Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Book Review: What Happens Next


From the back:

"An uplifting story of faith, hope, and healing."--Booklist

"Everyone has a story, and maybe everyone needs a little help toward healing."

Popular podcaster and ex-reporter Faith Byrne made a name for herself telling stories of greatness after tragedy--but her real life does not mirror the stories she tells. While her daughters spend the summer in Hawaii with her ex-husband and his new wife, she must manage life on her own. All of that changes when she's asked to spotlight her childhood best friend's missing person case on her podcast.

Dora Crane has never accepted that her younger daughter could be dead, keeping her home looking the same as when her daughter disappeared. But when her husband leaves her and her older daughter intervenes, she agrees to counseling and to pack up her missing daughter's belongings under one condition: Faith Byrne comes to Deep Valley and sheds light on the cold case.

As the long-abandoned investigation moves forward, old wounds and long-buried secrets are exposed. Will these two women, whose lives have never been the same, finally get the answers they need to reconcile the past and the future?

My Reflections:

Christina Nelson pens another profoundly moving novel with her newest book titled "What Happens Next" This author never disappoints. She writes about issues that matter, digs deeper into the complexities of life, teasing out truth and the courage of the human heart.

Faith a former investigator turned podcaster is recently divorced and at odds with what to do with herself as her daughters spend the summer with their dad and his new wife. When she is asked out of the blue to shed light on the disappearance of her childhood friend she is shaken. Having been left in the dark about her friend Heather's disappearance gives Faith the determination to find out what truly happened that summer 36 years ago.

This novel also delves into the lives of Dora, Heather's mother. Dora has held onto the belief that Heather will return, so much so that it has ripped at the very fabric of her remaining family. 

Lastly, the book shares the life of young Heather at the age of 10, the summer before her disappearance. We get a glimpse into this sweet funny and outspoken girl full of life and promise. Faith and Heather become fast friends that summer and share many adventures and memories together. 

I enjoyed all aspects of this gripping story. It made me take a sobering look at those around me and the consequences of our actions. Healing is messy business, with many ups and downs, it is fraught with emotions and choices. I am slowly learning (I must be really slow because it's taken a while) that I need to stop, take a breath, step back, assess the mess then lean into it and trust in the journey God has set before me. 

Nelson is a master writer her ability to pen characters with depth and substance makes her novels stand out. I am always drawn into the lives of her characters and feel a special connection which leaves me wanting more when the last page has been turned. 

This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Christina Suzann Nelson

Christina Suzann Nelson ( is an inspirational speaker and Christy award-winning author. Her first novel, If We Make It Home, was honored as one of Library Journal's top five inspirational novels of 2017, and her 2021...

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Book Review Yesterday's Tides


From the Back:

In two world wars, intelligence and counterintelligence, prejudice, and self-sacrifice collide across two generations

In 1942, Evie Farrow is used to life on Ocracoke Island, where every day is the same--until the German U-boats haunting their waters begin to wreak havoc. And when special agent Sterling Bertrand is washed ashore at Evie's inn, her life is turned upside down. While Sterling's injuries keep him inn-bound for weeks, making him even more anxious about the SS officer he's tracking, he becomes increasingly intrigued by Evie, who seems to be hiding secrets of her own.

Decades earlier, in 1914, Englishman Remington Culbreth arrives at the Ocracoke Inn for the summer, never expecting to fall in love with Louisa Adair, the innkeeper's daughter. But when war breaks out in Europe, their relationship is put in jeopardy and may not survive what lies ahead for them.

As the ripples from the Great War rock Evie and Sterling's lives in World War II, it seems yesterday's tides may sweep them all into danger again today.

My reflections:

"Yesterday's Tides" is a slow savoury read. White takes her readers on a journey along duel timelines one set in 1914 and the other in 1942. Both are on the same American island of Ocracoke. This idyllic small island is home to a small number of locals who are close-knit and deeply woven together. 

1914 we become acquainted with Louisa, a down-to-earth kinda soul. She was inventive and able to do the work suited for a man in that era. I was pretty impressed at her get-it-done attitude. Louisa being the innkeeper's daughter usually doesn't pay too much attention to the guests at the inn, that is until a very handsome well-to-do guest comes to stay on the island for the entirety of the summer. 

