Friday, February 27, 2015

My Review - Beowulf

A Must Read Series!
5 out of 5 stars
An amazing end to an amazing series. Ronie Kendig’s writing is storytelling at its best. The only negative thing about BEOWULF is that I knew I was reading the last book in the series and I didn’t want it to end.
Timbrel Hogan is tough, single-minded, and above all else−hates men. That is, all men but her Bullmastiff, Beowulf. The explosives detecting dog is the only companion Timbrel needs−at least that is what she tells herself. Events from her past have shaded Timbrel’s outlook on life and because of that, she refuses to let her guard down where men are concerned. But her hard-as-nails, man-hater persona doesn’t deter Tony “Candyman” Van Allen.
Tony, a Green Beret, has made it his goal to win Timbrel over. Being teamed together on a few missions, Tony knows he can change Timbrel’s mind if he’s only given a chance.  Unfortunately, the walls Timbrel has erected seem impenetrable, especially since they are guarded by a behemoth of a dog that has taken a considerable disliking to Tony.
When a routine mission goes sideways, and Beowulf is blamed for a false positive, tensions mount. But Timbrel knows Beowulf was right. And her determination to prove him right gets her tangled up in a larger plot than anyone could have imagined. Even though Tony and Timbrel continue to butt heads, Timbrel’s attraction for Tony escalates. She’s just not sure if she can offer all that it takes to be that someone special in Tony’s life.  When a mission turns dire, Timbrel opens herself up to Tony, but is it too little too late?
This was a FANTASTIC series. One that I simply devoured. The characters Kendig has created are definitely your all-American hero type men, and you independent−don’t take no crap−women. The sparks that fly don’t just happen on the battlefield. Tony is very charismatic while Timbrel is quite icy. But when the two are together, they fuel a fire even they can’t control. If you like action, adventure, suspense, romance, and hold-your-breath drama, you must read the A Breed Apart series. Then follow it up with The Quiet Professional’s series. You won’t be disappointed.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Review - The Trouble with Patience

3 out of 5 stars
THE TROUBLE WITH PATIENCE is the first installment in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. Though the characters were likeable, the story seemed to drag at times.
Patience Cavanaugh is insecure about her looks and feels that love has passed her by. Not wanting to dwell on what she doesn’t have, Patience puts all her energies into fixing up the broken-down boardinghouse her grandmother has left her.  Patience enjoys the people of Nevada City, all but Marshal Jedidiah Jones. When she publically interferes with his handling of a criminal, the Marshal put her in her place.
Jedidiah Jones is fighting demons from his past. Once a vigilante, he is now the town Marshal doing what he can to keep Nevada City crime-free. When Patience Cavanaugh rebukes him publically he sees her as nothing more than a meddling woman.  But his feelings soon change.
As Patience and Jedidiah two-step around each other, an attraction develops between them. But they both struggle with insecurities that keep them emotionally distant. Between Patience working on her boardinghouse and Jedidiah trying to round up wrestlers, they convince themselves they are too busy for a relationship. But soon, Jedidiah takes steps towards Patience hoping to convince her they should be together.
THE TROUBLE WITH PATIENCE was a sweet story, I just didn’t feel like it had any momentum. The storyline, the interaction between characters, even the plotline, seems to move at a pace that had me skimming from page to page. The dialogue between Patience and Jedidiah sometimes seemed a bit forced and at other times out of character. Once again, I nice story, just not a captivating story.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available February 2015 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Review - Talon

