Tuesday, January 21, 2020

END GAME by Rachel Dylan, Reviewed by Paula and Kim

End Game is the first book in a new series by Rachel Dylan entitled Capital Intrigue. It centers around our nations Capital.

With the alphabet agencies teaming up to solve multiple murders, the clues get more and more confounding. The deeper the agents dig, the more complex and dangerous things become.

I have read several of Ms Dylan’s books and this one is my favorite. It is full of confounding clues and many players but they are not hard to keep straight because each one is unique.

I like that there are more than one blossoming romances to peek in on. The characters seem to realize that they need to take things slowly because the circumstances are fraught with danger. It is great that FBI agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS agent Marco Agostini have a faith to base their decisions on and they voice their prayers in difficult situations.

This was a page-turner with a great plot. The dialogue and action scenes were very realistic. Just the kind of Romantic Suspense I enjoy. Excellent beginning to a new series. Bring on the next one.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

This is my first Rachel Dylan book. I have been wanting to read her for awhile now, so I was excited to see that End Game is the beginning of a new series. I really wanted to love this story, but sadly, I had a lot of issues with it.

I never really felt immersed in this story. I felt more like a spectator. There is a lot of telling instead of showing- especially when it came to Marco and Bailey’s growing feelings for each other, which made it harder to be invested in their relationship. I also felt like some things that should’ve been obvious to those investigating the crimes weren’t. The secondary story about Izzy felt unneeded and was kind of distracting and the negative way she talked about Marco - her superior- made me kind of dislike both of them. Finally, I felt like the ending a was bit anticlimactic. All that being said, I do seem to be in the minority about how people are liking this story!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.


Back Cover Blurb:
When elite members of the military are murdered on the streets of Washington, DC, FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan and NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini must work together to bring the perpetrator to justice. Unfortunately, all evidence points to a Navy SEAL sniper whom Bailey refuses to believe is guilty.

When Bailey and Marco start to connect the dots between the victims, including a link to a powerful defense contractor, they wonder if there's a deeper cover-up at play. Then Bailey is targeted, and it becomes clear that someone is willing to kill to keep their dark secrets.

With the stakes getting higher by the moment in a twisted conspiracy, there's a rush against the clock to determine whom they can really trust. As allies turn to enemies, the biggest secret yet to be uncovered could be the end of all of them.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:

Buy End Game at Amazon
Buy End Game at Christianbook.com

Monday, January 20, 2020

HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Jolina Petersheim, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

Ruth Neufield's life has not only cracked, but there is a gaping hole where her future used to be. Travelling to Wisconsin with her two young daughters, she buries her husband's remains alongside those of her father-in-law, after the two were tragically killed in an overseas act of terroism. Settling into a Mennonite community there, Ruth and her widowed mother-in-law try to overcome sadness and grief, while accepting the hospitality of Elam Albrecht, her husband's cousin and a prosperous cranberry farmer.

It's in this quiet little corner of the world that Ruth begins to walk the road of recovery, not only away from the wounds of a disappointing marriage, but towards the hope of a new kind of tomorrow . . . and then it happens. . . . the unthinkable theft of her happiness.

To say that this book bulges with emotional triggers is an understatement, for the unique plot structure leads the reader along a path that seems almost impossible to navigate, and yet too captivating to abandon. And then the light comes in, shining its brightest through all the cracks and broken places. What a stunning story! 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to review it. 


BackCover Blurb:
From the highly acclaimed author of
The Outcast and The Alliance comes an engrossing novel about marriage and motherhood, loss and moving on.

When Ruth Neufeld's husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps.

Ruth and her family are welcomed by Elam, her husband's cousin, who invites them to stay at his cranberry farm through the harvest. Sifting through fields of berries and memories of a marriage that was broken long before her husband died, Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and budding friendship. She also encounters the possibility of new love with Elam, whose gentle encouragement awakens hopes and dreams she thought she'd lost forever.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn't dead after all.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy How the Light Gets In at Amazon
Buy How the Light Gets in at Christianbook.com

Sunday, January 19, 2020

VALENTINE GOLD by Danielle Thorne, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

“True, not all that glittered was gold, but all that was truly golden didn't always come in a sparkling package.”
As Natalie Boyd navigates a new path for her life, moving into the mountain cabin her aunt Polly left her, she discovers treasure. Not so much the precious gems or gold once mined in the Appalachians, but in the peaceful setting and community that embraced her late aunt. Setting her heart against anything to do with love, being burnt by her ex-husband, will she be able to open old wounds to let someone special come in again?

