Monday, 14 May 2018

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

From The Back:

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favourite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go until the final heart-pounding page.
My Reflections:
A new series for the well-loved Lynn Blackburn! 
Be prepared to hold on tight as you are propelled into intense action with this new series "Dive Team Investigations." 
Some of my favourite plots are penned around stories with medical and law enforcement officials. Having worked in the medical field I find I really click with the characters and settings. 

Leigh Weston returns home to Carrington, North Carolina in hopes to escape memories of the past. Leigh, an Oncology nurse, garners the attention of a past patient who has turned stalker. Thankfully she is miles away and tucked into her safe hometown, or so she thought until strange occurrences start to happen. Where she felt peace and security would prevail there is only chaos and fear. 

Ryan Parker, a homicide investigator, becomes entwined into Leigh's life once again after the grizzly discovery of a dead body. These two are no strangers as Leigh is Ryan's best friend's sister and childhood love interest! Things may just get interesting.. But these two will have to hold on tight because things are bound to get more than impressive, perhaps just plain crazy! 

 I loved all the many characters in this novel, not just the main characters but also the supporting cast. I can't wait for the sequels to dig a little deeper into some of these stories! 
How many books will be in this series? 
Hopefully enough to delve into Keri, Gabe, Sabrina, Adam and Anissa's stories!

Once again Blackburn does not disappoint, her novel is filled with suspense, romance and non-stop adrenaline producing action. A must read if you love good suspense with solid moral footings. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Lynn H. Blackburn

Lynn H. Blackburn is the author of Beneath the SurfaceHidden Legacy, and Covert Justice, winner of the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery and Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Blackburn believes in the power of stories,...
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Thursday, 3 May 2018

Book Review: In Places Hidden

From the Back:

The search for her missing brother leads to the most dangerous part of the city . . .
Camrianne Coulter's brother Caleb is a successful San Francisco attorney. But when three months go by without a word from the usually communicative Caleb, Camri boards a train to the booming West Coast city to find out for herself why he hasn't written. When she arrives at his home, nobody seems to know where he is, or what has become of him.

Camri's search for her brother leads her deep into the political corruption of the city--and into the acquaintance of Patrick Murdock, who Caleb successfully defended from a false murder charge. Getting to know this handsome Irish contractor challenges all of Camri's privileged beliefs, but Patrick is unshakably loyal to her brother, and he seems to know more about what happened to Caleb than anyone else. As the two edge closer to the truth behind Caleb's disappearance, they risk angering the powerful forces that control the city. Can Camri trust Patrick to protect her from the dangers that lie hidden in San Francisco's backstreets?
My Reflections:

This is book one of Tracie Peterson's newest series called Golden Gate Secrets. One thing you can count on with a novel penned by Peterson is her utmost attention to factual historical detail. 
This book is no different being set in San Fransisco year 1905, the setting truly is what inspired me. 

The story was a slow start and I didn't completely feel that I connected with the characters like I would have hoped. I did however really enjoy the historic aspects of this story. It is set just before a good part of San Fransico is destroyed by a massive earthquake which took many lives and basically flattened the city. Camriann (Camri) comes to San Fransisco to locate her missing brother. Along the way, she teams up with two other women, Judith Gladstone and Kenzie Gifford. Each of these ladies has their own reasons why they end up in the big city. Together they join forces and move in together, and secure jobs. While the backstory is somewhat murky on these two women I am sure in subsequent books more details will emerge.

The next instalments are set to be released in July 2018 (In Dreams Forgotten) September 2018 (In Times Gone By) If you are a Tracie Peterson fan you may like this new series, and if nothing else the setting is simply amazing!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn...
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Monday, 23 April 2018