A book with bite!
5 out of 5 stars
TALON – another great edition to my Kendig library! Fast-paced, strong characters−you can’t help but fall in love with, and a storyline that insists on your full attention because there are clues in the tiniest of details.
Aspen Courtland refuses to believe Austin−her MIA brother−is dead. Even though the Marines have written him off, she insists he’s alive and plans to prove it with the help of her brother’s tracking dog, Talon.  Unfortunately, the attack that supposedly took Austin’s life has left Talon suffering his own form of PTSD. But Amber refuses to allow that to deter her.  When Dane Markoski contacts Amber with news about her brother’s whereabouts, she is ready to jump into action and search for him, but Amber’s team at A Breed Apart training center have their reservations about Markoski and his plan to find Austin.
Dane Markoski has his own stake in finding Austin Courtland, and he knows his only hope of doing so is having Talon, his tracking dog, on his team.  Unfortunately, working with Aspen goes against his rule of never working with women. But he has no choice.  If he hopes to find his own answers, Aspen has to be part of the plan.
What ensues is a kaleidoscope of plots, subplots, assumed identities, and chemistry so strong even Dane isn’t sure he can stick to his guns and keep things professional between him and Aspen. Aspen admittedly has lost her heart to Dane, even though Dane continues to warn her he can’t be trusted. As Aspen struggles with the idea that her brother has abandoned her, Dane struggles with who he is and what he’s become.
I thoroughly enjoyed TALON!  Though the subplots were cryptically unveiled throughout the book−making the rhythm of the story choppy at times−it was easy enough to see where Ms. Kendig was leading her readers so it didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story. Aspen is na├»ve in the sense that she only wants to see the good in people, but she’s also smart, determined, and definitely has skills of her own. Dane is emotionally haunted and keeps that part of who he is locked up from others to see. Instead, he relies on his instincts and training to move him forward without getting emotional invested, or so he tries. But Aspen is slowly chipping away at the walls Dane has erected making him almost believe he could fall in love.  Aspen and Dane are great as the hero and heroine, but so are the other characters that continue to appear in this series. Timbrel, Watterboy and Candyman, though secondary characters, definitely add to the heart and soul of what it means to be part of a team and watching each other’s six.
I can’t wait to read BEOWULF, the last book in the series, and find out what makes the belligerent man-hater, Timbrel, tick.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My Review - TRINITY

The start of an amazing series!
5 out of 5 stars
TRINTY, book one in the A Breed Apart series is exciting, suspenseful, and romantic.  What else would you expect from a Ronie Kendig book?
Heath Daniels’ military career is over.  After suffering a traumatic brain injury in a bombing in Afghanistan, Heath is discharged from the army.  His only saving grace, Trinity−his military war dog−refuses to be handled by anyone else and is retired, giving Heath his partner back.  Together, Heath and Trinity end up at the A Breed Apart training facility where war dogs and their handlers get a second chance to show the world their worth and share what God has done in their lives. Serving as a morale booster and spokesman for the A Breed Apart organization, Heath finds himself back in Afghanistan on the same base with his former team. Angry that God has allowed him to be sidelined, he can’t argue the fact that he’s not healthy enough to be back in action.  Atrocious headaches and unexpected blackouts deem him a risk to himself and the members of his former team.
But all that is about to change.
When intelligence officer Darci Kintz is captured and missing somewhere in the brutal Hindu Kush mountain range, Trinity is notably the only dog that can handle the extreme terrain and temperatures−and Heath is the only man who can handle Trinity. There is more at stake than just an extraction. Heath and Darci are not strangers, and though their time together was extremely brief, Heath wants nothing more than to find Darci and see if a relationship is in the cards for a wounded warrior and a international spy.
I am definitely on a Kendig kick right now.  I guess that’s the dangers of buying a whole series at the same time.  The A Breed Apart series is just as electric as Ms. Kendig’s The Quiet Professional series−they even have overlapping characters. Of course, the intensity is now three-fold since not only do you−as the reader−worry about the two main characters, but now there is a canine involved in every precarious shootout, avalanche, sniper fire, and bombing. I love the characters that Ms. Kendig creates.  They are people on honor and integrity, but far from perfect. While Darci’s background is rather complex, Heath’s is quite simple. He has an uncle back in the states, but it is clear Trinity is his whole life . . . until Darcy comes along and rattles his world.
Next Stop . . . TALON, book two in the A Breed Apart series.

