Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Moving Target (Elite Guardians #3) by Lynette Eason













Title: Moving Target (Elite Guardians #3)
Author: Lynette Eason
Pages: 336
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Intensity. Skill. Tenacity. The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

     When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don’t show up for Quinn’s birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy have vanished. And it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.

     Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it’s not long before she realizes she’s in the clutches of a madman who exacts revenge through games—hunting games. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives and outwit their killer when their game begins.

     Because if they don’t win this game . . . they die.

My review:

     Heart-pounding romantic suspense at its best!

     This is a stand-alone story within a series. A number of the characters from the previous books have support roles in this one though.

     The two main characters, Maddy and Quinn, are so well developed that I connected with both of them really quickly after starting this book. They each have their own emotional baggage that keeps rearing its ugly head and getting in the way of moving on with their lives. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how they slowly faced up to it and figured out the steps they needed to take to work through it.

     This all takes place in the midst of being targeted by a madman who wants to kill both of them. The key though is that he wants to play some games and mess with their heads first. The plot is crafted so ingeniously that it really kept me guessing. In fact when the actual mastermind behind all the games is revealed I found that I had made a number of wrong guesses along the way.

     I have read and loved both of the previous books in this series. This one is no exception. It is fabulous and I’m highly recommending it! It gets a rating of 5 stars from me.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Newcomer (Amish Beginnings #2) by Suzanne Woods Fisher













Title: The Newcomer (Amish Beginnings #2)
Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher
Pages: 336
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Genre: Amish Fiction / Historical Romance
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     A fresh start in the New World will test Anna’s resolve …and her heart.

     In 1737, Anna Konig staggers off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. It’s a time of new beginnings, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

     But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World, his enthusiasm evaporates. When a ship captain offers him a first mate position, he grabs for it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

     As a newcomer joins the church, Anna is torn. This man is everything Bairn is not—bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And he is here. Bairn is not.

     Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves the lives of Bairn, Anna, and the newcomer together. When the secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

My review:

     This is an incredible historical romance!

     This is part of a “true” series. You need to read book one before reading this one to get the full enjoyment out of it.

     I loved the characters in this book. They are extremely well developed. I connected with Anna Konig in the first book and thoroughly enjoyed seeing her growth and maturity in this book.

     The different personalities of the members of the little group from Ixheim, Germany are so realistic. I can see people I know represented by each of them.

     I was fascinated with the detail presented about the early Amish settling in America. The fact that some of the legal requirements for immigrants had to be adjusted was totally new to me.

     I am looking forward to finding out what happens for this community in the next book.

     I have to give this great book a rating of 5 stars. I am highly recommending it.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green













Title: The Mark of the King
Author: Jocelyn Green
Pages: 416
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Life in this New World requires more strength than she ever imagined.

     After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict.

     New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit?

     With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace—and love—can overcome the stigma of the king’s mark upon her shoulder.

My review:

     This is an incredible historical novel!

     The depth of the characters is marvelous. Each of the main characters, Julianne Chevalier and Marc-Paul Girard, deal with intense inner turmoil that makes it very difficult to trust others. There are also a number of secondary characters that are hiding deep secrets that cause grave danger to others.

     The historical content is great. I’ve never looked into 1700s New Orleans and its development. I had never given any thought to the early settlement of New Orleans and the French settlers in the New World. I was absolutely fascinated by my first exposure to this period in the history of America.

     The amount of detail given in the descriptions is wonderful. My heart felt broken by many of the ordeals and trials that the characters faced. The way that the settlers were treated by the soldiers was appalling.

     I have to give this fantastic book a rating of 5 stars. I am definitely highly recommending it.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Deadly Stitch (Creative Woman Mystery #2) by Susan Sleeman + A GIVEAWAY













Title: A Deadly Stitch (Creative Woman Mystery #2)
Author: Susan Sleeman
Pages: 240
Year: 2012
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Annie’s Attic
Format: Hardback (also available in eBook)

About the book:

     After Purls of Hope member Melanie’s ex-husband is found buried in the flower bed outside the craft store with one of her knitting needles in his neck, she’s named as the number one suspect in his murder.

     She certainly had the motive. He’d left her a year earlier, after learning she had breast cancer. And it’s no secret they hadn’t been on good terms since.

     Shannon and the Purls know someone is setting Melanie up. But who would do such a thing? And can Shannon track down the real killer before he strikes again?