Book Review: The House on Foster Hill

From the Back

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart. Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives--including her own--are lost?
My Reflections:
Jamie Jo Wright has set the bar high with her debut novel, "The House on Foster Hill." It is a creepy yet captivating read. I was snagged from page one. The best thing about this book is the dual storyline. Past and present entwine to produce a seamless spellbinding novel.
Kaine Prescott running from her stalker buys an old house to fulfil her murdered husbands dream of renovating an old heritage house, the thing is she is also trying to outrun the person she believes killed him. No one really takes her accusations seriously, but strange things keep happening, like her favourite flower, daffodils put in a mug or left in obvious places, things in her home moved, small but upsetting things. Kaine believes changing her location, paying with cash and fleeing to her Grandfather's hometown will do just the trick. But when it seems the stalker has followed her, she meets a small group of residents who take her under their wings. Joy, Megan, and Grant seem like just the type of human balm she needs, not to mention, being under Grant's wing is so very safe feeling..  
Ivy Thorpe is one determined gal. She becomes introspective and dedicated to telling the stories of the townsfolks who die in her journal. She believes that no one should die without being remembered. The locals think she is creepy and slightly addled because since the death of her brother she has just not been quite right in the head. In 1906 women didn't help physicians dress the dead, no matter if it is your father.
 When a young woman is mysteriously killed on Foster Hill property Ivy feel responsible for finding out what happened to her, and the precious baby she recently birthed. Joel her longtime friend is her comfort and cohort in solving this mystery. Will they be able to unravel this murder of will their very lives be put at risk in the process?
I so enjoyed how this book kept me reading well past a reasonable hour. I also enjoyed how Wright keeps her readers guessing and engaged. This authour is one to watch for sure. Her writing is top notch, and the character development is complex yet written so well that everything falls into place seamlessly.
If you enjoy a murder mystery you will most certainly love this book. I highly recommend it, clean, thrilling entertainment right her!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Jaime Jo Wright

Jaime Jo Wright is the author of the acclaimed novel The House on Foster Hill. She's also the Publishers Weekly and ECPA bestselling author of two novellas. Jaime works as a human resources director in Wisconsin, where she lives with her husband...
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Book Review: Sex, Jesus, and the Conversations the Church Forgot

From The Back:

It's past time for some raw and candid conversations about virginity, promiscuity, and everything in between.
In a world obsessed with sex, why is the church relatively silent about it? While sex is twisted, perverted, cheapened, and idolized in popular culture, we leave young people drowning in the repercussions of misinformation, misunderstanding, and worth-robbing mistakes that could have been avoided.

Enough is enough. With raw vulnerability and a bold spirit, Mo Isom shares her own sexual testimony, opening up the conversation about misguided rule-following, virginity, temptation, porn, promiscuity, false sexpectations, sex in marriage, and more, calling us back to God's original design for sex--a way to worship and glorify Him.

Sex was God's idea. It's time we invited Him back into the bedroom.
My Reflections:

This book. Wow, I'm not sure what I was expecting but it was way more than I ever thought it would be. Candid, honest, and raw, in a good way. It brings the topic of sex into the light. Our culture has so tarnished God's magnificent gift to us. We have forgotten to celebrate sex as a gift we have been blessed with. 

I loved how Mo Isom takes a topic that is overdone and really digs to the heart of the issue, and it is delivered in a simple straightforward manner. She also uses her own story to help define her book in a raw and unrefined manner. She shares her heart, she lays out her pain, and we see the progression from struggle and heartache to God's refining, pure healing in all aspects of life. 

This book is powerful, it speaks to us all married, single, young, old, Christian or secular you will undoubtedly find something that impacts you where you are right now. I encourage you to pick this one up, you won't regret it.

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Mo Isom

Mo Isom is the New York Times bestselling author of Wreck My Life. She maintains a thriving, nationwide speaking ministry and facilitates a faith-centered blog (moisom.com) that has garnered millions of views to date. Isom is a former...
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Monday, 16 April 2018

Book Review: A Borrowed Dream

From The Back:

There is no such thing as an impossible dream . . . 
Catherine Whitfield is sure that she will never again be able to trust anyone in the medical profession after the local doctor's treatments killed her mother. Despite her loneliness and her broken heart, she carries bravely on as Cimarron Creek's dutiful schoolteacher, resigned to a life where dreams rarely come true.

Austin Goddard is a newcomer to Cimarron Creek. Posing as a rancher, he fled to Texas to protect his daughter from a dangerous criminal. He's managed to keep his past as a surgeon a secret. But when Catherine Whitfield captures his heart, he wonders how long he will be able to keep up the charade.

