—those are just a few adjectives I can use to describe VENDETTA. Not only is Nikki on a journey in her professional life, but in her personal life as well. After losing her best friend, Kate, in a boating accident, Nikki has remained close to Tyler, Kate’s husband. Though Nikki is dating a guy Tyler dubs “Mr. Perfect”, Nikki struggles with her changing feelings for Tyler. In a twist of circumstance, Tyler is with her as she closes in on the abductor they’re chasing. He becomes the person she leans on during a very difficult time, making her more acutely aware that her feelings for Tyler have somehow changed. But knowing he is still in love with Kate, Nikki keeps her feelings to herself.
I loved everything about VENDETTA. The characters were great, the plot heavily steeped with twists and turns, and the setting beautiful but unsettling. This was a book I didn’t want to put down. When I wasn’t trying to figure out who the killer was, I was internally coaxing Nikki to realize what she has with Tyler is more than just friendship. The perfect mix of romance and suspense. I can’t wait for the next installment.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available October 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, November 09, 2015

My Review - A Cup of Dust

3.5 out of 5 stars

A CUP OF DUST is a deep story depicting a difficult time in history. Slow-paced but moving.
Life is difficult in Oklahoma in the 1930s, but Pearl Spence knows that her father, Sheriff Tom Spence will always make things right. She feels safe and loved, even though the Dust Bowl has turned the town of Red River into a desolate place. But when a stranger comes to town, Pearl feels wary. Eddie talks like he knows her, and always seems to be around. She tries to keep her distance, but he even finds his way into her home. Pearl knows the stranger is up to no good, but he threatens her in order to keep her quiet. She struggles with what she’s seen, and what she’s been told, but no one can convince her Eddie is good. And, it’s up to her to convince her father that Eddie’s really bad.
I enjoyed A CUP OF DUST, though at times, it was difficult to read. I love suspense and intrigue, but I guess since it was wrapped around a ten-year-old girl, at times, it felt disturbing. The author did a great job painting a picture of what it was like during this time in America history. And the characters were diverse and well fleshed out. A good story, a meaningful story, but not a story for those looking only for light reading.
Book provided for review purposes.


Friday, October 23, 2015

My Review - Life Support

4 out of 5 stars
LIFE SUPPORT is the third installment in the Grace Medical series. Once again, Candace Calvert intertwines drama and romance expertly.
Nurse Lauren Barclay is back in Houston, but not by choice. She has tasked herself with the formidable job of keeping Jess, her living-on-the-edge sister, out of trouble. Unfortunately that means her path is continuously crossing that of PA Eli Landry. The triangle that linked Lauren with Jess and Eli in the past was disastrous, and one Lauren was hoping to avoid this time around. But, the more interaction she has with Eli, the more she sees a different side of the man she blamed for betraying her sister.
Physician’s Assistant Elijah Landry’s emotional limits are being put to the test. He’s desperate to spare his disabled brother, Drew, from treatments that minimize his quality of life, while Eli’s father seeks a restraining order prohibiting Eli from any say in Drew’s care. If that isn’t enough, Eli’s juggling his single parent status to his daughter, Emma, and the roller coaster of feelings he still harbors for Lauren Barclay. He wants nothing more than to repair his relationship with Lauren, but she is so blinded by her sister’s needs, she won’t give him the time of day, or a chance to explain what went wrong between him and Jess.
Seeing each other day after day begins to erode the wall Lauren has erected between her and Eli. The way he cares for his brother and his daughter speaks volumes about the man she had feelings for at one time. But, when a hurricane strikes, and once again Jess proves herself untrusting, it’s Eli who puts a wall between Lauren and him, a wall Lauren isn’t sure she can penetrate.
I really enjoy Candace Calvert’s writing style. Being a nurse, she brings such realism to her hospital room dramas. Her characters are always well fleshed out, attracting the reader because of their depth and charisma. Even the whimsical character of Shrek, the dog, comes to life. Candace’s stories are always a quick read because you don’t want to put her books down. LIFE SUPPORT is the third in the series, but can be easily read as a stand-alone novel.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

My Review - Double Cross

4.5 out of 5 stars
DiAnn Mills does a great job of marrying a crime suspense novel with just enough romance to keep the female reader interested.
FBI Agent Laurel Everston lost not only her partner in her last undercover assignment, but her self-respect as well. Posing as Morton Wilmington’s fiancée, she crossed lines in order to capture him and send him to prison. What did she gain? A death threat from Wilmington and a position in the white collar crimes unit. Now, five years later, as she investigates crimes against the elderly, she finds out Wilmington might be her best bet in finding the people behind the scams. Even though Wilmington proclaims he’s undergone a Godly transformation while in prison, Laurel doesn’t buy it. She figures it’s just another scam of Wilmington’s to get close to her so he can exact his revenge. Pressed by those above her, Laurel has no choice but to work with Wilmington, even if it means her reputation will once again be tainted.
Police Officer Daniel Hilton finds out his grandparents have been the victim of a life insurance scam, a scam that could cause them their lives. Though the FBI is looking into the matter, he has a personal stake and forces Laurel to include him in her investigation. Although he’s less than thrilled to be working with Wilmington, Daniel doesn’t have a choice. And his growing attraction to Laurel muddies the waters even more.
Laurel and Daniel work hard to find the right leads and the right people involved in the scam against the elderly, but neither of them trust Morton’s supposed transformation. Even if he’s providing pertinent information, Laurel and Daniel can’t help but think Morton is orchestrating an elaborate double cross.
DOUBLE CROSS definitely kept me guessing. Morton is a slimy character who’s hard to read, Laurel has definite skeletons in her closet, and Daniel’s childhood was less than perfect. As the three of these characters try to move forward, their pasts continue to haunt them, making them wary of future relationships. Daniel is grounded in faith, Morton has a supposed new faith, and Laurel has no desire to return to her faith. The longer they work as a team, the more they learn about each other, themselves, and the betrayals that shaped their pasts. But they all are asking the same question. Are they being DOUBLE CROSSed?

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

My Review - THe Methuselah Project

4.5 out of 5 stars
THE METHUSELAH PROJECT stretches your imagination, but its well worth the ride. This from a person who doesn’t normally enjoy novels that lean towards Sci-fi.

