Friday, March 09, 2018

Review of Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

What it's about: A group of mis-fit young adults find themselves in quite the situation when they enter an abandoned prison and the gates become chained shut. When one of their friends goes missing inside the prison no one has any idea what happened to her. Once free from the prison, all are questioned and are left speculating what happened to their friend. 30 years later, a gruesome discovery is revealed in the prison when someone comes across the remains of a skeleton and the past rushes up to meet the group of friends, who by then have all went on to live different lives. The past eventually brings them all together to face their own ghosts and to finally find out what happened to their long-ago friend.

What I thought: A very creative story that intertwines past with present. I liked how the author back tracked for each character to go more in depth in their life from the opening prison scene to 30 years later. With their being more emphasis on two to three characters instead of all seven, it made it that more intriguing. I could have done without the excessive language used throughout the book and some of the extra-curriculuar choices that were discussed. The main story though was interesting.

Would you like it? This all depends what type of book you are looking for. I usually review Christian fiction and I will tell you that this is not that genre. Many may be appalled and offended by reading this book. All depends if you have an open mind and get more to the depth of the book. You may want to read the back of the cover before reading the book so you are not surprised by it.

Blogging for Books sent me this complimentary copy to review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Review of the Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

What it's about: Lady Elisabeth Lawson has it all for someone living in the Virginia Colony in 1775. Everything at her beck and call. Money. A rich lifestyle. No need for anything. Except love. Her betrothed is a match her father set up for her to bring even more money in to the family. Her heart accepts this as her lot in life. But when things turn for the worse and she finds herself on her own, an unexpected revolutionary, enters her life and her heart is not sure what to do. Follow Elisabeth as she journeys on her own road discovering who she truly is.

What I thought: A bit of a slower story, but told with rich vocabulary which tells of the time period this story was written in. Frantz describes the characters and the plot with elegance that you can feel yourself watching from the fringes at the ball or feel the wind from the river while walking through the garden. She weaves a tale that leaves you curious as to what is coming next. The characters are well developed and throughout the book you learn a bit more about the history and tales of the revolutionary time period.

Would you like it? This is a great book for any fictional historian!

Revell Book sent me this copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

What it's about: Even though Isaac is one of Pete McLean's father's hired hands, he is Pete's best friend. And in the 1960's, having a friend who is of a different race is frowned upon. And a friend is who Pete needs, especially after his father unexpectedly dies in an farming equipment accident. But then Isaac suddenly disappears which leaves Pete emotionally wandering and wondering what happened. But because Isaac is African American, to those in authority, he didn't really matter. Pete's grandfather is on a mission to find answers for Pete. And Pete is on a mission to find Isaac. And through his mission, Pete meets a new friend, Dovey, who changes his views on friendship. Struggle along with Pete as he grows up and faces different challenges in his upbringing years and see if he ends up finding answers as to what happened to Isaac.

What I thought: This was a very interesting book. Seeing how the culture viewed people of color, people of different status' and people of different economic means was written well. I liked the slow, easy pace of the story line and the turns it takes, kind of like a meandering river with subtle bends along the way. This was the first time I have read a book by Luesse and enjoyed it. She weaves a story well and tells a tale with ease.

Would you like it: This was a book more about the heart rather than a suspense mystery. A journey over time rather than over a few days (like most suspense mysteries).

Revell Books sent me a complimentary copy to review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review of The Empowered by Craig Parshall

What it's about: Ex-attorney, Trevor Black, is back at fighting the dark forces. This time in the city of New Orleans. Two government employees are dead, one in his hotel room, and both look like voodoo is possibly involved. What started out as a trip to talk at a convention turns to a murder investigation that has evil written all over it, Trevor finds himself dealing with the dark world like never before. In a fight against time, trying to locate his missing daughter and fighting against demonic forces, Trevor discovers a sinister, evil empire tied to human trafficking and young girls gone missing with webs strung all the way to top government officials. 

What I thought: Captivating and a bit eerie all at the same time. The voodoo/demonic slant gave me the shivers, but it added so much grit and depth to the story at the same time. This is considered a novel, but it is the 2nd book of Trevor Black. You could read this as a stand alone, but reading the first one helps in the backstory of the 2nd book. Parshall does an expert job weaving this story from the beginning to the end. Despite the dark side of the plot, the suspense is thick and the pace is fast. 