My Review - Hawk

5 out of 5 stars
HAWK, book two in The Quiet Professionals series quickly took off where Raptor 6 left off.  And I do mean quickly!
Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe is nothing if he isn’t a man of his word.  But, he never imagined making a promise to an Afghan woman would nearly cost him his career. 
Fekiria Haidary has been a pain in his side since meeting her.  Even though she is a cousin to his team leader’s girlfriend, she has made it abundantly clear she hates Americans, which includes Hawk.  As luck would have it, Hawk gets in a bar fight protecting Fekiria. Having been warned already about his hot-headed temper, this is the final incident that sends him home as a disciplinary measure and takes away his rank.
When Hawk returns to Afghanistan he’s not allowed back on the team. He has to prove himself all over again and show the brass he has his anger issues under wraps. His main objective is to stay out of trouble and away from the woman who’s nothing but bad luck.  Unfortunately, that’s not to be.  With their team being targeted, Raptor sets out to find the person planting the corrupt intel that continues to put the team in harm’s way.  Not in his wildest dreams did Hawk think he would find Fekiria in the middle of a firestorm protecting young girls from the Taliban and certain death. Knowing he’s their only hope, Hawk must assist Fekiria and the girls over a treacherous mountain range in frigid conditions as others search to kill them. When he finds evidence and information that proves his team is in danger, he has to make a decision: save the girls or his team.
HAWK is just as powerful as RAPTOR 6, with maybe just a little more friction and a tad less romance. Even though Hawk hates Fekiria for the trouble she’s caused him, he sees a woman of strength, courage, and self-sacrifice as she does all she can to save the young girls in her care. Fekiria has grown up her entire life hating Americans but her bitterness begins to lessen when she sees the lengths Hawk will go to, to ensure the safety of her and the girls. Both parties refuse to admit they have feelings for each other, but sometimes words are not necessary.
I can’t wait to read FALCON, coming Spring 2015!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

My Review - Raptor 6

5 out of 5 stars
RAPTOR 6, book one of The Quiet Professionals series was so intense, I found myself clenching my chest and gasping in sympathetic pain. An incredible start to what I anticipate to be a great series.

Captain Dean Watters heads his Special Forces team with unwavering focus. His team is his family and he lives to serve his country.  When super-secure computers go missing with information that will compromise U.S. military intelligence, he and his team do all they can to secure the computers before they can be hacked by the enemies of the U.S.

Few know that Zahrah Zarrick is more than a missionary teacher. With skills in quantum cryptology she becomes an unwilling target of those who have taken the missing computers. When Dean realizes she is in danger, he and his team are too late to protect her.  She has been taken captive and now it is up to Dean and his team to find her.  Complicating matter more is the fact that Dean has lost his heart to Zahrah. When he realizes the only way to rescue her is to become a captive himself, he must reach down deep to his very core, knowing he might have to sacrifice his life for hers.

All I can say is WOW! Ronie Kendig as done it again. The intensity of RAPTOR 6 is truly griping. Some scenes might be too intense for some people but it definitely leans to the realism of the tragedies of war. I love the relationship that forms between Dean and Zarhrah and how they drew strength from each other.  I also enjoyed the rapport and banter between the team members of RAPTOR 6.  They epitomize the definition−a band of brothers. I can’t wait to read HAWK, book two in the series.

My Review - SWAY

5 out of 5 stars
SWAY by Amy Matayo is unique in every sense of the word even though the premise is based on the typical opposites attract storyline. But, it is how extremely opposite Kate and Caleb are that make this book a page-turner and difficult to put down. I can’t say much without giving away the main plot, but I will say, the chemistry between Kate and Caleb is pure energy. 

Caleb has seen his share of trouble but his friends and his faith have turned him around. Kate has been raised in a secure and loving home and genuinely respects her parents and what they stand for. Sounds like your typical romance book, right?  But SWAY is anything but typical.

Caleb and Kate meet in a bar.  Caleb is there encouraging his friends to be more social while Kate and her friends are celebrating her twenty-first birthday by getting drunk and picking up guys. Not the setting for most Christian romance books. When Caleb steps in to save Kate from an opportunist, she is unaware that he has protected her from what could’ve been a tragic night. When she wakes up the next morning with Caleb in her apartment, she mistakenly thinks he’s taken advantage of her.  After Caleb sets her straight, she realizes what a genuinely nice guy he is. There mutual admiration comes to an abrupt end when they find out what it is they have in common put them at odds with each other.

Even though both Caleb and Kate know their differences are too great to have any kind of relationship, they continue to be drawn to each other like moths to a flame. Caleb has an unorthodox way about him that intrigues Kate, making her question all that she’s been told.  But with her parents in the national eye, Kate’s very personal decision regarding her beliefs becomes a very public choice; and it just might ruin Caleb reputation as well.

I feel this review might sound a bit disjointed, but I don’t want to give too much away.  Let me just say that SWAY is not your average Christian romance book and I am so glad that it’s not.  SWAY pushes the boundaries which I applaud wholeheartedly. It’s got a great Christian message about differences and acceptance, but Ms. Matayo does not sanitize her story to in the process. 

A must read!!