Fighter pilot, Captain Roger Greene is thankful to be alive after being shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943. When he becomes a prisoner of war, he realizes he’s not being treated like other POW’s. He has become a test patient for a fountain of youth experiment. What shocks him even further is when he finds out the experiment has been proven a success. After being a prisoner for over seven decades, he finally escapes, but the world is nothing like he left behind. When he meets up with Katherine Mueller, he finds a sympathizer that believes him and offers her help.
Katherine Mueller leads a somewhat sheltered life. Raised by her prim and proper uncle, she feels an obligation to do what he asks, including being a part of a secret society that her parents dedicated their life to. When her path crosses with Roger Greene, her world as she knows it turns sideways. He insists he’s been held prisoner in Germany and subjected to a life as a living experiment. Katherine thinks her skills are being tested by the Heritage Organization and goes along with Captain Greene’s story. But, when an assassin is quick on their heels, she realizes the secret organization might not be what she thinks it is, and Roger’s story just might be true.
THE METHUSELAH PROJECT had its ebbs and flows. It started out fast pace, but then seemed to slow as Roger’s imprisonment dragged on, but after his escape, the momentum shifts and quickly became a book I just couldn’t put down. I am not one for books that test your imagination, but Rick Barry’s characters were so well fleshed out, I couldn’t help but become invested in Roger’s struggle to get home, and Katherine’s need to find out the truth behind the organization her uncle dedicated his life to. It was entertaining watching Roger’s reaction to things such as cell phones, computers, power steering, and technological advances like GPS and the internet. And the relationship that blossoms between an old-fashioned Roger and a sheltered Katherine is sweet.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves adventure that takes you outside the box.
Book provided for review purposes.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

My Review - Falcon

5 out of 5 stars
FALCON is the third installment in The Quiet Professionals Series, and once again, Ms. Kendig’s writing draws you in from the very start.
Raptor team member, Warrant Officer Salvatore “Falcon” Russo is as tough as they come. Being a part of the Raptor Team is his life. But, there are deep wounds behind the ‘no guts, no glory’ persona. One of those wounds is Cassandra Walker. Hate and bitterness is all Falcon feels for Cassandra, so when she is assigned to Raptor Team to help take down terrorist Meng-Li-Jin, it challenges Falcon, and his ability to follow the orders given to him. Cassandra is responsible for the death of people that were front and center in his life. Putting his team in her hands in the last thing he wants to do.
Cassandra Walker has never loved another man beside Salvatore Russo. But she knows all too well that Salvatore blames her for doing the inexcusable. When assigned to Raptor, Cassandra feels this is her chance to get close to Sal again, and maybe repair the damages she’s done. Unfortunately, it only proves to push him farther away. She has so much she wants to explain to Sal, but knows she doesn’t stand a chance.
When things go sideways for Raptor, the team doesn’t know who to trust. The walls are closing in around them, and defining who is friend or foe becomes even harder.
I don’t know how she does it! Ronie Kendig is phenomenal when it comes to edge of your seat suspense that is articulated to perfection. Her characters are flawed, and many are struggling with deep-seeded wounds, but that’s what makes them real and relatable. Spirituality is not front in center in this series. Though characters talk of God and pray, it’s not the focal point of the story or the characters. But you know it is their patriotism and their faith that get them through the trials and struggles they face in their everyday world.
A must read for anyone who likes to hold their breath while reading.

Friday, September 25, 2015

My Review - Operation Zulu Redemption

5 out of 5 stars - Definitely on my favorites list!
An INCREDIBLE series!! OPERATION ZULU REDEMPTION was fast-paced, seat-of-you-pants fiction at its best. I read the 5 installment series (I didn’t realize I could buy it as one book) in a week’s time. Granted, I had the time on my hands because my family and I had been evacuated due to the Rough Fire in California, but it served as a great distraction while my everyday life was put on hold.
Zulu is an all-female special ops team that was set up for failure. The entire series/book is the women of Zulu and their handlers trying to set the record straight. To the world and their family they are dead, but in fact, they have been given new identities and have tried to live simple lives while struggling with the memories of the tragedy that befell them. Though incredibly strong women, they struggle emotionally at the devastation that happened at their hands. Unfortunately, assassins have found out their current identities and are trying to pick them off one-by-one. The clock is running, and there are only so many people the team can turn to for help.
I can’t use enough adjectives to describe this series. Ms. Kendig is exceptional at penning intricate stories full of intrigue, with threads of romance. Her characters are so well fleshed out, you feel their emotional struggle, and want to take up their fight for them.

My Review - The Memory Weaver

2.5 out of 5 stars
THE MEMORY WEAVER just didn’t strike a chord with me. But, in all fairness, I assume some of the responsibility for that. When I saw an endorsement by Romantic Times, I naturally thought there would be more romance in the book. In my opinion, what little romance was there was one-sided and disheartening.
Eliza Spaulding Warren’s life was tragic with very few uplifting moments. She’s taken hostage at a young age by Indians and forced to watch a massacre, her father disowns her for a time and withholds his love, and her husband is self-centered—among other things. It is only her faith in God, her love for her children, and the loving memory of her mother that keeps Eliza going. She is definitely an encourager to those around her, but so little encouragement comes her way.
Throughout the book, excerpts of Eliza’s mother’s diary is slipped in, which was one way of giving backstory. But to me, it broke up the continuity of a story I was already struggling to grasp.
I absolutely commend the author on the amount of research she put into the story. I’m sure for true lovers of historical novels, this is a valuable asset. Unfortunately for me, it just weighed down an already slow moving story.
Again, I take responsibility for reading a book outside my genre of choice, and I did finish the book because I so wanted to see Eliza happy. Unfortunately, in the end, I just felt sad for Eliza and the life that she led. But, if you are a history fanatic, and like reading stories penned more as a memoir, you most likely will enjoy THE MEMORY WEAVER more than I did.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.








