Monday, June 26, 2017

Dark Deception By: Nancy Mehl

Back of the Book

Kate O'Brien has been leading a quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, for the past four years when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and it was her drawing of the attacker--along with some last-minute evidence--that convicted the suspect. 

She's been in witness protection ever since, but new evidence suggests the convicted man isn't the murderer and she's been subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Nervous about the risk, she'll only agree if the same Marshal who protected her during the original trial escorts her to St. Louis.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca accepts the assignment to bring Kate to the trial, remembering how her strength impressed him. While in Shelter Cove, however, he gets a call from his chief, advising them to stay in Shelter Cove until a new development in the case can be straightened out. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

My thoughts

Dark Deception is suspenseful from page one and never lets up to the very end.  Mehl has written yet another amazing, intense novel which I couldn't put down.  While I felt blindsided at many times as the story unfolded, I never felt lost as they blended easily into place as the case developed.  The side characters and their stories are unlike anything I have read in a suspense novel, it brought a unique charm to the book that I was not expecting.  Overall this is an intense, enjoyable and completely entertaining book on so many levels.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own

Monday, June 12, 2017

Under a Summer Sky By: Melody Carlson

Back of the Book

High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn't long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who's determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of Nicole's close childhood friends--who also happen to be brothers--vying for her attention.

With a backdrop of a beautiful historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!

Bestselling and award-winning author Melody Carlson invites readers to spend the summer surrounded by beauty and tantalizing possibilities for the future.

My thoughts

Like a nice evening stroll, Under A Summer Sky is a smooth, comfortable novel.  The characters were easy to relate to, the conversations were enjoyable and the love story is like reading a hallmark.  While I enjoy books with suspense, sometimes I find the need to clear the tension and drama, this is the perfect novel to cleanse the readers palate.  I wholeheartedly recommend this novel.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own

Just Look Up By Courtney Walsh

Back of the Book

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home—a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work—something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along—if only she’d just look up.

My Thoughts

You can never go wrong reading a Courtney Walsh novel,  and Just Look Up is a clear reminder of this.  The story was wonderfully entertaining and heart warming.  Lane is an amazingly well written character with a personality and struggles that are easy to relate to.  Ryan is the epitome of peace and patience and as the story develops those qualities grow stronger and more endearing.  Walsh addresses real issues many of us face and shows them in an entertaining way and begs the question, how can our lives change if we Just Look Up?

I was given a complementary copy of this novel.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Weaver's Needle By: Robin Caroll

Back of the Book

Former Army MP Landry Parker fell into the recovery specialist role quite by accident—to help her ailing father. Now that she’s on her own, she is determined to prove herself and honor her family legacy.

After being shot in the line of duty, former police officer Nickolai Baptiste became a recovery specialist, and he’s good at his job—maybe even the best.
           
A potential client pits Landry and Nickolai against one another to find the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband, and the potential payday is too enticing to pass up. The trail takes them from New Orleans to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where legend claims the mine is hidden. Landry and Nickolai are no strangers to adventure, but the unlikely partners quickly discover there’s someone after the treasure and there are those who want to ensure the lost mine in Arizona’s Superstition Mountain stays lost forever.

Can Landry and Nickolai work together despite their distrust of each other to save the legend before more innocent lives are lost? Will they find the real treasure isn’t the gold, but something more valuable. . .true love and understanding?

My thoughts

Weaver's Needle is an intense entertaining novel with twist and turns that bring more questions than answers.  As Landry and Nickolai work to find who took the map a larger question becomes, who would kill to keep in hidden?  Amazing detail about the area and the culture by Caroll adds more realism and tension to the plot.  I loved every page and anyone looking for a clean novel and great adventure will love it too.


Monday, May 15, 2017

A Love So True By: Meilssa Jagears

Back of the Book

Evelyn Wisely has a heart for the orphans of Teaville and works at a local mansion that rescues children out of the town's red-light district and gives them a place to live. But her desire to help isn't limited to orphans. The owner of the mansion, Nicholas Lowe, is willing to help her try to get the women working in prostitution out of the district as well--if she can gain the cooperation and support of local businessmen to go against the rest of the community. 

David Kingsman has recently arrived in Teaville from Kansas City to help with one of his father's companies in town. While he plans on staying only long enough to prove his business merit to his father, he's shown interest in Evelyn's work and is intrigued enough by her to lend his support to her cause.

They begin with the best of intentions, but soon the complications pile up and Evelyn and David's dreams look more unattainable every day. When the revelation of a long-held secret creates a seemingly insurmountable rift between them, can they trust God still has a good plan for them despite all that is stacked against them?

My Thoughts

Any novel by Melissa Jagears is worth reading and A Love So True is no exception.  While I felt the plot sounded a lot like the first book in the series (A Heart Most Certain), I found myself drawn in from the first chapter to the very end.  There were a few times I felt I had it all figured out but Jagears has thrown in some unexpected twist that will not only entertain you, they bring a whole new level to the story.  Evelyn is an exceptional character with a well developed back story that seems to haunt both her and David through the entire book.  David is an outsider with a heart that is struggling under his fathers pressure.  Being the second novel in the series you might want to read the first to understand a few of the conversations but you can read this novel as a stand alone.

I was given a complementary copy of this novel from the publisher.

Monday, May 8, 2017

What Hope Remembers By: Johnnie Alexander

Back of the Book

When Amy Somers loses her job as a lobbyist, she moves to Misty Willow, well aware that she's crossing bridges she'd burned years before. With all the mistakes she's made and the uncaring things she's done--even to her own family--she can hardly believe that happiness will find her, especially when Gabe Kendall, her first crush and her first kiss, rides back into her life atop a buckskin mare.

A former Marine, Gabe is at loose ends after serving a prison sentence for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He sees beyond Amy's hard exterior to the girl he once knew and loved, and he longs to see her open her heart. Yet with his vision clouded by shame for his past and fears about the future, he finds it difficult to see the path ahead.

But the memory of that long-ago kiss just may have the power to reignite a romance that brings out the best in both of them.

My Thoughts

What Hope Remembers was surprising in a few ways.  The other novels in the series have been full of depth, strong backstory, and entertaining plot. While the characters have had great affliction in their lives, and they seem to be dealing with big emotional issues, the book never has any really pull that makes you feel remorse, or connect with the characters.  It was very entertaining, and it has a good plot, it just lacked the depth I like in a Johnnie Alexander novel.  I would still recommend this book and will probably read it again it just wasn't what I expected.

I was given a complementary copy from the publisher.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Catching The Wind By: Melanie Dobson

Back of the Book

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel’s final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby’s tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons—and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel’s lawyer, Lucas Hough—the lure of Brigitte’s story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

My Thoughts

Gripping, from the first word to the last.  Not to often do I find a novel that leaves me speechless with it's amazing writing, outstanding plot, and perfect characters, but this book is it.  Catching The Wind is a must read that will give you new perspective and insight into WWII, and the bonds from the era that are never broken.  Both Daniel and Brigitte's stories are touching, overwhelming and soul changing.  I will never look at WWII the same, and while the time frame is full of horrible grief, Melanie Dobson has found a perfect way to show that grief without burying you in it.  I will most definitely be reading this book again.


I was given a complementary copy of this novel by the publisher.