Remmington never expected to fall in love with a commoner, but that he did. Knowing that their relationship would not bode well in his world due to her ancestry and social standing, Remington tries to talk himself into keeping their relationship friendly, but his heart has other plans. 

1942, Evie is a wickedly smart woman with a grieving heart. She plods along each day with purpose and determination. She however leads a secret life helping the British crack enemy codes with the means of the telegraph as her way of communication. When Sterling, a British spy washes up on her shores, burnt and battered Evie finds herself strangely drawn to him as she nurses him back to health. Within his delirious mumbling, she learns tidbits of his true identity. 

Sterling has a mission and it doesn't include Evie. Still weak and unable to complete his assignment he must lean on Evie to regain his strength and track down a certain German spy. Can he trust Evie? Who is she really, and why does he find himself falling deeper and deeper for her?

I found myself thoroughly invested in both stories, I do however have to admit it got a little confusing at times, as there are so many characters to keep track of. 

Both stories offered well-paced plots with relatable characters. If you are looking for something with a little more substance this would be a good choice to sink your teeth into.

 This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Roseanna M. White ( is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. She pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When...

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Tuesday, 20 December 2022

Book Review: The Lost Melody


From The Back:

"Haunting. Riveting. Filled with hope."--Michelle Griep, author of Lost in Darkness

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant's father dies, he leaves to her the care of a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. Vivienne had no idea the woman existed, and yet her portrait is shockingly familiar. When the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know.

But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women's independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era--and now.

My Reflections:

Where do I start? I have never in my long history of reading come across a book quite like this. It touched my soul and moved me in ways that I can't even flesh out. I feel like it would do the book an injustice if I revealed the inner contents, for this reason I will keep my review subjective and let you enjoy the unfettered essence within.

England 1886 sits Hurstwell  Lunatic asylum a place filled with shadows, deep darkness and immense pain. We are able to take a glimpse into the Victorian era of the misunderstood. The fine line between sanity and madness. 

The characters were so well developed that the story came alive for me. I was moved from emotion to emotion harmoniously flowing with the melody of the story. Ah... I never wanted it to end, I was left crying at the injustices while rooting for the truth to be had. Politano weaves faith gently throughout the entirety of the book adding depth and humanity. We are reminded that in the darkness there is light and hope. We can touch others lives even mired in the darkness, we just have to reach out, even when all seems lost.

The romance is heart achingly beautiful, tender and moving. It almost seemed out of place at the start, but as the story progressed it really added an element of humanity. 

I am completely amazed at the Politano's exceptional ability to take a story and craft it into a work of art. This book just took writing to a whole new level.

 Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Joanna Davidson Politano

Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne DisappearsA Rumored FortuneFinding Lady EnderlyThe Love Note, and A Midnight Dance. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in...

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Book Review: Targeted


From the Back:

Three women. Three men. Three unsuspecting targets.

Get ready for triple the thrills with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors!

In On the Run, IT Specialist Daria Nevsky is a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead--and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper are committed to keeping their relationship professional. But when the vice president's son enters the crosshairs of a killer, some lines will have to be crossed in order to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, there is no love lost between former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman and CIA officer Claudia Gallegos after Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. But to prevent a coup that would put America at risk, they'll have to learn to trust each other--before it's too late.

My Reflections:

Though I love to sink my teeth into a gool full length novel, once and awhile it is nice to dip your feet in a melody of short stories. What is better than a novella with three of my favorite authors. Lynette Easton, Lynn H. Blackburn and Natalie Walters all had well developed characters, a perfectly thought out plot with faith based threads. Some how they packed all of this into a short 120 ish page feast for the senses. If asked I couldn't pick a favorite, each were wildly different yet had the same thrilling elements that you would expect form these authors.

It was delightful how the authors weaved previous stories into their collections. In the depths of the pages you will find stories that are packed with heart warming romance and spine tingling suspense. The characters are well fleshed out and the story lines were full bodied and satisfying. I feel these short stories could be read as a stand alone. It actually would be a perfect introduction to each authors unique penmanship.