My Review - Last Chance Hero

5 out of 5 stars
LAST CHANCE HERO is book four in the A Place to Call Home series. As Ms. Armstrong introduces new characters to the small town in New Mexico, we get a chance to catch up with others characters we’ve already grown to love.
Dr. Jessica MacLeod is not only new to Last Chance, but new to small town living. Her dream has always been to have a practice in a small town, but now she’s not so sure. Ending up in a town where football is king, she has to admit to the locals she’s never seen a football game before, and really doesn’t have the desire to. Getting her practice off the ground is hard enough, but when the residents don’t want to give her a chance, she wonders if small town living is all she’s imagined it to be.
Andy Ryan was the local football hero. Now, he’s come home to Last Chance after a career in the NFL to coach the local high school team. Though he get off on the wrong foot with Jessica, he’s sure they can find their way. But when she treats one of his team players, and her advice doesn’t line up with Andy’s thinking, the strain in the relationship because hard to overlook. Andy’s not sure his and Jess’s differences are something they can overcome.
The characters of Last Chance have been a joy to get to know. And the great thing about LAST CHANCE HERO, is you get one last opportunity to catch up with the whole gang. The relationships that have formed, and the way their lives intersect with each other definitely shines a light on what small town living is all about. There’s a genuineness to the residents of Last Chance, leading to heartwarming stories. You’ll be glad you visited.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Review - The Mistress of Tall Acre

5 out of 5 stars
THE MISTRESS OF TALL ACRE is another moving novel from author, Laura Frantz.
Sophie Menzies is a woman from an affluent family, but finds herself being shunned because of her father’s traitorous ways. The aftermath of the American Revolution has fractured her family. Her father has fled to England, abandoning Sophie and Three Chimneys—their family plantation. Sophie waits patiently for her brother to return from the war to help her restore Three Chimneys to its former glory, but with no word of his whereabouts she begins to think the worst has happened. When her neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy returns as a widower with his young daughter, Sophie realizes all have suffered because of the war. Lily Cate Ogilvy is a delightful child who immediately bonds with Sophie. And Sophie quickly develops feelings for Lily Cate, and her father.
General Ogilvy is fighting more than a war. While mourning the death of his wife, he must secret away Lily Cate from relatives not wanting to give her up. Now, he must protect his daughter, his family home—Tall Acres, and his neighbor—Sophie Menzies from those who want to strip her of her home. When it seems the only way to safeguard his daughter’s future, and Sophie’s land holdings is to marry Sophie, Seamus proposes a business arrangement. An arrangement he has a hard time keeping strictly business. Though Sophie becomes the rightful mistress of Tall Acres, there is much she and Seamus have not shared with each other, and others that intend to do them harm.
I thoroughly enjoyed THE MISTRESS OF TALL ACRES. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Sophie, and root for Seamus that he would see not only the beautiful woman that loves his daughter fiercely, but open his eyes to things of the past. Lily Cate was written so well, I could picture her impish little smile and bright eyes. There were bits of intrigue and suspense, enough to keep the interest of those who look for a little bit more in a romance novel. But the main story of course was the mutual attraction between Sophie and Seamus, an attraction both were afraid to reveal to the other. I’ve always said I am not a fan of period pieces, but time and time again, Ms. Frantz pens such genuine characters, the timeframe no longer matters to me.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available September 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

My Review - Betting on Hope

4 out of 5 stars
Though BETTING ON HOPE could be labeled a typical “opposites attract” type novel, I felt the story had a unique enough spin, making it fun and refreshing to read.
Maggie Hope is an advice columnist. But when she gets roped into doing an on air interview with the incredibly handsome cowboy, Tru Monahan, she turns into quite the klutz. Sparks are evident between Maggie and Tru. And when Maggie jokingly makes a bet with Tru, she finds herself the center of an ongoing publicity stunt. She tries to back pedal, never intending to have actually made the bet, but it’s too late. The TV station and Tru’s agent feel the bet is a ratings grabber, and lands city girl, Maggie on Tru’s ranch for two months. With her advice column on the line, she goes through with the wager and slowly finds herself falling for Tru. She refuses to give into her feelings, knowing she’s not the person he thinks she is. But somehow the cowboy continues to get under her skin.
Tru Monahan has had his fair share of negative publicity, making him wary of journalist. Tru is convinced Maggie’s innocent little bet was a well thought out scheme, making the tension between them escalate. He agrees to teach her how to ride, but he has no intentions of letting Maggie worm her way into his life. But, the more time Tru spends with Maggie, the more he realizes she’s the real deal. Tru would like nothing more than to pursue her romantically, but he knows he can never be enough for Maggie. She deserves more than he can offer.
BETTING ON HOPE was a fun story with very likable characters. Both Maggie and Tru try to put a halt to their growing feelings for each other because of secrets from their pasts. But they’re only kidding themselves if they think they can keep their feelings under wraps. The other characters that round out the town of Wishing Springs are lively and colorful. And I can only assume that subsequent books in the Four of Hearts Ranch series will be about Tru’s brothers. I felt the story of Jenna was woven in well, giving Maggie a chance to reflect on her past. But the outcome seem to be a little abrupt to me.  I’m a sucker for any book with a cowboy on the cover, but Ms. Clopton definitely kept my interest with her unique story. I will definitely be looking for book two in the series.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

My Review - Through Waters Deep

4 out of 5 stars

THROUGH WATERS DEEP was an enjoyable read. With a broad spectrum of characters, Sarah Sundin pens a World War II period piece filled with romance and intrigue.