With a deft hand, Amanda Cabot teases out the strands of love, deception, and redemption in this charming tale of dreams deferred and hopes becoming reality.
My Reflections:
A Borrowed Dream is book two in Amanda Cabot's Cimarron Creek Trilogy, another captivating read, as expected!
I love how Cabot weaves her novels together with the expertize of a seasoned writer. This story although separate from book one merges her characters and events together seamlessly, so I feel this novel would be best enjoyed as a series, read in order. This will allow for an informed reading experience. Cabot does include a map and genealogical chart to help readers figure out the complex cast and give a visual of the setting and backstory.
This story opens with newcomer Austin Goddard a widow, plastic surgeon along with his young daughter, who has just moved to Cimarron Creek to a ranch. That brings suspicion in its self, I mean why would a surgeon move to a small town to a remote ranch? Protection. Austin is hiding something, but he is determined to protect his daughter at all costs. 
Town school marm Catherine Whitfield, has secrets of her own. Her heart is weary of doctors after her mom was mistreated by Cimarron Creek's only doctor, resulting in her death after a "bloodletting" procedure. Will Catherine's heart obey her reasoning?
This book does not disappoint. It is quite complex and holds some deep subject matter. (murder and rape) For this reason, I would recommend it for readers of 14 and up. The story is clean otherwise and very well written. Filled with researched historical detail, you'll want to pick this one up for your next rainy spring read!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Amanda Cabot

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of A Stolen Heart, as well as the Texas Crossroads series, the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, and Christmas Roses. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the...
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Sunday, 15 April 2018

Book Review: The Weaver's Daughter

FROM THE BACK:

Kate’s loyalties bind her to the past. Henry’s loyalties compel him to strive for a better future.
In a landscape torn between tradition and vision, can two souls find the strength to overcome their preconceptions?
Loyalty has been at the heart of the Dearborne family for as long as Kate can remember, but a war is brewing in their small village, one that has the power to rip families asunder—including her own. As misguided actions are brought to light, she learns how deep her father’s pride and bitterness run, and she begins to wonder if her loyalty is well-placed.
Henry Stockton, heir to the Stockton fortune, returns home from three years at war hoping to find a refuge from his haunting memories. Determined to bury the past, he embraces his grandfather’s goals to modernize his family’s wool mill, regardless of the grumblings from the local weavers. When tragedy strikes shortly after his arrival, Henry must sort out the truth from suspicion if he is to protect his family’s livelihood and legacy.
Henry has been warned about the Dearborne family. Kate, too, has been advised to stay far away from the Stocktons, but chance meetings continue to bring her to Henry’s side, blurring the jagged lines between loyalty, justice, and truth. Kate ultimately finds herself with the powerful decision that will forever affect her village’s future. Born on opposite sides of the conflict, Henry and Kate must come together to find a way to create peace for their families, and their village, and their souls—even if it means risking their hearts in the process.
My Reflections:

Sarah Ladd writes an exceptional tale with her newest Regency romance, The Weaver's Daughter. 

Readers are in for a treat as they are transported back in time to the early 1800's. This novel does not take place in drawing rooms or under the canopy of beautiful balls, it centres on the labourers of mills, and the very weavers who pride themselves in their craft.

Industrialization and automation are pitting labourer against the proprietor. No one wins in such a battle, and our main characters Kate Dearborne (the weaver's daughter) and Henry Stockton (the heir to the mill) must find their own paths in this turbulent time.

Kate is torn between her fathers strict rules, her family ties and what she believes to be just. I loved her transformation from innocent to empowered to stand up for what is right, no matter the personal cost. 
Kate is forced to make tough choices. She loved her brother, who defected and joined the mills' ranks. Her father refuses to even speak to him. She loves her father, stern and overbears as he is. Then enters the new heir, Henry. He seems different from his grandfather, Mr. Stockton senior. Will she be able to make a difference in her beloved which is on the brink of violence and destruction? 

Henry has his work cut out for himself. Still not recovered mentally from the horrors he had witnessed in the war, Three years is a long time to be away! Being the heir to a large company is daunting! The war has changed him. He no longer wishes to marry the girl he left. Steadfast, dependable and caring, a kind-hearted woman that's what he needs. 

