Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Don't Keep Silent by Elizabeth Goddard, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

“His past followed him here, and he couldn't let it out of his sight. ~Liam”

“While she'd never been a big fan of silence—keeping quiet about wrongdoing was the worst kind of evil in her opinion. ~Rae”

I was looking forward to getting to know Liam McCade when he was first introduced in “Always Look Twice”. Trying to find his way after leaving the DEA, he runs into Reagan Burke, the investigative reporter who almost cost him his life. But how could he resist helping her find her missing sister-in-law when she asked? Maybe his heart hadn't healed after all.

What I always like about Goddard's writing is she keeps your nose to the pages with her fast-paced stories. This one picked up speed after about the halfway mark, but that certainly doesn't mean it was slow up to that point. She laid the foundation for a good story-line in the first half so that the reader could anticipate what was going to happen. Kind of like watching a scary movie where your adrenaline was pumping hard! 

I liked these characters, they had depth to them and I think Goddard did a great job of making them seem real. There's a good balance of suspense and romance; I loved watching it play out between Liam and Rae. They have a lot to overcome, killers to catch, death to defy, danger to avoid and a missing person to find. Oh and the scenery was breathtaking! I'm not a skier but I could see the beauty of “cowboy powder”, the fresh snow on top of a mountain, undisturbed with an undercurrent of danger that Goddard included. The bitter cold and snow just added to the already tense story; I could literally feel it in my bones!

This book is labeled as Christian fiction and I found it to contain a (1) very light faith thread. I guess maybe I'm different than some readers in the fact that I like it stronger in the stories I read. But this did contain enough of an element that you could tell both Liam and Rae did serve God and rely on Him when danger mounted. I just wished it would have played out a bit more!

“Who could understand why life unraveled beneath them? No one. She wouldn't ask the creator of the universe why, because there would be no way to comprehend His answer. All she could do was trust Him to make a way for her. To hold her in the palm of His hand. ~Rae”

All in all, if you are a romantic suspense fan who loves a tense book, one that you have a hard time putting down, I think you will enjoy “Don't Keep Silent”! Though this is the third and final book in the Uncommon Justice series, this is perfectly fine reading by itself. Of course, I always recommend reading the whole series, it's just too good to miss!
*I received a complimentary copy from Revell on the authors' behalf and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *

BackCover Blurb:

Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he just doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her. As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other.

Bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard plunges you into a fast-paced, high-stakes story of honor, forgiveness, and justice.

From Revell, June 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy Don't Keep Silent at Amazon
Buy Don't Keep Silent at Christianbook.com


Monday, June 29, 2020

THE CRUSHING DEPTHS by Dani Pettrey, Reviewed by Nicole Cook

“The breeze whipping off the ocean swirled sea air around them. He loved the smell of the sea. It was the same no matter where he went. One of God’s great constants.”

The Crushing Depths, the second installment in Dani Pettrey’s Coastal Guardians series, is an action-packed romantic suspense novel that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Dani Pettrey consistently writes fabulous faith-filled romantic suspense novels filled with wonderful characters, surprising plot twists, and a perfect amount of romance.

Readers will be reunited with their favorite Coast Guard Investigative Service team members in this novel, and with the addition of CGIS agent Mason Rogers, the team is now complete. Childhood friends Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers haven’t seen each other in 10 years until Mason joins the CGIS team. Chemistry and attraction from their youth carry over to present day as Mason and Rissi work together to solve a mysterious death on an oil rig. Personally, I love a lot of romance in my suspense and Dani Pettrey delivers perfectly. The scenes between Mason and Rissi are some of my favorites in the novel and their history together as children makes their relationship bonds even stronger.

There are many new minor characters introduced throughout the novel who play a role in the investigations, so readers will need to keep those characters straight as the number of suspects increases.

The Crushing Depths is highly recommended for readers of romantic suspense, especially those who enjoy books by authors such as Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, and Irene Hannon. Readers will be eagerly anticipating the third book in the series to discover more about their favorite members of the Coast Guard Investigative Service team.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

“He’d dreamt of this moment more times than he could count and now that it was here, he didn’t want to rush a thing. After a decade, he was finally kissing the woman he loved.”