Mary Stirling’s uncomplicated life is about to become anything but that.
Because of an incident in her past, Mary does everything she can to keep a low profile, and shies away from any kind of special attention. She loves her secretarial job at the Boston Navy Shipyard, and does a great job blending in. When she bumps into Jim Avery—an old high school friend—her life gets a little more complicated. She always thought Jim was special, but he only had eyes for her best friend, Quentessa. Mary and Jim begin to spend time together—time that allows Mary’s feelings for Jim to grow deeper. But since Jim shows no signs of interest in her beyond friendship, Mary decides to keep her feelings to herself. When it comes time for Jim to ship out, Mary is horrified to find out a saboteur has tampered with his ship. So she decides to use her position in the shipyard to do some sleuthing. Gathering evidence she feels could be useful, she goes to the FBI with her notes. Even though the FBI doesn’t think her notes can be of any use, Mary knows something isn’t right among the men who work at the shipyard. Along with Jim’s help, she is determined to find out who is at fault before someone gets killed. With the extra time spent with Jim, Mary decides she’s going to tip her hand and let him know how she really feels. When Quentessa makes a surprise appearance in Boston, and decides to claim Jim for herself, Mary once again keeps her feelings for Jim to herself.  
Ensign Jim Avery has always floated through life. Not one to cause waves or make grand gestures, he lets life lead him around. When he bumps into Mary Stirling, he is reminded of the only woman he’s ever really loved—Quintessa Beaumont. Though Quintessa never gave him a second glance, his infatuation for her never diminished. Putting thoughts of his high school crush aside, Jim forges a wonderful friendship with Mary. When Jim realizes what he feels for Mary is far more than friendship, he isn’t sure how he should proceed. When he receives a kiss from Mary upon shipping out, he decides his first point of business when he returns will be to tell Mary how he really feels about her. When his tour is cut short by a saboteur’s bomb, Jim can’t wait to get home and tell Mary how he feels. Shock is what he finds when none other than Quintessa Beaumont is at Mary’s apartment when he returns home. Quintessa lavishes Jim with attention—attention he does not want. He is more certain than ever that what he feels for Mary is love, but it’s obvious to him that Mary doesn’t feel the same way because of the distance she keeps.
Mary is determined to figure out who the saboteur is, while Jim is determined to let Mary know his true feelings. But they both have to act fast before time runs out.
I really enjoyed THROUGH WATERS DEEP. Though at times I thought Mary was a bit extreme in her practices of staying out of the limelight, I still liked her unassuming personality, and Jim’s carefree persona. The many secondary characters like Arch, Lillian, Quintessa, and the shipyard personnel, added real character and diversity to the story. I’m not usually one for War era novels, but this is the second book of Ms. Sundin’s I’ve read, and will continue to look for her work in the future.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available August 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.











Monday, July 27, 2015

My review - Hope Harbor

5 out of 5 stars
HOPE HARBOR by Irene Hannon is a departure from the romance/suspense novels I’ve come to expect from Hannon, but HOPE HARBOR is a genuine story of two people taking a second chance at love.
Tracy Campbell is focused on the family cranberry farm in the coastal town of Hope Harbor. After the tragic loss of her husband, she has no intentions of repeating her mistakes. Though she struggles to make ends meet—and is pulled in a hundred different directions—Hope Harbor still brings her the peace she desires, no matter what struggles come her way. When Tracy runs into Michael Hunter, all she sees is a self-absorbed tourist. But as their paths continue to cross, Michael strikes a chord near to her heart. She struggles to compartmentalize her feelings, not willing to be hurt again, but Michael is not a person she can keep at arm’s length.
Michael Hunter arrives in Hope Harbor wanting to feel a connection to the wife he loss. It was the trip he promised her but never followed through with. While there, he’s optimistic he can figure out the direction of his future. When he runs into Tracy Campbell—literally—the coastal winds of change begin to wash over him. There is something about Tracy that intrigues him, even though he has no intentions of getting tangled up in a relationship. But the friendship that grows between them deepens, challenging him to take a second chance.
HOPE HARBOR is a story of second chances. Both Tracy and Michael are struggling with guilt over their lost loves. Though to many, that would be the issue that solidifies their decisions not to become involved with each other, to Tracy and Michael it seems to be the common ground that draws them closer.
I really enjoyed HOPE HARBOR. It was a good departure from the romance/suspense I usually read. Miss Hannon is at her best, as usual, bringing life and depth to her characters. The secondary characters in the story round out a rich cast of players and add to the back drop of Tracy’s and Michael’s journey of discovery. Though there were no spikes in suspense or mystery, HOPE HARBOR was still a book that you won’t want to put down.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available July 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Review - Center of Gravity

5 out of 5 stars
Disclaimer: Though published by Thomas Nelson, CENTER OF GRAVITY is not what I would consider a Christian novel. Blue language is used throughout the book and could prove to be a stumbling block to more conservative readers. Also, I never got the impression any of the main characters had a relationship with God. It could’ve been in there, but it wasn’t strong enough for me to understand the character’s belief systems. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the non-traditional style of Laura McNeill.
Ava Carson’s life is being turned upside down. Though the life she’s led with her husband, Mitchell Carson, has not turned out the way she expected, nothing prepares Ava for the shocking path Mitchell takes to erase her from his life and the life of their children. The power her husband wields and the deceptions he orchestrates to paint Ava as an unfit mother, convinces her Mitchell is dangerous and she has to do something to protect their two young boys. Hiring Graham Thomas as her attorney is a step in the right direction, but when Mitchell’s behavior escalates to violent proportions, she realizes he will stop at nothing to have his way. When Ava digs into her husband’s history—hoping to find skeletons to use against him in a custody battle—she is devastated to find out everything she thought she ever knew about her husband is a lie. A lie fabricated by a very dangerous man.
CENTER OF GRAVITY is gripping. It pulls you in with a magnetism that won’t let go. I thought the unorthodox first-person writing style was going to be an obstacle for me, but it only fueled my desire to continue reading and understand the next person’s point of view. Following up on my disclaimer regarding language, I felt at times the language choices were not needed. Though I am an advocate for breaking the barriers that seem to pigeonhole some Christian writers and Christian publishing houses—and have been a vocal proponent for more realism in Christian fiction, especially where the use of language is concerned—even I felt some of the language choices were unnecessary in furthering the story along. But overall, I congratulate both Laura McNeill and Nelson Thomas for taking that bold step. Maybe it will open the door to other Christian authors like myself who don’t want to sanitize their stories just for the sake of a publishing deal.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My Review - To Capture Her Heart