Would you read it: Think This Present Darkeness but in present day form. Add in technology and government and human trafficking and you have what this book is about. It is dark, and you may not want to read before bed, but it is also very hard to put down, so you may be up until the late hours trying to finish it. 

Tyndale House Publishers sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

What it's about: Isabella (Izzy) St. James loves her job. And she has her long-time best friend, Kevin Marshall, as her partner and who is newer to the police force. During a steak out turned bad, her partner is killed, and she is left with unanswered questions which she quickly needs to figure out. Kevin's brother Ryan, a homicide detective joins Izzy in figuring out who killed his brother, the stakes are raised. Tips are indicating there may be dirty cops, and possibly in Izzy's own law-enforcement family. The clock is ticking as Izzy and Ryan race to get to the bottom of who killed Kevin and break open an even bigger case than they even imagined.

What I thought: This is the first book in the Blue Justice Series. And it is fantastic!! I loved the pace set right from the beginning as a suspense thriller filled with twists and turns that will keep you guessing right up until the end! Eason does a great job again with her storytelling and writing abilities that keep the reader engaged. I did like that the main characters had a history together and that this wasn't a "love at first sight" book. I felt like that added depth to the story. I also loved the deep family bond of both families that was present through the entire book. After reading the 2nd book's teaser at the end, I'm thinking this is going to be an exceptional series!

Would you read it: If you enjoy suspense mystery with a bit of romance thrown in, you will like this book! Gruesome in some parts, heart wrenching in others, which makes the complete story that much better!

Revell Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Review of Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon

What it's about: Imagine running on fumes between a full time job and taking care of your ill mother. That's what Trish Bailey's life is like. Until the one fateful day her mother is found passed away. Doubts begin to enter Trish's mind as to how this happened. Was it her fault? Did she let something slip from her mind? Is she going crazy? Her financial advisor has planted these thoughts in her head to make it seem like that is the case. Enter Detective Colin Flynn. He feels like Trish is telling the truth, that she didn't harm her mother that she loved. Is there something sinister happening that needs to come to light? Who is really at fault and why is everything becoming so dangerous?

What I thought: What a great book by Irene Hannon. She spins this story with a masterful weave of plot twists and surprises that keeps you turning page after page. This type of suspense has her fingerprints all over it, and you know you are going to be reading a good book when you pick one of her's up. She takes a different approach as you know the mastermind behind everything from the beginning, but you're along for the ride with the main characters in watching them solve clues and uncover things that were meant to be kept secret.

Would you read this? If you enjoy suspense and romance thrown in there, this book is for you!! A great book to read on a windy, cold, winter day right up next to the fire.

Revell Books sent me this book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris

What it's about: Meet Garrett Addison. A fresh criminal investigator who is beating his own path away from his father's expectations of becoming a shady lawyer. Garrett enjoys the tempo of this job and that he is doing what he loves. One of his first cases is of a girl who was murdered and buried in a shallow grave. All that was left behind was a Polaroid of her right before she was killed. He starts to work the case when another killing happens...then the next year, another killing. All linked together but leaving the detective clueless as to how to catch the murderer. With the complexity of the murders, FBI agent Jordan Lambert is called in to help with the case. The woman Garrett hoped to spend the rest of his life with when they were done with the police academy, but she chose to move on to become an FBI. As the years pass and the string of murders continues to grow from the so-called Angel Abductor, how will Garrett and Jordan close this case before yet another girl is murdered and will they ever come to terms with how they feel for each other?

What I thought: If you read any, or all, of the Nikki Boyd Files series by Lisa Harris, you are going to want to drop everything you are doing and read this book. This answers all your questions as to the disappearance of Nikki's sister, Sarah. I liked how the book started before Nikki or her sister were even in the picture and how the case morphed over the years up until the present time of after Nikki got married. I really liked the pace of this book, how detailed the author was with each case and how she carried the story from beginning to the end, spanning over a decade. I also like how it wasn't heavy on the romance side, but it flowed along with the story and the history of the two main characters. There was a bit time period to cover and I think Lisa did a great job capturing all that happened during that time.