Using the Inkwell Inspirations ranking system, I categorize The Crushing Depths as a 2.5 (having a moderate faith message), which is perfect for readers who enjoy romantic suspense with a moderate amount of spiritual content integrated into the storyline.

Back Cover Blurb:
They know the power and peril of the ocean.
But as they get closer to the deadly truth . . .
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker, Coast Guard Investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are flown to the scene thirty-eight miles from shore. Tensions aboard the rig are high, and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the "plague on the environment" from continuing its work. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating on board about an ancient curse lurking in the depths below.

Mounting evidence shows the death might not have been an accident. Was the man killed by one of the activists or, more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only numerous suspects, but also their own haunted pasts and their attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems about to break open, worse news arrives: a tropical storm has turned their way. Now they're cut off from any rescue--right where the killer wants them.

Bethany House June 30, 2020

Available in digital ebook, paperback and hardcover:
Buy The Crushing Depths at Amazon
Buy The Crushing Depths at Christianbook.com

Author Bio:
Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]" (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award.

Dani considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves--full of plot twists, peril, love, and a longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

THE WHITE ROSE RESISTS by Amanda Barrett, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

Inspiring, heart-rending, and exquisitely written, The White Rose Resists is a story that will stick with me for a long time. Memorable characters and unforgettable detail, combined with impeccable historical research, made this slice of history come alive to me. The main characters, both real and added fictional ones, were vividly drawn and captivating. Amanda Barrett’s powerful story left me in awe of Hans, Sophie, and their friends and the courage and conviction they had to stand for truth and freedom.
“Some things, you can’t wait to do until you’re strong enough. Some things, you just have to do afraid.”

“. . .someday, all of us must stand before God and give account for our actions. Before Him, no one will be able to hide.”

I found myself wondering if I would have had the courage and conviction to do what these young men and women did in speaking out against the evil going on around them, especially when the cost of their actions was so dear and could affect not only themselves but also family and friends. I often feel that, since I’m only one person, my voice won’t count for much, but as Barrett says in her book, “Even the greatest darkness can be breached by the flame of a single candle.” Hopefully, we can each be a candle to others and stand up for what is right and good.

This book is easily one of the most riveting and compelling books I’ve read lately and is one for the keeper shelf. Do yourself a favor and read this one!
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and publisher. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:

Inspired by the incredible true story of a group of ordinary men and women who dared to stand against evil

The ideal of a new Germany swept up Sophie Scholl in a maelstrom of patriotic fervor--that is, until she realized the truth behind Hitler's machinations for the fatherland. Now she and other students in Munich, the cradle of the Nazi government, have banded together to form a group to fight for the truth: the White Rose. Risking everything to print and distribute leaflets calling for Germans to rise up against the evil permeating their country, the White Rose treads a knife's edge of discovery by the Gestapo.

Annalise Brandt came to the University of Munich to study art, not get involved with conspiracy. The daughter of an SS officer, she's been brought up to believe in the F├╝hrer's divinely appointed leadership. But the more she comes to know Sophie and her friends, the more she questions the Nazi propaganda.

Soon Annalise joins their double life--students by day, resisters by night. And as the stakes increase, they're all forced to confront the deadly consequences meted out to any who dare to oppose the Reich.

A gripping testament to courage, The White Rose Resists illuminates the sacrifice and conviction of an unlikely group of revolutionaries who refused to remain silent-no matter the cost.

Kregel Publishing, May 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback
Buy The White Rose Resists at Amazon
Buy The White Rose Resists at Christianbook.com

Friday, June 26, 2020

THE HEART OF A HERO by Susan May Warren, Reviewed by Kim Ann

Susan May Warren is a master at keeping you on your toes when reading her stories! You never know what’s going to happen next, but you can be assured that something will happen and it will be completely unexpected! This is Jake and Aria’s story, who we met in book 1, The Way of the Brave.
I really liked Jake. He’s charming, brave, seriously likable, and seems to find someone or something to rescue wherever he goes. While I liked Aria, I struggled to connect with her a little bit because she sent one too many mixed signals to Jake. There was a lot of action and many twists and turns in this story - one that seriously had my mouth hanging open. I did feel like there was too much of Ham’s story, which is next in this series, in this story, I would’ve like more of Jake and Aria’s instead.

