Monday, May 28, 2018

Review of The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck

What it's about: Dr. Maggie Maguire is all about happiness. That's her job. Researching and publishing the science behind happiness. But happiness is far from Maggie's life as her fiancé broke off the wedding and she finds herself enjoying happiness with a pint of ice cream and Hallmark movies. That is until her friends intervene and practically push her on to a singles cruise. Maggie has to learn what true happiness is the hard way - not in things, but in who she is made to be. Thanks to a perfect stranger who raises her defenses, she finds out what true happiness is...not in science, but in the heart.

What I thought: This was a great feel-good story about the journey of Maggie Maguire and her heart. There was a lot of soul searching, a lot of making mistakes and learning from them. Kristin did a great job in telling Maggie's story. The humor sprinkled throughout and the internal conversations the character had with herself made this book realty. How many times have I had conversations with myself? All the time. That's what I liked about this book. It seemed like the main character kept going back and forth in her thoughts, but that's how people are. Throw in a lot of laughter and learning from mistakes and that's this book.

Would you like it? If you enjoy a good laugh, a light read and a feel-good story-line, this book is for you. For a rainy day or a sunny day on the beach, pick up this book as it'll make your heart feel good (and give you reassurance that you're not the only one who has conversations with yourself). And if you base a book by the cover, this one is eye catching and I'd pick it up based not the cover.

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

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Review of Where the Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

What it's about: Olivia Rutherford is keeping a big secret even to the point of changing her last name. Her life as a starving artist is starting to launch her to the next level. As her art starts to become more known, she lands a deal to paint for Scenic Magazine which takes her to the beautiful Yosemite National Park. As she slowly faces her secrets, her facade begins to break down, thanks to a backcountry guide, Clark Johnson who introduces her to the beauty of nature and the majesty of God. As Olivia's past collides with her present, she is faced with life changing decisions and learns how to trust God even in the most dangerous situations.

What I thought: This is Karen Barnett's second book in her Vintage National Parks set and is a read-alone book. I enjoyed the creativity of how she framed the time period and pulling historical landmarks, events and people in to her story. I have never been to Yosemite, but reading this book has  me putting it on my bucket list. The description of the wilderness, the falls and the grand-ness of it makes you want to jump in your car and drive there. Between the story of the characters and battling out their pasts set in the grandeur of nature made this a great book that you could picture in your mind.

Would you like it: If you enjoy outdoor themed romance stories, you will enjoy this one. I encourage you to read the first book in this set called The Road to Paradise as it is just as good. I hope you will enjoy the whimsicalness of the authors writing as much as I did.

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

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Review of The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

What it's about: Grace Moore. A single mom, struggling to make ends meet for her and her son, has ghosts in her closet very few know about. Roman Velasco has it all. Money, women, power, anything he wants at his fingertips, except peace. Grace lands a job as Roman's personal assistant and she quickly sees right through his facade. Roman can't figure out this enigma named Grace. Working side by side, Grace and Roman's pasts begin to come to light, but at the expense of what and who's heart? In this soul-searching story, Grace and Roman come face to face with what it means to be forgiven by God's all-encompassing grace as he is forming us in to his masterpiece.

What I thought: A story worth reading again! Francine does not disappoint in this tale of God pursuing his creation. This story is not picture perfect. It gets messy at times, you can feel the darkness surrounding Roman. You can see the battles waging in both of the characters' hearts. You can see God chasing. Francine is a master story-teller. Wrapping the reader in to the story right from the start. Throwing in romance along the way, but ultimately sharing God's pursuit of people and shaping us to be his masterpiece.

Would you like it: A resounding yes. This is not a fast paced, mystery-suspense type of story. More like real life with real people who have real problems. And yet this story is very hard to put down. If you enjoy Francine Rivers' books, you will definitely enjoy this one!

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

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Review of Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn

What it's about: Leigh Weston is back home trying to start over after some horrific events that put her life in danger. What she doesn't know is that new events are starting to take place that are putting her life in danger, even while living in the safest place she knows. Family friend, and best friend to her brother, homicide investigator Ryan Parker, finds himself on Leigh's doorstep after he discovers a body in the lake behind her house. As Leigh's life becomes even more in danger, it is a race to the last minute of discovering who is after her, why and are the missing bodies that are turning up any link to Leigh's past.

What I thought: This is the first book in the Dive Team Investigators Series. What a great book by Blackburn. This is the first book I read by her and it was a good suspense thriller. A lot of romance was thrown in there, but the overall story line and plot was a great. The mystery kept twisting throughout and she did a great job keeping the reader wondering who was after the main character and why.

Would you like it: If you are an avid reader of suspense thrillers, you will like this one. Fast paced and intriguing, it will keep you flipping the pages up to the end to find out who the murderer is.

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

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.