My review:

     This is a delightful cozy mystery!

     The mystery is a stand-alone story. But Shannon’s personal life is moving along and things in the first book are referenced.

     I absolutely love the main character in this series. Shannon McClain is the devoted friend that everyone needs to have at least one of. Even though she is dealing with her own personal struggles when her friend Melanie needs her she focuses on helping in any way she can. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that her love of watching mysteries and crime shows on TV has made her the group expert for solving crimes for her friends.

     Michael Stone is a nice person for her to have step up and help her out. I was very amused by the fact that all of Shannon’s friends keep trying to make him a romantic interest for her. It will be very interesting to see how their relationship develops over the course of the series.

     The mystery itself is wonderful. There are enough suspects that show up over the course of the book to keep the reader guessing. Shannon’s approach to solving the case is very methodical.

     I am very caught up in Shannon’s life and look forward to seeing what comes next for her personal life. It will be interesting to see what the next mystery is that she and her friends the Purls of Hope knitting circle come across.

     I’m giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars. I am also highly recommending it.

Giveaway Information:

     Leave a comment on this post and you will be entered to win a copy of this fantastic book. Please include in your comment your email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner. Suggested format: debbie (at) yahoo (dot) com

     I will leave the giveaway open for one week. Next Tuesday, February 7, 2017, I will use Random.org to draw the winner. I will then send an email to the winner to get their mailing address. I will give that person 3 days to contact me before drawing another winner. I plan to mail the book out within 3 days of receiving the winner’s mailing address. After confirming the winner I will announce their name here in the comment section of this post.

     Good luck!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Undercover Protector (Wilderness, Inc. #2) by Elizabeth Goddard













Title: Undercover Protector (Wilderness, Inc. #2)
Author: Elizabeth Goddard
Pages: 224
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     Shattered sanctuary!

     Undercover at a tiger sanctuary, Special Agent Grayson Wilde’s convinced the owner must be involved in a wildlife trafficking ring—until someone tries to kill her. Now with Gemma Rollins’s life on the line, it’s clear that more than the wildcats need his help. Gemma’s determined to rebuild the tiger oasis she lost when her family died. But someone wants her out of the way, and she’s starting to wonder if her parents’ and uncle’s deaths were really accidental. Grayson says he’ll do anything to protect Gemma, but she can’t shake the feeling that her alluring new volunteer might not be all that he seems. With a vicious criminal closing in, though, she has to trust Grayson… because she won’t survive without him.

My review:

     An incredibly exciting suspense novel!

     This book is a “stand-alone within a series” novel. The story itself stands alone though characters from the first book are mentioned and make cameo appearances.

     I absolutely love both of the main characters in this wonderful story. I was completely able to understand the emotional hang-ups that both Gray and Gemma deal with. They are so well developed and their pasts are slowly shared and discussed.

     The journey that Gemma goes on to trust God again is very easy to understand. She wants to believe but her heartache has raised horrible doubts.

     The mystery about the wildlife trafficking ring is gradually spelled out. The suspense and danger that Gemma and Gray face is so well presented that I was caught up in it and at times my heart was racing as their lives were in danger. I was hooked from the first chapter and knew that I needed to find out who was behind it and how they would be caught.

     I am giving this wonderful book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommending it. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Friday, January 13, 2017

Never Forget (Beacons of Hope #5) by Jody Hedlund + a GIVEAWAY


Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book


Book: Never Forget

Author: Jody Hedlund  

Genre: Historical Romance  

Release Date: January 4, 2017  




Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island  

June 1880  

Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves?

Abbie Wilson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves.

Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past.

Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse.

The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband?

My Review


This is an incredible historical romance!

I absolutely love the depth of the main characters in this wonderful book. They are both so flawed and very believable. Abbie’s actions and decisions through much of the book are so mixed up and just plain wrong. But I was amazed by her intentions and the love for her grandfather that drove them. Nathaniel is struggling with his own demons but his desire to live a better life is strong.

The development of the story is great. I was sucked in quickly and rooting both Abbie and Nathaniel along. I wanted desperately to see them both grow and develop integrity in their interactions. I have to admit that a large part of me wanted to see the romance between them work out. They had huge obstacles to overcome for it to happen.

I love seeing how the cross of hope that was crafted in the first story in the series keeps appearing. It is a fantastic reminder of the beacon of hope that is the cross of Christ.