Would you read it? You can read this as a stand-alone book, but to make it even more rich, I highly suggest reading the three Nikki Boyd Files books. This will give you a greater appreciation for this book and all that is happening. A little gruesome in places, but oh so good!

Revell Publishers sent me this complimentary book to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own. 

Review of Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

What it's about: This is book three in the Chesapeake Valor series. This book highlights FBI agent Declan Grey and his hunt for a terrorist who has been running free on American soil. As the threat on America rises, so do the threats against Declan and his assigned partner Tanner Shaw. While they are chasing bullets and dodging cars, their trail leads across the country and back again as they seek not only the threat to America but the ties to a smuggling ring who is bringing refugees illegally. Will Declan and Tanner capture the person behind the threat in time or will it all be too late? And will their hearts survive the mounting tension that is building between them?

What I thought: This may be a very difficult book to read on it's own. There is so much back story from the previous books and characters that to understand this one, reading the first two may be the best route to go. I did enjoy the pace of this book as it was intense. The story line was complex in regards to following the story line between the ties of the terrorist and the smuggler. One thing I do enjoy about this author is how she weaves in other story lines about previous characters to foreshadowing her next book with a storyline of its own. 

Would you read it: If you enjoy suspense fiction with a dash of romance,  you will enjoy this book. Again, you'll want to read the first two books to completely understand where this one is picking up from. If you have a sensitive stomach, beware as this book can get a big graphic in places. 

Bethany House sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Review of Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

What it's about: Aurelie Harcourt's life is anything but normal. But she doesn't know anything different. Growing up in a debtor's prison along side her father, her life consists of bringing life and love to those around her. Her father has made a living of writing a continuous story under a pen name about the life of Lady Jayne, his love, Aurelie's mother. Aurelie's father unexpectedly dies she knows she needs to carry on his story, and find the true identity of her mother. Her life unexpectedly takes a turn where she ends up at her father's childhood home and as she tries to fit in with her unfamiliar family, she uses the only outlet she knows...continuing her father's legacy as pen writer Nathaniel Droll. Her eyes are opened to a whole different world and secrets come to light that may do more harm than good. What will become of the Harcourt family and legacy with these new found secrets? Will it destroy them or bring them closer together? And will the true identity of Nathaniel Droll be revealed?

What I thought: Slow in parts, but overall, a good read! The story line and plot kept the reader engaged throughout the whole story and the unexpected end made for a great plot twist! There were some parts I was a bit confused where/how the mysterious people appeared. I enjoyed the creativity of story line though. Very intriguing and different than what I have read before. Not suspenseful, but a bit mysterious with a dash of romance intertwined throughout. I liked how it started in the "present" at the beginning and jumped to the past to bring the reader up to speed as to how the main character ended up where she did.

Would you read it?
If you enjoy something different, light, a bit mysterious (think like foggy, dark alley with shadowy figures in the 1800's mysterious), then you will enjoy this book. You can't go wrong with it. A perfect book for a rainy/snowy day!

Revell Books sent me a complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Review of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

What it's about: Sarah Hollenbeck has it all. Prestige, money, a perfect marriage to a well-known husband, the perfect house, the perfect life. Except it isn't all perfect. It's anything but. Her marriage is love-less, money can't buy happiness and she's a shell of a person. She finds herself a divorcee from a cheating husband and has a lot of time on her hands. She decides she is going to write a book, that low and behold, launches her in to the lime light with it's steaminess throughout the pages. Then she meets Jesus. And the pastor of the church she begins to attend. And she loves both. How does she put away her past and move towards the future with the baggage she carries and the stories she has written? Will it even work?

What I thought: I loved this book. It was such a different romance than I have ever written. So much of it is written as the what is going through the main character's head that it gives a fantastic insight as to how much happens in one's thoughts! I could relate all to well with letting the imagination get away from you. I found myself smiling throughout this book with the humor and the realness of the characters. I really didn't want it to end! Such a great, honest read that has you feeling all sorts of good at the end. Oh...and I loved, loved the cover! So eye catching!!

Would you read it?
If you enjoy light-hearted will love this book. The romance is so different than the suspense thrillers in that it's brutally honest. Bethany Turner is on to something with this book of raw, honest thoughts and possibly what it's like to live inside someone's head.