When Kate and Henry's paths continue to cross a tentative relationship develops, and both must decide where their hearts and loyalties lay.

A beautifully written novel filled with stunning backdrops and satisfying substance to the very end. I encourage you to pick this one up, Sarah Ladd can always be depended upon to pen fabulous novels!

I received this book free of charge from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, Book Look!



Friday, 30 March 2018

Book Review: Hearts Entwined

From The Back:

Hearts EntwinedFour Historical Romance Novellas of Love (With a Twist of Humor)

The ways of love can be complex. Sometimes a relationship full of unexpected twists and unlikely turns leads to a bond that's strong and secure. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that follow the winding path of romance in stories that celebrate a love that lasts forever.




The Love Knot- Karen WitemeyerWhen Claire Nevin's troubled younger sibling sends her an unexpected package by rail, the gift and the man who delivers it--an unexpected face from the past--threaten to upend Claire's life forever. Fighting to hold on to all she has built, will she lose what matters most?
My reflections:
Oh, how I wish this were longer. Karen Witemeyer is one of my all-time favourite authors and to have my taste buds wet and not get the full meal was so, so hard on my literary addiction! I'm satisfied only with the knowledge that she will write more books. Once again I will be steeped in her abilities to tie together a string of words so captivating that I will stay up late until the finish.
In this story, the characters are realistically penned along with their many flaws and abilities. I think my favourite part of the book had to have been when the main character Clair gets to the train to pick up a certain parcel that has her whole life upended. I thought she took this shock much better than I would have, seamlessly adapting and rearranging priorities to make it all work out in the end. Throw into the mix past love interest, Pieter Van Duren showing up with the "package!" 
Overall a sweet and tender story filled with human qualities that make you want to sigh and keep reading.

The Tangled Ties That Bind- Mary ConnealyConnor Kincaid returns home determined to win the hand of the woman he was too young for when he left. But Maggie is training to be a doctor in a distant town, while Connor's about to settle on a ranch. Will either be willing to give up their dream? Or will they both have to give up the love of a lifetime?
My Reflections:
Mary Connealy keeps us reading with her "Tangles Ties that Bind." 
I so enjoyed catching up with the Kincaid/ Borden families. Conner Kincaid is home again, but this time he is a man on a mission, and no one will stop him now. Conner will even sacrifice his expectations and dreams to chase after Maggie.Trouble is she seems to have become more headstrong and determined than he remembers her to be. No matter Conner is ready to follow her where ever, even to the big city. Also to take any job to be with her. 
Maggie wants to become a doctor, she has set her mind to it, and no one will stop her now that she finally has a direction. Can these two tie the knot and pursue their dreams? God always finds a way, but it is often not our way!

Bound and Determined- Regina Jennings
As punishment for his recklessness, Private Bradley Willis is sent on an errand to help a retired cavalry officer move a herd across Indian Territory. No one told him the herd would be camels instead of cattle, nor that the officer's headstrong daughter, Ambrosia Herald, would seem to be trying to undermine the whole enterprise. He's definitely been saddled with more than he's bargained for.
My Reflections:
Camels? Wow, I must say I didn't expect that! 
Private Bradley Willis and Ambrosia Herald must work closely to escort these zany animals across the bone-dry Indian territory! This story has its quirks, and right out funny moments, mostly with the camels. Jam-packed with historical detail this story aims to please, who wouldn't love a romance combined with fascinating historical detail and headstrong characters!

Tied and True- Melissa Jagears
Wealthy Marianne Lister is in love with business assistant Calvin Hochstetler, but he can't see past the difference in their social status. When Marianne takes a job to prove that she is prepared for a life of hard work alongside the man of her dreams, will it be enough to convince Calvin to risk it all for love?
My Reflections:
This final novella centres on a series I am very familiar with, the Teaville Moral Society. Marianne Lister's one determined lady, her devotion to her cause is admirable. Despite the looming threat of being disinherited, she runs headlong into her cause, pursuing her love Calvin Hochstetler, no matter the cost. Is she ready to throw her status away? Will Calvin get the hint? A heartwarming story you won't want to miss!

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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