I received a free eBook copy of this story from the author. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

 About the Author

Winner of the 2016 Christian Book Award and Christy Award, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

Guest Post from Jody Hedlund

Which Do You Prefer: Series or Standalones?

By Jody Hedlund

Readers usually have strong opinions about whether they like series or standalones.

Some readers refuse to read books that are inter-related. Others can’t get enough books about their favorite characters.

I see the pros and cons of both.

For series, I don’t like feeling lost as I try to wade through previous characters along with their backstory. I recently started a series by a well-known author and was disappointed to realize the first book was connected to a previous series she’d already published. From the get-go, I felt left out as though I didn’t quite know who all the characters were or their significance.

On the other hand, for standalones, I sometimes feel as though I would like the story to continue. I’ve invested in the setting and characters and so enjoy when I can return to that place and continue to glimpse the characters I’ve fallen in love with—even if from a distance.  

My favorites are books that fall in the middle between standalone and series. I like to think of them as standalones within a series. Becky Wade’s Porter brother series is like that. Each of the books centers around one of the brothers (and a tomboy sister). While characters from other books make an appearance in the stories, each plot is separate and complete without any reliance upon another book.

My Beacons of Hope lighthouse series falls in the middle too. The books are related in that they all take place at lighthouses and share a symbolic “cross of hope” that is passed on from one book to the next. A minor character in a previous book becomes the hero or heroine in the next book. But each book can be read by itself without having read any of the others.

In other words, readers can pick up my newest release, Never Forget, which is the fifth and final book in the series, and they wouldn’t be confused about who the characters are or what their history is. The plot starts with a bang and ends with a satisfying sigh. It is complete story unto itself.

And yet, for those who’ve read other books in the series, they’ll get to see the happily-ever-after of a character from a previous book. And they’ll also get to find out where the cross of hope finally ends.

If you’re not a fan of series, I encourage you to give the Beacons of Hope series a try. It might satisfy the need for standalones and series all in one neat little package.

To that end, I’m giving away all FIVE books in the series as part of the Celebrate Lit blog tour to one lucky winner!  

Tell us: What is your preference: Standalones, Series, or Standalones within a Series?
 

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jody is giving away the entire Beacons of Hope series. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ad6d


Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

Monday, January 9, 2017

Another Day, Another Dali (Serena Jones Mystery #2) by Sandra Orchard













Title: Another Day, Another Dali (Serena Jones Mystery #2)
Author: Sandra Orchard
Pages: 352
Year: 2016
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Revell
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.

About the book:

     The world of art theft can be a deadly game – one that Serena Jones understands all too well.

     When FBI Special Agent Serena Jones takes on the case of a forged Dali painting as a favor to her grandmother, she assumes it will be a typical investigation. Hopefully collaring the thief will also mean finally measuring up in her grandmother’s eyes. But the deeper she delves into the forgery and the suspects surrounding it, the less typical it becomes.

     The Dali isn’t the only painting that’s fallen prey to the forgery-replacing thief, raising the possibility of a sophisticated theft ring—one with links to dirty cops, an aspiring young artist, and the unsolved murder of Serena’s grandfather. To make matters worse, someone connected to the forgeries seems to be determined to stop Serena’s investigation—no matter the cost.

     Another Day, Another Dali gives the plucky Serena—and readers—a new high-stakes case to crack. You won’t want to miss a single brushstroke!

My review:

     This is another fantastic mystery!

     This book is part of a “true” series. The plotline of Serena’s murdered grandfather continues in this book.

     I love the cast of characters in this book. Many of them are the same as in book one. There are a lot of different quirks and personalities among them. It is fascinating to see how Serena interacts with each of them and tries to keep a balance between her profession and dealing with family.

     I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how Aunt Martha “helps” Serena throughout the book. She is so enthralled with mysteries and trying to solve them herself that she is a riot. Yet at times she does have some good ideas.

     The plot for the separate mystery in this book is wonderful. I was hooked and knew that I had to finish the story to find out how it turned out from early on. There are enough different suspects to confuse things nicely.

     There is a second ongoing story from book one that is very amusing. I can’t wait to see if either Tanner or Nate will end up being a romantic interest for Serena. She keeps insisting that they are both “just” friends.

     I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book. I am highly recommending this wonderful mystery. It gets a 5 star rating from me.

Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*