3 out of 5 stars
TO CAPTURE HER HEART is the second in the Southold Chronicles, and though I liked it better than A PLACE IN HIS HEART, I found the story moved slowly and didn’t fully grab my attention.
Heather Flower, an Indian princess’ happiness has been cruelly ripped away by an opposing tribe. On her wedding day, her intended is killed in front of her eyes and she is kidnapped and later left to die. When Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren rescues her—and treats her with such tenderness and compassion on the long journey home—she finds herself drawn to the man, even though she is mourning the loss of her fiancé. When she is delivered into the hands of Benjamin Horton, an Englishman her people have long been friends with, she feels safe and protected. Heather knows that Ben has always felt affection for her, and her people would be pleased if she was united with him, but she is mourning the loss of her beloved and her minds continues to drift to the Dutchman that treated her with much kindness.
As time wears on, Heather finds herself torn between two men and the wishes of her family. She cares for Ben deeply and would never want to hurt his feelings or wound her relationship with his family, but her heart’s desire remains with Dirk.
TO CAPTURE HER HEART was an enjoyable read with fascinating characters, but its slow pacing, and at times, the lack of real emotion from the parties involved worked against it. Actually what I enjoyed most about this book was the new portrayal of Barnabas Horton, one of the main characters from book one. While reading A PLACE IN HIS HEART I developed a strong dislike for Barnabas, and in the end, felt like he was undeserving of Mary’s affection. Book two portrayed him as a changed man and a loving husband. In TO CAPTURE HER HEART, I felt sorry for Ben. He was a great guy who’d already missed his chance at love once before and you don’t want to see that happen again. But the chemistry between Heather Flower and Dirk was definitely their even though their scenes together were few and far between. I guess maybe in the back of my head that was one of the problems I had with the plot. Heather Flower is portrayed as being absolutely devastated by the loss of her fiancé. Then how could she have develop such a strong attraction to Dirk during those first few days of rescue? She should’ve been in shock and withdrawal, going through the motions, not falling in love. I think it would’ve been more believable if her marriage had been more along the lines as an arranged marriage so that her heart could easily be affected by her rescuer. That’s just my opinion.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available July 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Sunday, July 12, 2015

My Review - Abandoned Memories

5 out of 5 stars
ABANDONED MEMORIES follows the settlers of New Hope, a confederate colony trying to put behind their failures and short-comings as they strike out in the jungles of Brazil. But what they find is an evil far worse than they left behind.
Angeline Moore is looking for a fresh start. Forced to live a despicable life and wanted by the law, America has nothing for her. Unfortunately, another passenger on the voyage to Brazil knows exactly who she is and what she’s done. As she keeps her distance from this nemesis, she finds herself drawn to James Callaway, the colony’s preacher. Knowing she could never live up to his expectations, she keeps her feelings to herself. But, when James reveals he has feelings for her as well, Angeline doesn’t know what to do. She wants nothing more than to have a loving relationship with a man that would cherish her, but knowing how James feels about her kind, she knows once he finds out the truth about her past he will cast her aside like every other man in her life.
James Callaway feels he is a two-time failure. A doctor afraid of blood, and a preacher that has allowed immorality to taint his life, he wants for nothing more than a fresh start. He desires to be the spiritual leader of New Hope and make sure illicit women and wicked vices never infect this new colony. As his affection for Angeline Moore grows, he is convinced she is just the kind of pure-hearted woman he wants at his side as he leads the people of New Hope.
As Angeline and James, along with the other settlers struggle with their own inner demons, a supernatural evil is slowly overtaking the new colony. Infestations, floods, fires, horrible visions, and the murder of one of their own, plague New Hope. The discovery of an ancient temple and a tattered Hebrew book holds the key to the oppression that terrorizes them. They must decipher what this book is telling them if they are to take the evil captive before it can destroy them.
ABANDONED MEMORIES surprised me with the amount of supernatural/Sci-Fi influences in the story, but instead of dissecting it, I allowed myself to get immersed in the adventure because I knew MaryLu would bring the focus back to the Lord. With a large cast of characters—some who were fleshed out in books one and two in this series—there was plenty of action, angst, and heartache. With pirates, greed, and blackmail thrown into the already oppressive battles the people of New Hope had to fight, ABANDONED MEMORIES was a book that though not my normal cup of tea, I certainly couldn’t put down until I knew how the story ended. Another page-turner from Ms. Tyndall.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

My Review - Gone Without a Trace

4 out of 5 stars
GONE WITHOUT A TRACE continues the Logan Point series and does not disappoint.
Homicide detective Livy Reynolds has had her foundation shaken. After blaming herself in the accidental shooting of a teen, then freezing up during a firefight that gets her partner shot, Livy doubts herself and loses her confidence.  At the same time that Livy is struggling with what her future holds, she meets private investigator Alex Jennings. Alex is working on a case similar to the unexplained disappearance of Livy’s cousin that happened more than two years ago. Though Livy has an instant dislike for Alex, she decides to take a leave of absence and help him out on his case, but only because of the similarities it has to her cousin’s disappearance. Livy plans to use the time away from her job to reevaluate her future. What she doesn’t plan for is the chemistry that builds between her and Alex.
Alex Jennings is trying to make his own way in the world. Though his father and grandfather are pressuring him to follow in their footsteps and become a lawyer, Alex wants to be a private detective—a job he’s good at. Solving the case of Samantha Jo Woodson’s disappearance will not only bring closure to her family, but prove to the patriarchs of his family that being a private investigator is not only challenging but rewarding. He is more than willing to have Livy Reynolds team up with him. She’s an experienced homicide detective and his attraction to her makes the partnership all the more worthwhile.
Equal parts suspense, mystery, and romance made GONE WITHOUT A TRACE an intriguing read. I enjoyed catching up with some of the previous characters from the other two books in the series, and I especially enjoyed watching the attraction between Livy and Alex build. I don’t think I completely bought off on the reason Robyn stayed away so long and why, but I was willing to put that aside and enjoy the rest of the mystery while it unfolded.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available July 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My Review - The Reckoning

