Thursday, June 30, 2016

My Review - Sea Rose Lane

4 out of 5 stars
SEA ROSE LANE is a casual read. I enjoyed the characters and the setting, but the pacing was a bit slow. 
Attorney Eric Nash heads to his childhood home to regroup after being laid off from his job. When he gets there, he’s surprised to find out his father is turning their family home into a bed and breakfast. He’s even more surprised when he realizes the contractor on the job is the same woman he had a fender-bender with on the way into town. BJ Stevens is a no-nonsense woman with major talent, and a spark that intrigues Eric, but he's only in town for a few weeks, then he plans to jump back into the world of corporate law. He doesn’t have time for a relationship; at least, that’s what he keeps telling himself. 
BJ Stevens has had her fill of big-city life. She’s back home in Hope Harbor, enjoying the simplicity of being her own boss and working on projects that have meaning. When she meets Eric Nash, she feels electricity between them, but after a failed relationship, she has no desire to get involved, especially since he won’t be around Hope Harbor for long. 
I’ve always enjoyed Irene Hannon’s writing, but I must say, I enjoy her action series more. SEA ROSE LANE has all the right elements: genuine characters, the perfect setting for romance, and the push and pull of a relationship fraught with obstacles, but it lacks the action and adventure I look for in a riveting book. However, that doesn’t diminish the quality of Ms. Hannon’s writing. I’m just stating my person preference. The value and enjoyment is still there.
If you’re looking for an unhurried story with characters that grow on you, you most certainly will enjoy SEA ROSE LANE. 
Book provided for review purposes. 
Available June 2016 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

My Review - All Summer Long

4 out of 5 stars
ALL SUMMER LONG has a unique setting and likeable characters. Nothing earth shattering or miraculous, just an easy and enjoyable read for summer.
Tia D’Amico loves her family, and their family-owned restaurant in Washington where she works. However, she is definitely ready for a change. When her aunt calls from San Francisco with an amazing job offer, Tia jumps at the chance. Her aunt’s plan is to transform an old luxury yacht into a dinner cruise boat, and she wants Tia to be the chef. Tia has fond memories of San Francisco. It’s where her camp crush Leo Parker gave Tia her first kiss, and she fell in love with the city on the bay. Tia can’t wait for her new adventure to begin, but when Leo Parker meets her at the airport, Tia doesn’t know what to think. When she finds out Leo is the yacht’s captain, she is over the moon. But, when Tia finds out he’s spoken for she is devastated. Spending the summer with Leo, knowing he can be nothing more than a friend tests Tia’s self-control, especially when Leo’s fiancée confides in Tia things that would break Leo’s heart.
I enjoyed ALL SUMMER LONG. Not because it challenged my thinking or pushed borders, but because it was light and carefree. I thought the setting was fresh and untapped and the characters extremely likable. Leo was dashing and genuine, and seemed to have no problem nurturing a close friendship with Tia even though he was newly engaged. Tia was the consummate good girl, being a friend not only to Leo, but to his fiancée as well. Even Natalie, the prima donna, actually had a nice side to her. So, if there is any drawback to the book, it would be that the characters were just a little too perfect. But, if you’re looking for a simple, entertaining book, ALL SUMMER LONG fits the bill perfectly.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available June 2016 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group,

Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Review - Rising Darkness

4 out of 5 stars

RISING DARKNESS follows Sophie Wittenbauer into a world she thought she left behind as she strives to become the person she wants to be.

Sophie ran from her Mennonite hometown when she was just a teenager, but the painful memories still follow her around. Sophie has completely reinvented herself. She’s no longer the overweight, awkward girl from the conservative town of Kingdom. She’s now a journalist with the possibility of solving a cold case involving murder and six million dollars. With what she thinks is a plausible cover story, Sophie infiltrates the town of Sanctuary, Missouri. However, the persona she’s created has some holes in it, and from the get-go, she wonders if she can continue in Sanctuary without being found out. Sophie’s nerves are shaken even further when a man from her past introduces himself as the youth pastor at the local church, but Jonathan isn’t just any man; he’s the man Sophie fell in love with years ago and has never forgotten. Jonathan doesn’t recognize her at first—her transformation so complete—but he’s definitely drawn to Sophie. When he discovers who she is and why she’s in Sanctuary, Sophie is sure he’ll expose her, and she will once again lose the only man who has ever held her heart. However, Jonathan decides to help Sophie, especially when he realizes her life is in danger. Though Sophie’s intentions when going to Sanctuary was to come away with the news story of a lifetime, she realizes she’ll be lucky to come out with her heart and her life intact.

Though RISING DARKNESS was not of the Amish genre, per say, it dangled on the fringe. I am not a fan of the Amish setting, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but RISING DARKNESS was written with a more contemporary feel and a storyline that was rather intriguing. Sophie was a strong character; definitely an over comer, while Jonathan was charismatic and a bit untraditional for a leader in a conservative church. To me, Sophie’s original reason for being in Sanctuary took a backseat to the romance developing between her and Jonathan. Nevertheless, I was fine with that . . . and the outcome.

A fresh twist and an enjoyable read.