I highly recommend this novella, especially for those cold winter nights.

A perfect read for the holidays!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Lynette Eason

  1. Lynette Eason is the USA Today bestselling author of Life Flight, Crossfire, and Critical Threat, as well as the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite...

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  2. Lynn H. Blackburn

    Lynn H. Blackburn is the award-winning author of Unknown Threat and Malicious Intent, as well as the Dive Team Investigations series. She believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift...

    Continue reading about Lynn H. Blackbur

  3. Natalie Walters

    Natalie Walters is the author of Lights Out and Fatal Code, as well as the Harbored Secrets series. A military wife, she currently resides in Texas with her soldier husband and is the proud mom of three. She loves traveling, spending time with...

    Continue reading about Natalie Walters

Sunday, 9 October 2022

Book Review: To Win A Prince


From the Back:

Can she stop herself from falling before she's too far gone?

As a fashion aficionado and best friend of the queen of the African island country Ọlọrọ Ilé, Iris Blakely dreams of using her talent to start a sustainable clothing line to help citizens in impoverished areas and honor the country's resources. But when she discovers that Ekon Diallo--the man who betrayed her best friend--will be her business consultant, the battle between her desires and reality begins.

Ekon Diallo has lost everything: his princely title, his material possessions, his friends, and the respect of his fellow Ọlọrans. To pay for his actions against Ọlọrọ Ilé, he's forced to assist the charismatic Iris Blakely--but he can't allow his heart to distract him from regaining his status.

Though they come from vastly different worlds, Iris and Ekon are both determined to reach their goals, and the only way to do that is to work together--if they can just keep their hearts from getting in the way . . .

My Reflections:

This is Shiloh's sequel to her first book "In Search of A Prince." I absolutely loved that book and  was excited to see what was in store for Iris Blakey, the bff to Brielle who is the Queen of Oloro Ile.

Iris, is an exuberant lively character full of emotions and love for people. Having just started up her new fashion business. Her plan is not only to create a sustainable clothing line but also to give back to Oloro Ile and it's people. Filled with excitement and dreams Iris launches full steam ahead into making those dreams a reality.

It is not easy sailing however, the business sustains all kinds of road blocks that keep Iris on her toes. One thing that is forefront in her mind is the matter of her new Business consultant, Ekon.

Ekon is not your typical Business consultant he is actually the fallen prince who tried to betray Queen Brielle's title. As punishment he is ordered by the council to do community service along with helping Iris as she launches her new career. Thing is Pampered Ekon is holding onto so much resentment and bitterness for his punishment he can't see past his own nose to care about anything other than restoring the good graces with his father and the upper-class citizens of Oloro Ile. 

Iris and Ekon come to an understanding from the start, this is just a business deal and a way to complete Ekon's sentence and community service hours. It all seems so simple..

Ah, not so. As Ekon grows and matures and with the help of Iris his heart starts to soften. The blinds are slowly peeled back layer by layer until he is reduced to face his past and the person he was. Does it come too late? (I loved the fantastic plot twist, it really added depth to the story.)

Iris tries to keep focused on the tasks at hand, but her heart has other ideas. Torn with what she knows is right and what her heart is telling her she must lean on God to find out his true plan for her life. This is no easy task for a dreamer. Is there any hope for Ekon? Can he turn around his life? What about his heart, is he brave enough to be vulnerable?

I loved the depth this story had, it comes off as a fluffy dreamy type novel but in truth it is filled with the struggles of character, the call to faith and the courage to rise above and follow a path less traveled. There are quite a few surprises to be had in this story! I was entertained by the musings of both characters and their crazy antics. And yes, I fell in love with the Suck up Ekon, he won my heart by the end of the novel. If you love fairytales and happily ever after you will love Shiloh's newest novel, but do your self a favor and read book one!

Well done Toni Shiloh, I can't wait for what you have in store for us in your next!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Toni Shiloh

Toni Shiloh ( is a wife, mom, and multi-published Christian contemporary romance author. Her novel In Search of a Prince has been praised by, Popsugar, Library Journal, and Booklist, and is a Parable...