In one word - AMAZING!
5 out of 5 stars
THE RECKONING was ADVENTURE at its most adventurous and ROMANCE at its most romantic! The climax had as many swelling whitecaps and crashing waves as The Reckoning itself had to navigate. Though this book has a time traveling aspect to it—something new for Ms. Tyndall—it was a direct hit!
Morgan Shaw’s life is careening out of control. Diagnosed with cancer, being dumped by her boyfriend, and navigating a difficult relationship with her divorced parents is just the tip of the iceberg Morgan is dealing with. At a Tall Ships Festival with her friends, Morgan wants nothing more than to hide away from the world and her problems. When she seeks refuge in the belly of a replica ship of The Reckoning, Morgan awakes to find she’s been transported back in time three hundred years. Convinced her wealthy father has gone to the extreme to stage an adventurous distraction from her upcoming cancer treatments, Morgan goes along with the elaborate display. But her indifference turns to irritation, and her irritation quickly turns to anger when no one will help her put an end to this ridiculous charade. As her staged adventure continues, Morgan begins to realize even her father could not have engineered such an elaborate scheme, but the thought of her actually traveling through time is more than she can comprehend.  Soon, Morgan is swept up in the adventure and romance of being at sea with a man that is quite handsome with a personality one part chivalrous hero and two parts captivating rouge.  
Pirate Rowan Dutton, captain of The Reckoning, is on a quest to reinstate his name and his family fortune. Just as he positions himself to overtake a ship carrying great wealth, a woman he’s never seen before appears on his ship, distracting him and giving the ship he hopes to plunder enough time to slip away. Infuriated by her untimely appearance, Rowan’s anger is quickly turned to curiosity. This woman is like none he has seen before. Her clothes, her actions, her insistence that he is nothing more than an actor hired by her father, has him intrigued.  When she seems indifferent to his charm and debonair ways, he finds his curiosity of the woman has turned to infatuation. An infatuation that could lead to his death when she divulges his lucrative plan to one of his long held archenemies.
WOW!  I mean WOW! First, let me say, I do not do fantasy/Sci-Fi/time travel. It’s just not my thing. Well, once again I have been challenged to broaden my horizons by Ms. Tyndall’s writing.  THE RECKONING was an incredible journey that not only fed the adventurous spirit, but challenged the spiritual heart. It was clear to me that Ms. Tyndall’s intention in writing THE RECKONING was not just to give her readers another swashbuckling tale, but to remind them that God is there always! In all things! From tragedies to triumphs, our God is there. It is up to us to seek Him out and trust Him always. Some conservatives might question some of the spiritual aspects of her writing (make sure and read the author’s note), but her objective in pointing out the sovereignty of God rings true.
Thank you, MaryLu for another exciting escapade!


My Review - JUSTIFIED - book two in the Mended Heart series.

5 out of 5 stars
JUSTIFIED—book two in the Mended Heart series—has genuine characters you fall in love with and rings with authenticity.
Fawn Blaylock’s life has done a one-eighty. From rich, judgmental, daughter-of-a-pillar-of-the-community adolescent, to out-of-wedlock, pregnant, fall-from-grace college student. Fawn has always had a sharp tongue and a caustic thing to say about anyone that didn’t measure up in her eyes. Now, the subject of town gossip because of her unexpected pregnancy, Fawn begins to see the people of Trapp, Texas through different eyes. When she is kicked out the house by her affluent parents without a penny to her name, Ruthie Turner—Fawn’s longtime nemesis—befriends her. When Tyler Cruz—the baby’s father becomes violent, JohnScott—the town’s football coach—befriends her. People she has always looked at as beneath her are now the very people Fawn is relying on to help her through the most pivotal time in her life.
Even with her newfound friends encouraging her, Fawn’s confused and scared by her uncertain future. She fears for her safety when she’s with Tyler but keeps giving him chances to prove himself. But it’s the comfort, safety, and chemistry she feels when she’s with JohnScott that gives her hope, and stirs her heart. Though her future, and the future of her baby are the most important thing to Fawn, long held secrets from the past will also impact Fawn in ways she never imagined.
JUSTIFIED was the perfect follow-up to JADED. Though JUSTIFIED gives you all the information you need to follow Fawn’s story, I would definitely recommend reading JADED first so you can really appreciate the characters Ms. Denman developed in book one. Unfortunately, JUSTIFIED vividly portrays the hypocrisy that so many times taints churches today, and accurately brings to life the good and the bad of small town living. The takeaway from the Mended Heart series so far is—be slow to judge and quick to forgive, because you too will someday be in need of that forgiveness.
I look forward to JILTED, book three in the series. It should prove to be interesting since it revolves around one of the longtime residents of Trapp, Texas, instead of one of its young adults.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Review - JADED by Varina Denman

4 out of 5 stars
JADED is a novel that not only entertains but challenges the reader in the areas of judgment, forgiveness, and grace. Though the pacing is slow the message is worth your time.
Ruthie Turner is a young woman who experiences firsthand the hurt of being excommunicated from the local church. After her father leaves town—for reasons Ruthie still doesn’t understand—she and her mother are asked to leave the church on the word of one of the elders. This sets Ruthie’s course for life and leaves her bitter and resentful towards all Christians. So, when a new pastor comes to Trapp, Texas to lead the flock that casted her aside, she turns a blind eye to his supposed interest in her. Unfortunately, her heart can’t be as easily swayed. Her feelings for Dodd Cunningham confuse and anger her. He is one of them. But the way her treats her is so different than anything she’s experienced. But knowing her mother would be devastated by such a relationship, Ruthie continues to fight her attraction for Dodd.
Dodd Cunningham is new to Trapp, Texas, and quickly gets a crash course on small town living. In a town where everyone knows everyone else’s business—and feels they have a right to weigh in on each decision he makes—Dodd tries to straddle the fence between acceptance and changing the heart of the people. His attraction for Ruthie is unique and unsettling. But when he is encouraged by the church elders to disassociate himself from the Turner family and a local ex-convict, he realizes the church has set itself up as a place of condemnation instead of a place of hope to the lost and wounded. He sets out to change public opinion at the threat of losing his position in the church.
JADED was recommended to me, so I dove in with high expectations. I might have set the bar a little too high, but I still enjoyed it and the message it gave. Ruthie is quite a pistol. I loved her candidness and her this-is-who-I-am-take-it-over-leave-it personality. Dodd was the consummate hero with his always doing the right thing for the right reasons persona. Though I thought it was a bit of a stretch that a conservative pastor would be so intrigued by someone who doesn’t share his faith or lifestyle (almost at times becoming an obsession), the pacing of the story lent to the development of his relationship with Ruthie. This story reminded me quite a bit of KEPT by Sally Bradley, and SWAY by Amy Matayo, which isn’t a bad thing because I thoroughly enjoyed both of those books, but the ‘pastor meets a woman from outside the evangelical realm’ seems to be a hot topic of late. None of these observations dampened by desire to read JUSTIFIED, the second installment in the Mended Hearts series. I will just have a better understanding of Ms. Denman’s writing style and pacing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Review of TAKEN by Dee Henderson