I was quickly drawn into this story! The setting and descriptions of the Appalachian mountains called to me. Upon meeting Jonathan, my heart fluttered knowing he was the one to get under Natalie's battered armor. With his boyish charm, ever-helpful manner, and patient outpouring of grace, you just can't help but fall in love with him! He too has hidden wounds that we learn of later in the story. I wished more of it was told from his perspective, but Thorne gives enough of his backstory so you're not completely left in the dark about what makes him tick. 

I like the sparks between these two; Natalie is so hard set against falling in love again and Jonathan is so gun shy to try again. This type of story always makes me anticipate how the author will bring two wounded souls together and make them fall in love in spite of themselves. Thorne did not disappoint! And even though this wasn't so much labeled as Christian fiction, there are strong hints that God was centered in it. I found it refreshing and added a layer of faith I love reading about. Lastly, I wished I could have meet Natalie's Aunt Polly. She sounds like a wizened old soul with many life experiences to share with the next generation. Her words of wisdom resonated in Natalie’s thoughts whenever she needed them and I loved it.

In conclusion, this is a heartwarming story about finding peace with our past, forgiving ourselves, and realizing what really matters in life. It's not the gold that glitters, but rather the things that are far more precious; family, love, community and friends.
* This book was provided courtesy of the author and I was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own.*

BackCover Blurb:
Her chances of finding love are about as good as striking gold, but an old cabin, a new neighbor, and the mountain of Good Hope just might shift the odds.

When Natalie inherits an old cabin in the Georgia mountains, she thinks it's the perfect place for peace and quiet. Then she learns her neighbor has plans for his place, and that means noise, traffic, and people. To make things worse, the man is drop-dead gorgeous and could charm the skin off a snake.

Natalie braces herself to do battle over the land and to resist Jonathan Wilby's charms, but her healing heart, an incredible discovery, and an unexpected friendship along the way bring a gold mine of change she never expected - and just in time for Valentine's Day.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Valentine Gold at Amazon

Saturday, January 18, 2020

FIRE STORM by NANCY MEHL, Reviewed by Kim

Fire Storm by Nancy Mehl is the second book in the Kaely Quinn, Profiler series. I would say you could read it as a stand-alone, but you will learn a lot about Kaely in the first story, which will help you to understand her character a bit better. More on Kaely in a minute!
First, what I liked about this story. Ms. Mehl has a writing style that draws you in and makes you want to read the story. I liked the suspense in the book. The entire time I was reading, I was trying to figure out who the villain was. I also like Noah and many of the other secondary characters in this story.

Now for a few issues I had. Kaely is a very different character from any other character that I’ve read. She does some things that are very questionable and honestly make me uncomfortable. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, but I wonder if a real FBI profiler used her tactics, what would happen to them. I also felt like she was very uncaring with her sick mother. She went to Dark Water to take care of her and relieve her brother from doing all the caregiving, but she ended up caring more about a case, which was not even hers, than her mother. I also wished the relationship between Kaely and Noah and Kaely and her mom would have moved farther along. That being said, I am looking forward to book 3, Dead End, which comes out in March.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. All opinions are my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
When FBI profiler Kaely Quinn's mother is diagnosed with cancer, Kaely takes time off work to go to Dark Water, Nebraska, to help her brother care for their mother. Upon her arrival, she learns of a series of fires in the small town, attributed by the fire chief to misuse of space heaters in the frigid winter. But Kaely is skeptical, and a search for a pattern in the locations of the fires bolsters her suspicions.

After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely is certain a serial arsonist is on the loose. Calling upon her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother's firefighter neighbor who backs Kaely's suspicions, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Fire Storm at Amazon
Buy Fire Storm at Christianbook.com

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