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Book Review: Dangerous Beauty

From the Back:

What is the price of freedom?

Liliana Vela hates the term victim. She's not a victim, she's a fighter. Stubborn and strong with a quiet elegance, she's determined to take back her life after escaping the clutches of human traffickers. But she can't stay safely in America--unless the man who aided in her rescue is serious about his unconventional proposal to marry her.

Meric Toledan was just stopping at a service station for a bottle of water. Instead, he becomes the key to Liliana's rescue. If he can keep his secrets hidden, his wealth and position afford him many resources to help her. But the mysterious buyer who funded her capture will not sit idly by while his prize is stolen from him.

My Reflections:

"Dangerous Beauty" is a poignant and raw novel about the travesty of human trafficking. Melissa Koslin has written a moving yet powerful story, filled grit and honesty. She tackles the subject with tact, giving readers just enough detail to become engaged and embroiled in the story, without becoming traumatized by the sensitive subject matter. 

Taken by the Cartel and sold Liliana finds herself in a new country fraught with dangers. She manages a harrowing escape and is mercifully helped by a complete stranger. Liliana must trust this man as she finds he is the only way out to safety. Meric her rescuer is a man of secrets, he is stoic in his interactions, and Liliana is not sure where she stands. Struggling to learn a new language, and gently testing the boundaries around her she grapples to find her way and navigate the dangers and beauty of this new country.

In a blink of an eye, Meric has turned his world upside down. In his rash attempt to help Liliana he has opened up wounds he has been trying to bury for as long as he can remember. Afraid that he will lose control of his tightly held secrets he tries his best to close himself off and keep Liliana at a distance. It is impossible however to ignore the pain this woman has experienced and he finds himself trying his best to help her deal with her trauma and heal.

Their relationship is tenuous at best and they make quite an odd couple. Having both seen a dark side of life that few have, they must both work hard to find a way to healing and happiness.

Melissa Koslin is a master storyteller. She addresses human trafficking head on painting an accurate picture of the ugliness of the situation, yet showing us the strength of the human heart when we let God's love and grace unravel the pain.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Melissa Koslin

Melissa Koslin is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books....

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Monday, 1 August 2022

Book Review: Free Fall

From The Back

The closer she comes to the truth, the deadlier her chase gets.

FBI behavioral analyst Alex Donovan and her colleague Logan Hart have been called upon to write a profile for a missing woman, but a little digging quickly turns up more disappearances in Virginia with the same physical description.

Alex is in a race against the clock to rescue the missing victims, so when the UNSUB makes demands of her in exchange for information, Alex takes the bait. But when her life is put in jeopardy, Logan must do whatever it takes to track them down before time runs out.

Alex works to think one step ahead of the suspect, but the more Logan and the BAU learn about the serial kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.

My Reflections:

Nancy Mehl has done it again. She weaves a chilling, intense story that has her readers on the edge with a sense of foreboding and fear. This novel is one of a series from the Quantico files. Her third book contains just as much drama and spine-tingling suspense as her other two novels. Though this is a series and would be better suited to be read together this novel could be read as a stand-alone.

Special analysts Alex Donavan and Logan Harris race against time to try to stop a serial killer who has targeted several women who oddly resemble Alex. This case is a complex puzzle as they try to create a profile to his ever-changing patterns.

As Logan battles a personal health crisis, he finds himself struggling to keep in the loop and stay involved in catching the unsub. 

Alex also has her own demons. Struggling with PTSD from her last mission, she must push through her emotions and focus on her present case to save as many lives as she can. Will she be able to get herself out of another dangerous situation?

Buckle up and ride the waves of this ever-changing roller coaster of emotions. I loved this series so much and can't wait for Nancy Mehl's new series to be released! 

If you are looking for a novel with real-to-life characters, thrilling suspense mixed with a sweet love story peppered amongst the ruins of a dangerous mind, look no further my friends This book is just for you!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl ( is the author of more than forty books and a Christy Award finalist, as well as a Carol Award winner, the winner of an ACFW Book of the Year Award, and the winner of the Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense...

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