4 out of 5 stars
TAKEN is captivating, in a slow, methodical way.
After being held against her will for eleven years, Shannon Bliss has gained her freedom and is looking for someone to help her traverse the road from victim to survivor. Shannon carefully chooses Matthew Dane. Matthew is an ex-cop turned private investigator who has a lot of experience dealing with a kidnap victim—his own daughter. Matthew’s daughter was kidnapped when she was young, and it’s that fact that drew Shannon to Matthew. She knows he’ll be able to handle the layers she’s dealing with, and has the connections necessary to keep her safe as she turns over evidence against the people who have held her captive.
Matthew Dane is surprised to find a woman waiting for him outside his hotel room.  He is utterly shocked to find out it is kidnap victim Shannon Bliss. Shannon wants his help to acclimate to her new world, but she also needs his help to put away the people that took her eleven years ago. The more time Matthew spends with Shannon, the more surprised he is with how well she is recovering from her ordeal. Though he is waiting for her emotional dam to break, Shannon surprises him with how well she is adjusting to her freedom.
I really enjoyed TAKEN, especially since it brought back characters like Bryce and Charlotte, and Paul and Ann. The tempo of the book was slow and methodical, there were never really any highs or lows. I didn’t even necessarily feel any suspense because there wasn’t ever a time I thought Shannon was in danger. I loved the interaction between Shannon and Matthew, I just wished their relationship had progressed to the next step before the end of the book. The chemistry these two had was palatable, my favorite parts being their shared dinners and movies. It made sense for the relationship to build slowly after all that Shannon had been through, but I would’ve enjoyed a little more action.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

My Review - In Firefly Valley

3 out of 5 stars
IN FIREFLY VALLEY was a refreshing story that traveled at a carefree pace.
Marissa St. George is on her way home to Depree, Texas, but not because she wants to be. After being laid off, she has no choice but to return home to the town that holds so many difficult memories. Swallowing her pride, Marissa moves in with her mother, the cook for the struggling Rainbow’s End resort, and accepts a job as business manager at the same resort. Her mother, the eternal optimist, welcomes her daughter home, and so does her best friend Lauren. Things begin to look up when Blake Kendall arrives at Rainbow’s End. Wondering if love at first sight really exists, Marissa is more than willing to explore that possibility with Blake.
But just as Marissa and Blake’s relationship takes off, the reason for Marissa’s bad childhood memories comes to light and Marissa finds out who Blake really is. Feeling betrayed and lied to, Marissa shuts off her heart from those around her and allows her anger to consume her. Blake wants nothing more than to be a permanent person in Marissa’s life but her anger reminds him of the difficult relationship he had with his grandfather and he refuses to be involved with someone who isn’t willing to let the past be the past.
IN FIREFLY VALLEY wasn’t an action-packed thriller, but it had its own special charm. Though the men in the story seemed a little too good to be true, I still enjoyed the overall story. Anger issues being one of the themes of IN FIREFLY VALLEY, Ms. Cabot reminds us all how anger can steal our joy and allow the pleasures of life to slip through our fingers if we aren’t careful.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available May 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Friday, May 08, 2015

My Review - No Place to Hide

5 out of 5 stars
NO PLACE TO HIDE is the third installment in the Hidden Identity series by Lynette Eason. An on the run thriller, NO PLACE TO HIDE will take your breath away.
Jackie Sellers is shocked to see her onetime crush, Ian Lockwood, is in the news as a potential terrorist. Knowing there has to be some sort of mistake, she goes to Ian’s home to find out what is going on. When she gets there, she quickly realizes Ian is in a world of trouble and now she’s stepped right into the middle of it.
Not a stranger to danger, Jackie’s work as a police officer and her job with Operation Refuge gives her skills that can help Ian. But knowing who to trust is going to be the problem. Dangerous people want Ian dead. The FBI wants him caught. And Ian just wants to clear his name. Jackie must do everything she can to keep Ian safe while they discover the real reason he is being framed. When old emotions resurface between Jackie and Ian, Jackie has to channel her energy to clearing Ian’s name and must force her heart take a backseat. When Jackie and Ian discover the catastrophic plot that is going to be unleashed on an entire city, they must act fast before it’s too late.
NO PLACE TO HIDE gives you no time to catch your breath. Ian and Jackie are on the run throughout the book, and as a reader, you find yourself right alongside them as they navigate their way to the truth. The connection between Jackie and Ian is strong, and so are the connections between Jackie and Ian, and secondary characters Holly, Lucy, and Ron. I love the pace that Lynette Eason sets for her books. Though fast-paced, her novels are never short on depth.
If you’re a fan of action/suspense/romance, you won’t be disappointed by any of Lynette Eason’s books.
Book provide for review purposes.
Available May 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Review - The Legacy

3.5 out of 5 stars

THE LEGACY is the final installment in The Restoration series from Dan Walsh & Gary Smalley.
THE LEGACY centers on Doug Anderson, the youngest son in the Anderson Family. Doug’s life as a college student has him making choices that he knows his parents won’t appreciate. As he tries to balance two different lifestyles, his parents catch on to the fact that Doug is drifting away from not only his Christian faith but his family as well. The harder his parents try to get a read on Doug, the more Doug pushes them away. When things finally come to a head, Doug pretty much closes the door on his parents and Christina, one of his best friends. Doug soon learns going it alone isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But it takes a tragedy for him to be willing to turn his life around.
I enjoyed THE LEGACY, even though I thought the pacing at times was slow. I feel a little more depth in Doug’s character would’ve made him more likable. His nonchalant attitude towards his relationship with Courtney bothered me a bit, and made Doug seem cold and unfeeling. I liked Christina’s character so I want to go back and read, THE DESIRE, to see if I can learn more about her background.
Overall, enjoyable. Just not riveting.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available April 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

My Review - Buried Secrets

5 out of 5 stars

BURIED SECRETS by Irene Hannon is the first installment in the Men of Valor series. Ms. Hannon took a different approach in this romance/suspense storyline; one that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Lisa Grant is the chief of police for the small town of Carson, though that is not where she honed her detective skills.  Originating from Chicago, Lisa is a keen detective who refuses to let a twenty-four year old mystery go unsolved. With the help of county detective, Mac McGregor−a former Navy SEAL, Lisa might be able to firm up two mysteries: the death of a college student, and what’s missing in her personal life. Immediately attracted to McGregor, Lisa knows the dangers of mixing business with her personal life. Solving this crime’s importance is two-fold. Bring closure to the family involved, and see if a relationship with a certain detective is in her future.
Mac MacGregor might have started on awkward footing with Chief of Police, Grant, but that is quickly overlooked by the seasoned professional. And working on an a cold case−that has just caught fire−with the beautiful Lisa Grant has just up the ante in solving what appears to be more than just a missing persons. MacGregor left the SEALS because he realized what was missing from his life−someone to share it with. Convinced that someone is Lisa Grant gives Mac the added incentive to solve the case.
Two things that were different about BURIED SECRETS. One−we know from the beginning who the culprit is. Two−our hero and heroine don’t beat around the bush where their interest in each other is concerned. While some have said knowing who the perpetrator was took away from the suspense, I enjoyed seeing the case and evidence come together while watching the offender squirm and eventually tip their hand. I also appreciated the way our two main characters came right out and admitted their attraction for each other. So many times, in romance books, the cat and mouse game is played right until the very end. This frustrates me to no end. Instead of internalizing all the dialogue and masking their feelings, there was dialogue between the characters that−to me−legitimized their relationship.
A great start to a new series. Looking forward to book two in the series, coming out in Spring 2016.

