Monday, January 26, 2015

Before the Scarlet Dawn (The Daughters of the Potomac #1) by Rita Gerlach

Title: Before the Scarlet Dawn (The Daughters of the Potomac #1)
Author: Rita Gerlach
Pages: 327
Year: 2012
Publisher: Abingdon Press

About the book:

     Love drove them to a new land. Now, a war for freedom threatens all they hold dear.

     In 1775, Hayward Morgan, a young gentleman destined to inherit his father’s estate in Derbyshire, England, captures the attention of the local vicar’s daughter, Eliza Bloome. However, her dark beauty and spirited ways are not enough to win him immediately, due to her station in life.

     Circumstances throw Eliza in Hayward’s path, and they flee to America to escape the family conflicts. But as war looms, it’s a temporary reprieve. Hayward joins the revolutionary forces and what follows is a struggle for survival, a test of faith, and the quest to find lasting love in an unforgiving wilderness.

My review:

     A deeply moving historical novel.

     The development of the characters in this book is excellent. I was drawn into the story from the very beginning. I wanted so badly to see everything work out well for Eliza Bloome. She has such a strong faith and has so many hardships to face throughout the story. Multiple times I felt as if my heart was going to break for all that she had to deal with.

     She is a very realistic character in that as time progressed she faltered in her decision making and in her belief that she had made correct choices. Even when we make questionable choices God doesn’t leave us and we can hold on to that fact. This is something that Eliza works through as she struggles with her self-doubts. If we are at all truthful with ourselves we would each admit to doubting our decisions at times.

     I am looking forward to reading the other 2 books in this series and seeing what type of characters Rita Garlach creates for them. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 stars.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hidden Agenda (Southern Crimes #3) by Lisa Harris

Title: Hidden Agenda (Southern Crimes #3)
Author: Lisa Harris
Pages: 305
Year:  2015
Publisher: Revell
Note:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.

     Presumed dead by friends and family, Michael Hunt is alive – and on the run. The undercover assignment he’s been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton – the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

     This nonstop chase from Christy Award-winning Lisa Harris will leave you breathless.

My review:

     An adrenaline rush packed suspense novel!

     I loved visiting the Hunt family once again. It was great to read the story of Michael Hunt, middle child and only son. This close knit family is wonderful and a joy to get to know. I love these characters as well as the new ones that are introduced in this book. Lisa Harris has an incredible talent for developing deep characters and presenting them.

     The plot was intense and had plenty of surprising twists and turns that kept me guessing until the very end.

     I thoroughly enjoyed this third book in the Southern Crimes series. I suspect that it is going to be the last one and it felt like a good wrap up to me. I’m giving it 5 stars and highly recommending it. I would definitely suggest that you read this series in order since each book is the story of one of three siblings and they follow the family throughout.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dolled Up to Die (Cate Kinkaid Files #2) by Lorena McCourtney

Title: Dolled Up to Die (Cate Kinkaid Files #2)
Author: Lorena McCourtney
Pages: 316
Year: 2013
Publisher: Revell

About the book:

     Cate’s not sure just what she expectd…but she knows it certainly wasn’t this.

     When Cate Kinkaid receives a frantic call about a triple homicide, she drives to the scene against her better judgment – aren’t triple homicides more up the police department’s alley?-only to find that the victims are not quite who she expects. Now she has a new rule to add to everything she’s learned in her short stint as an assistant private investigator: always find out if the victims have human DNA. Because these three do not.

     But who would shoot this nice lady’s dolls? What possible reason could the shooter have? And then there’s the startling discovery of another victim, who definitely does have human DNA . . .

     With tension that is matched only by humor, Dolled Up to Die is the exciting second book in Lorena McCourtney’s Cate Kinkaid Files. You won’t find a place to stop and take a breath in this fast-paced story.

My review:

     As entertaining as the previous book.

     It was an absolute joy to follow Cate as she works her way through another maze of clues to find a killer. She was joined again on this trip by Uncle Joe, Rebecca, Octavia, and Mitch.

     We had a new cast of victims, clients and suspects which were nicely developed and presented. The mis-steps that Cate made on this case were as humorous as the ones on the first case. She has made progress in her skills as a PI, but it is very apparent that she has much more to learn about the job.

     I found this to be a very enjoyable book to read and am giving it 5 stars. I definitely recommend it. I am looking forward to seeing what may happen to Cate in the next book.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fear Not by Anne Baxter Campbell

Title: Fear Not
Author: Anne Baxter Campbell
Pages: 46
Year: 2014
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

About the book:

     Everyone I know has times when panic hits them hard. Bad news can come to anyone. An alarming situation can happen in a nano-second. Where do you turn when the cliff lies in front of you and the tiger is attacking from behind? This devotional is meant to help you face the tigers that threaten you and triumph.

     All of the writers herein know what it feels like to be afraid. One answer is common to all of us: We call on God. Not because it’s easy. Not because it’s convenient. Instead, it’s because we know He knows the answers, and our times are in His hands. Join us for thirty-three days and see if you agree.

My review:

     A wonderful devotional.

     This book was recommended to me by 2 different people when I diagnosed with breast cancer. There are a few different days that the reading is focused on fears connected with cancer. I was amazed though by how many different types of fears that are addressed in these daily devotions. It is very well balanced and each day’s reading draws the reader’s attention directly to God and how He takes care of us through any type of frightening situation.

     This is an excellent book and I’m giving it 5 stars along with my recommendation.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dangerous Passage (Southern Crimes #1) by Lisa Harris

Title: Dangerous Passage (Southern Crimes #1)
Author: Lisa Harris
Pages: 320
Year: 2013
Publisher: Revell

About the book:

     She’s dedicated her life to ending violence. But has she moved too deep into a treacherous world?

     When two Jane Does are killed on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia, detective and behavioral specialist Avery North discovers they share something in common – a magnolia tattoo on their shoulders. Suspecting a serial killer, Avery joins forces with medical examiner Jackson Bryant to solve the crimes and prevent another murder. As they venture deep into a sinister criminal world, Avery and Jackson are taken to the very edge of their abilities – and their hearts.

     Dangerous Passage exposes a fully realized and frightening world where every layer peeled back reveals more challenges ahead. You’ll be hooked from the start.

My review:

     An incredible crime story!

     Avery North is a wonderful character. She has a huge conflict going on inside trying to balance her job as a police detective and her family commitments. This whole conflict is very well presented as she works her way through leading the team trying to solve the murders of 2 Jane Does. Along with this inner conflict she is dealing with personal heartache from losses in the past that keep coming to her mind as the case progresses. She is a very realistic character that has been developed with incredible thought to detail.

     She is surrounded by a number of other well written characters both in her family and on her team. I really enjoyed getting to know each of them. I hope that I learn more about them in future books in this series.

     The plot leaves nothing to be desired. It is very intricately woven and proceeds to build throughout the novel. It is very nicely interspersed with sections that work to develop the characters and their relationships. This novel has a very nice balance between the two. I was kept guessing throughout the story as to exactly how the murders were committed and how they tied in with other criminal activity that was going on.

     I have really learned my own tastes in reading material and again I’ve picked up a book that I find I have to give 5 stars to. This one captured my interest so thoroughly that I read it in just 2 days, which I haven’t been able to accomplish in quite some time. It was just so good that I couldn’t get distracted from reading it. Not even by my adorable 6 year old granddaughter. I highly recommend it.