Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dying to Read (Cate Kinkaid Files #1) by Lorena McCourtney

Title: Dying to Read (Cate Kinkaid Files #1)
Author: Lorena McCourtney
Pages: 320
Year: 2012
Publisher: Revell Publishing

     All she wanted was a paycheck. What she got was a murder.

     Cate Kinkaid’s life is … well, frankly it’s floundering. Her social life, her career, her haircut – they’re all a mess. Unemployed, she jumps at the chance to work for her PI uncle, even though she has no experience and no instincts. After all, she is just dabbling in the world of private investigating until she can find a “real” job.

     All she has to do for her first assignment is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? But when she reaches the dark Victorian house, she runs into a hungry horde of gray-haired mystery readers and a dead body. This routine PI job is turning out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

     This is a very enjoyable Christian mystery novel.

     It was a lot of fun to meet Cate and the other characters in this book. Lorena developed a wide variety of personalities along with their crazy quirks. I found Cate to be a very sweet, bumbling PI. I loved seeing what all trouble Cate managed to get into, much of it was of her own making. Just as enjoyable was finding out how she got out of each situation.

     I’m looking forward to reading the other novels about Cate, as well as, the other series Lorena McCourtney has written. I highly recommend this book. I give it 5 stars.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sky Zone (The Crittendon Files #3) by Creston Mapes

Title: Sky Zone (The Crittendon Files #3)
Author: Creston Mapes
Pages: 448 
Year: 2014
Publisher: David C Cook
Note:  I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

     Jack Crittendon is now working as an usher at the Columbus Festival Arena. He reports for duty at a rally for controversial presidential candidate Martin Sterling, where he expects a mindless night on the job. But when Homeland Security picks up intel about a potential terrorist attack, Jack and his survivalist friend, Brian Shakespeare, are thrust into a life-and-death battle to save themselves – and thousands of innocent people.

     This is edge of your seat Christian suspense!

     Jack and Pamela Crittendon are back with even more problems in their personal lives. I enjoyed seeing where they have progressed to since the end of book two in this series. This is nicely interspersed throughout the suspense of the main story and very easy to relate to.

     The main story is introduced at the end of chapter one with the announcement, “We’ve got a national security threat.” It races full speed ahead from that point on. This book is filled with action and adrenaline pumping terror. The story builds to a heart pounding crescendo. Then it finally eases off a little when I reached the point that I felt like I couldn’t take anymore. There is a nice lull as the personal problems are worked through, only to come back with a final burst of action to wrap things up.

     Are Jack, Pamela, and their friends going to live through this one? If they all survive will they be able to find their way, with God’s help, through the quagmire of problems in their personal lives and with their families?

     This is the best book by Creston Mapes that I have read. He brought back a number of familiar characters from the previous books in this series. He has also developed a number of new people and described them so well that I was able to relate to them and the challenges they faced.

     Nearly everyone has a happy ending. The journey to get there was very well crafted and an absolute pleasure to go on with these characters.

     This is such a marvelous suspense novel I really wish that the normal rating system allowed for more than 5 stars because I would definitely give it more. But because everywhere caps at 5 that is what I feel I have to stop at also. So 5 stars it is. If you enjoy suspense novels I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Raina's Choice (Western Justice #3) by Gilbert Morris

Title: Raina’s Choice (Western Justice #3)
Author: Gilbert Morris
Pages: 320
Year: 2014
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Note: I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

     Raina needs a brand-new life, anywhere but here…

     A slave to her brother-in-law’s brutal bidding in a seedy Louisiana saloon, Raina Vernay is at the end of her rope. She’s not sure how much longer she can endure and empty life – and avoid her vile brother-in-law’s advances and her sister’s indifference to it all.

     When a mysterious stranger, Tyler Kincaid, arrives in town from Texas, headed for Ft. Smith and Judge Parker by way of riverboats, Raina’s mind starts churning a plan. She longs to find the father she’s never known, and if an old letter he wrote to her mother is any indication, he just might be in Indian Territory. But she needs a hero to help her escape and has her sights set on Ty.

     Then Ty lands himself in jail. Could this wanted man be any use to her? And yet, what other choice does she have?

     This is book three in a series but you don’t have to read the earlier books first. The only connection between them is Judge Parker and his marshals trying to keep law and order.

     This is a fantastic Christian western novel!

     Life is all about making choices. So is this book. The title is “Raina’s Choice” yet all the way through the book Raina (and a few other characters) have multiple choices to make. A lot of these choices can have a huge impact on the rest of their lives. I really loved the way that Gilbert Morris intertwined the characters lives as they were each processing the decisions that they had to make. There were a couple of characters that had strong relationships with God when they first showed up and they were trying to help the others with their decisions by pointing them to God for help. It was very encouraging and uplifting.

     The characters were easy to connect with and I found myself trying to help a lot of them sort things out and make the right choices. I love reading a book where I can feel for multiple characters.

     The plot was wonderfully developed and presented. It held my attention throughout the book.

     I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Poison Town (The Crittendon Files #2) by Creston Mapes

Title: Poison Town (The Crittendon Files #2)
Author: Creston Mapes
Pages: 368
Year: 2014
Publisher: David C. Cook

     There’s more than one kind of poison in this town!

     People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that’s crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss. The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon’s longtime mechanic falls ill.

     As Jack investigates, he becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal. The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable – he knows way too much.

     This is a fantastic Christian suspense novel! I’m giving it 5 stars and highly recommending it.

     The plot is very intricately woven and at the beginning of the book it very slowly develops. As you get farther in it picks up speed as more and more details are revealed.

     There is a wonderful cast of well developed and beautifully presented characters in this book. It is not just a couple of main characters and then small glimpse of side people. They cover a variety of personalities and most of them are easy to connect with.

     I really liked the fact that Jack’s character is still working through the residue of emotions from the first novel in this series. He is a human being with all the faults and failures possible with that. It is nice to see him work through things with his wife and with God as the story progresses.

     I received a free copy of this book through The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction #4) by Jen Turano

Title: A Match of Wits (Ladies of Distinction #4)
Author: Jen Turano
Pages: 345
Year: 2014
Publisher: Bethany House
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

     After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancee, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes--by hook or by crook--she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

     Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home . . . until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics.

     Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

     This is a wonderful lighthearted Christian romantic comedy!

     I have read each of the previous books in this series by Jen Turano and absolutely loved all of them. This latest installment in the series does not disappoint. The main characters in this book, Agatha Watson and Zayne Beckett, made appearances in the previous books. It was a lot of fun to see them come to the forefront of the action and grow and develop. The twists and comedic turns that come up are hilarious. Zayne had no idea about how to deal with women or how to understand them. It completely delighted me to see where the most astute insights that he received came from.

     I loved this book and have to give it 5 stars. I highly recommend it!