Book provided for review purposes.
Available April 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Friday, March 27, 2015

My Review - Sabotaged

SABOTAGED, with its unique storyline and unpredictable twists, you really had to wait until the end of the book to know the whole truth.  The only negative is knowing SABOTAGED marks the end of the series.

A Great Series Full of Action and Romance!
5 out of 5 stars
Kirra Jacobs is beside herself with worry. Her uncle−a musher in the Alaskan Iditarod race−is missing. She sets out to find him only to be shadowed by Reef McKenna, her childhood nemesis.  When Kirra and Reef find her Uncle Frank, he lets them know that Kirra’s cousin, Meg, has been kidnapped and will be killed if Frank doesn’t do exactly as they say. Kirra and Reef−along with the rest of the McKenna siblings−join forces to figure out what Frank is being forced to do and where Meg is being held. While Kirra and Reef work together to hunt down clues, Kirra realizes her feelings for Reef are no longer fueled by contempt. The attraction she feels for him confuses her, but the man she sees in Reef is far different from the adolescent she grew up with.

Reef’s transformation has been slow, and though he realizes he has true feelings for Kirra, he knows her feelings for him teeter somewhere between irritation and tolerance. But that doesn’t matter. Her family is in trouble and he intends to do everything in his power to not only help Frank and Meg, but to keep Kirra out of harm’s way.  Unfortunately, the more they uncover, the more the evidence points to a catastrophic event that endangers more than just Kirra’s family.

I absolutely LOVED the entire Alaskan Courage series.  The McKenna clan is a fiercely protective and loyal bunch, but not without their difference and their scars.  It was nice to witness the transformation in Reef−the black sheep of the family and it was great to get one more glimpse at Cole and Bailey, Piper and Landon, Gage and Darcy, and Kayden and Jake. Each of their stories was gripping, action-packed, romantic, and memorable.

A great series! A must for romance/suspense junkies.






Monday, March 16, 2015

My Review - Stress Test

5 out of 5 stars
CURRENCY OF THE HEART is a story of overcoming loss instead of allowing it to consume you. An enchanting story with genuine characters.
Shaina Sterling knows what it is to experience loss. On her own from an early age, she’s led a difficult life that seems to get more difficult as time goes on.  Doing all that she can to protect the reputation of her recently deceased husband, she secretly sells off the accumulation of his wealth to hide his sordid secret. But she knows it’s only a matter of time before the people of Denver discover her secret. When tragedy strikes again−leaving Shaina homeless−Sloan Remington offers her not only a place to stay, but asks for her help taking care of his housekeeper who has suffered a fall. Offering to pay her for her duties is more than she can imagine, but Sloan insists it is only fair and brings her to his ranch. Shaina knows Sloan is a man with a stellar reputation, but is about to find out what a truly fine man he is.
Sloan Remington knows all about Shaina’s woes. Unbeknownst to her, Sloan has been keeping an eye on her because of the promise he made to her dying husband. His intentions towards Shaina are pure.  He wants to keep her safe, out of harm’s way, and free from the wagging tongues of Denver’s elite. Even though his intentions are to see to Shaina’s well-being, he can’t help but think of what life would be life with a woman like Shaina by his side. But Sloan is keeping his own secrets. Secrets he is sure will change the way the people of Denver and Shaina will look at him.
Though CURRENCY OF THE HEART was predictable, it did not take away from my enjoyment. Shaina is genuine at heart, never thinking she deserves more out of life. And Sloan is the consummate hero that wants nothing else but to take care and protect Shaina. The secondary characters of Mable, Jim, Abe, Elise, and Doc, add their own storylines and flare to the book. If you like romance and the historic West, you’ll definitely enjoy CURRENCY OF THE HEART


Friday, March 13, 2015

My Review - Currency of the Heart

4 out of 5 stars
CURRENCY OF THE HEART is a story of overcoming loss instead of allowing it to consume you. An enchanting story with genuine characters.
Shaina Sterling knows what it is to experience loss. On her own from an early age, she’s led a difficult life that seems to get more difficult as time goes on.  Doing all that she can to protect the reputation of her recently deceased husband, she secretly sells off the accumulation of his wealth to hide his sordid secret. But she knows it’s only a matter of time before the people of Denver discover her secret. When tragedy strikes again−leaving Shaina homeless−Sloan Remington offers her not only a place to stay, but asks for her help taking care of his housekeeper who has suffered a fall. Offering to pay her for her duties is more than she can imagine, but Sloan insists it is only fair and brings her to his ranch. Shaina knows Sloan is a man with a stellar reputation, but is about to find out what a truly fine man he is.
Sloan Remington knows all about Shaina’s woes. Unbeknownst to her, Sloan has been keeping an eye on her because of the promise he made to her dying husband. His intentions towards Shaina are pure.  He wants to keep her safe, out of harm’s way, and free from the wagging tongues of Denver’s elite. Even though his intentions are to see to Shaina’s well-being, he can’t help but think of what life would be like with a woman like Shaina by his side. But Sloan is keeping his own secrets. Secrets he is sure will change the way the people of Denver and Shaina will look at him.
Though CURRENCY OF THE HEART was predictable, it did not take away from my enjoyment. Shaina is genuine at heart, never thinking she deserves more out of life. And Sloan is the consummate hero that wants nothing else but to take care and protect Shaina. The secondary characters of Mable, Jim, Abe, Elise, and Doc, add their own storylines and flare to the book. If you like romance and the historic West, you’ll definitely enjoy CURRENCY OF THE HEART