Sunday, June 12, 2016

My Review - Murder Comes By Mail

3.5 out of 5 stars
MURDER COMES BY MAIL was good, and I did enjoy the story, it just didn’t move at a pace I would expect from a mystery.
Michael Keane enjoys his job as sheriff in the small, sleepy town of Hidden Springs. That is until he saves a suicidal man from jumping off the local bridge. Touted as a hero, Michael doesn’t particularly like the moniker, especially when he finds out the man he just saved might have murdered a girl after being rescued. With pictures arriving in the mail, foretelling the deaths of other women, Michael realizes not only is this man a murderer, but he’s also targeting women Michael knows. When the investigation is turned over to another agency, the connection between Michael, the women, and the locations of their deaths, begin to look suspect. Now, Michael must find out who the killer is before he’s framed for murder or someone important in Michael’s life becomes the next victim.
Like I said, I enjoyed the story, it’s just that the pacing seemed slow and a little drawn out. The characters were very likeable, and Ms. Gabhart definitely painted a believable portrait of small-town USA. The best part of the book for me was the storyline involving Alex, the woman Michael is still in love with. Even though she moved to the city to become a big-time lawyer, Michael can’t seem to let go of the possibility of what could’ve been. Friends since childhood, he and Alex are still in contact with each other, and still share deep feelings for each other. With each interaction, Michael wonders if there could still be a “them” after all.
A good story, with likable characters, MURDER COMES BY MAIL makes for an enjoyable read.
Book provided for review purposes.
Available May 2016 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

My Review - Signs of Love

5 out of 5 stars
SIGNS OF LOVE is the first book I’ve read from Kimberly Rae Jordan. I most certainly will be picking up the other installments in the Black Thorpe Security series.
Alana Jensen is a survivor. A teen pregnancy, an estranged family, and an abusive marriage have made her resilient and extremely independent. Now, every decision Alana makes is done with her son, Caden, in mind. Being the single mother of a deaf child has made Alana fiercely protective of her son, and careful who she lets into their inner circle. That’s why she is wary of Justin Morell. The moment Alana is introduced to Justin, she’s guarded. His powerful physique and brooding personality are reminiscent of her ex-husband; definite red flags in Alana’s book. Figuring she’ll just keep her distance from Justin, she’s surprised to see her son immediately drawn to the larger than life man. Knowing her son needs a male influence in his life, Alana puts her own negative feelings for Justin aside. Even so, the more she observes the way Justin interacts with Caden, and his niece, Alana realizes Justin is one of the good guys. Unfortunately, her heart is beginning to feel the same way, too.
Justin Morrell loves his job at Black Thorpe Security, almost as much as he loves his sister and her family. Justin and his sister, Beth, share a special bond. When Beth was only thirteen, their family was tragically killed, so Justin stepped in to become Beth’s guardian. Ten years later, Justin is still fiercely protective of his sister even though she is married and has a daughter of her own. Justin is devastated to find out his two-year-old niece, for some unexplained reason, has lost her hearing. He’s even more upset to find Alana Jensen, a complete stranger, offering to help the family adjust to living with a deaf child. Justin thinks it’s too convenient, and is sure Alana is running some kind of scam. Using the connections he has with other agencies, Justin finds out the truth to Alana’s secretive past. Knowing the hurt she’s hiding, Justin no longer questions Alana’s motives, and even allows himself to think of her as more than just an acquaintance. Never thinking he could have time for anything more than his family and his job, Alana and Caden have Justin rethinking his priorities.
I really enjoyed SIGNS OF LOVE. Though Alana was soft-spoken and demure, she wasn’t a pushover. She had a bit of spunk to her that gave her depth and dimension. Justin from all outwards appearances was intimating and closed-off, but Ms. Jordan made sure the reader understood what made Justin tick—love for his family and passion for his job. He’s definitely an all-in kind of guy which makes him seem a little rough around the edges, but not without his charm. I’m going to need to back up and read GUARDING HER HEART (book one), before I move forward with the rest of the series.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

My Review - Latest Release in WITSEC Town Series

5 out of 5 stars

SANCTUARY DECEIVED was the best installment yet in the WITSEC Town series! The action was non-stop and riveting!

Bolton Farrera and Nadia Marie Carleigh are whisked away from the town of Sanctuary so Bolton can have back surgery that is long overdue. What happens next is a roller coaster ride of threats, near misses, kidnappings, chaos, brutality, and emotions of longing and regret.

Though Nadia Marie has feelings for Bolton, his life outside of Sanctuary is like nothing she ever imagined. While they are on the run, Nadia senses Bolton growing more distant, but doesn’t understand why. She’s sacrificed everything to be with him, but he seems to have a singular focus—one that doesn’t include her.

Bolton hides out with Nadia Marie while he awaits the back surgery he needs. He’s frustrated with himself for dragging Nadia into the chaos and danger that is his life, knowing when all is said and done, he has no intentions of returning to Sanctuary. He has feelings for Nadia, but won’t allow himself to get involved with her. The danger is just too great.

It’s hard to describe all that happened in SANCTUARY DECEIVED because a new set of circumstances awaited Bolton and Nadia Marie at every turn. Other than Dante and Tristan, you never really know who the bad guys are until they tried to eliminate Bolton and Nadia. With help from Ben and Grant Mason, Bolton is determined to extinguish the threat against his life and return Nadia to safety.

This was an incredible series! SANCTUARY DECEIVED is a little different than the previous installments because the action takes place outside of Sanctuary. I was near exhaustion trying to keep up with the action, and my heart hurt every time Nadia doubted Bolton’s intentions. I can’t say enough about this series, other than, buy it! You’ll be glad you did.

Note: Lisa has added two more installments in the WITSEC series that are only available in an electronic format. I haven’t read these yet, but hope to soon.