Revell sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. All opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Review of The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

What it's about:
Ben Payne and Ashley Knox are complete strangers until one decision changes the course of their lives. Ben, a surgeon who is heading home and Ashley, a journalist who's getting married the next day. The decision to charter a plane amidst a snow storm and commercial cancellations puts them on a trajectory far from what they were expecting. When the pilot has a heart attack and crashes the plane where Ben and Ashely survive, they find themselves stranded in the snow covered mountains miles from any civilization. With Ashely severely injured, it is up to Ben's back country experience to get both of them out alive since no one knows they chartered the flight and no flight plan was given to the airport. Journey with Ben and Ashely as they find resilience, grit and determination to survive not only the harsh elements, but the inner battle of wanting to give up.

What I thought:
This is one of the best, well written books I have read in a long time. The story is captivating, heart wrenching, tense and humorous. It's also clean in language and adult content. This was a book I was staying up late into the night reading just to finish it. The author did an amazing job creating a story line that keeps the reader interested up to the very last page. You can feel the agony, pain and hurt of the characters through the pages, the humor despite the horrific surroundings and the deep love between Ben and his wife (which is a story line in and of itself throughout the book). There was nothing negative I experienced about this book.

Would you read it?
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good storyline and an author who is a master storyteller. You can't go wrong with this book. If you watched the movie before reading this book, just know that the two are very different. I have not seen the movie yet, but from watching the trailer, it does not follow true to the book.

Blogging for Books sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review of Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley

What it's about...
Kelsey Allen is wanting to break in to the security circles. To get her own firm off the ground, she is hired to break in to businesses and then show them their weak areas. Her second love is old artifacts. So when she is contracted to find out why artifacts at the city's museum are disappearing by being the museum's curator, she is ecstatic. Doing two things she loves every day. But when a murder happens while she's under cover, her security measures come in to question. And she also becomes a target that needs to be eliminated. Detective Brad Hollister finds himself drawn to Kelsey and to helping figure out who is behind the disappearing artifacts, the mysterious box of bones that shows up on Kelsey's desk and who is behind the murder...all the while trying to keep Kelsey from being killed. Will she survive long enough to put all the pieces together?

What I thought...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even with this as a second book in the Memphis Cold Case Series, it can be read as a stand alone novel. The suspense and story line meshed well and balanced each other well throughout the story. Bradley does it again with another great suspense novel that keeps you turning the pages up until the end. I enjoyed the various story lines, how they worked well together and all came together at the end. The romance sprinkled throughout was just the right touch as well. 

Would you read it....
If you enjoy thrilling suspense and action packed goodness, you will enjoy this book! Haven't read the first one? No problem! This is a stand alone novel and you can go back and read the first one if this one is already in your hands. If you pick up an Patricia Bradley book, it's going to be a good one.

Revell Reads sent this complimentary book to me to review. Opinions expressed are my own. 

Review of Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

What's it about?
An up and coming lawyer gets her big break, but at what cost? Prosecutor Kate Sullivan has put in her time and now the biggest case of her career is handed to her. Going up against a major pharmaceutical company has her head spinning and her stress level rising, but she is ready for the challenge. What she is not ready for is the sinister side this case brings. As she gets closer to the truth of what the company is doing, the more the heat gets turned up and the more danger she is in. Hiring a PI to look in to the death of a key player in the case, former Army Ranger, Landon James, steps in and finds himself not only investigating, but protecting Kate as the case gets closer to trial. Who is the mastermind behind the danger and what is going to be the big break in this case and at what cost will it be?

What I thought...
Rachel Dylan did a great job writing lawyer lingo in a way a non-lawyer would understand. I enjoyed the lawyer aspect of how the story was written. Reading about the process and the behind the scenes of a trial was eye-opening and interesting. The story line was a bit choppy in places, but overall, the twists throughout and the secondary characters added a layer of depth that helped the story along. I think a few different times, the story could have been enhanced a bit more, the suspense carried a bit longer as some situations ended abruptly, but again, overall, a great story.

Would you read it?
If you enjoy suspense and a bit of romance thrown in, you will enjoy this first book in the Atlanta Justice Series!

Bethany House Publisher sent me this complimentary copy to review for them. Opinions expressed are my own.