I also loved the faith message that was in this story. These lines really resonated with me, “Panic comes when we stop believing that God is good. Or, that God is sovereign. But He is both, And that is the key to peace, even in the midst of the grief or fear. Whatever Storm life brings.”

If you are wanting to read a romantic adventure with a lot of action, this is the story for you!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. I’d say the faith element in this story is  2.5 medium. 
See Nicole's Review 

 Back Cover Blurb:
Jake Silver may not be able to put the memories of his time as a sniper and Navy SEAL behind him, but at least he can put his skills to use as a part of the Jones Inc. rescue team. Saving the life of pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Aria Sinclair on Denali helped too. Now he can't get her out of his head, and when he hears she is in the path of a hurricane down in Key West he can't help but jump on a plane to rescue her.

Aria has dedicated her life to helping children born with defective hearts. After all, she was one of those children. Now driven to succeed, she lives a lonely, stressful life. One she would have lost on Denali if it hadn't been for Jake. Jake is exciting and handsome, but he's also dangerous, and she's already lost one person she loves. She can't bear it again.

It's not until she finds herself trapped in the middle of a category 4 hurricane that she can admit she needs Jake desperately. With their very survival in the balance, can they hope for a second chance at life . . . and love?

Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:

Buy The Heart of a Hero at Amazon
Buy The Heart of a Hero at Christianbook.com

Thursday, June 25, 2020

AT LOVE'S COMMAND by Karen Witemeyer, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie

A Godly Hero and a Lady Doctor. Could this be a match made in Heaven? But these two meet in Purgatory, Texas!

Matthew Hanger and his three comrades have retired from the cavalry and become united in a cause for justice. After Mark Wallace is injured, they turn to Josephine Burkett to do the doctoring. Dr. Jo has made her mark in the medical world and expects that her matrimonial prospects are dim. Until she meets Matt Hanger. Quote: He made a glorious picture. Tall in the saddle. Valiant. Unafraid of dangers that lurked ahead. A hero on a noble quest.

I loved the premise that Matt, Jonah, Mark and Luke were ex-military and used their experience to right wrongs. Luke is nicknamed Preach and has a Scripture for everything, especially before the Horsemen set out to roust outlaws. They seek God’s direction in everything and learn how to submit to Him. They have faith and integrity.

The banter between Matt and Jo with her: “highfalutin, ten dollar words” showed their personalities. Dr. Jo might be educated but she can understand people and is loyal to family.

Another winner for Karen Witemeyer with more to come from the other Horsemen.
*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. 5stars. Strong faith thread.*
At Love’s Command is the first book in Karen Witemeyer’s new series, Hanger’s Horsemen. With colorful, engaging characters, witty banter, lots of intrigue, and plenty of twists and turns, the series is off to a great start. Matthew Hanger is a fantastic hero—protective, skilled, dedicated, and courageous. Dr. Josephine Burkett has many of the same traits, but is also feisty and doesn’t hesitate to use her extensive vocabulary to annoy Matthew. I enjoyed the banter between them and seeing their relationship develop. The stellar secondary cast added much to the story, and I’m anxiously awaiting reading more about Luke ‘Preach’ Davenport, Jonah Brooks, and Mark Wallace and the adventures they have.

Preach’s scripture quoting was a fun addition to the story. He could call up the perfect scripture to fit any situation.

“’If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ Time for some mustard, boys!”

If you like historical fiction with intrigue, suspense, humor, inspiration, and a big dash of romance, you’re sure to enjoy this tale. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. 4.5 stars *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author and Bethany House Publishing. All opinions are my own.

See Reviews by Kim and Trixi

BackCover Blurb:
Haunted by the horrors of war, ex-cavalry officer Matthew Hanger leads a band of mercenaries known as Hanger's Horsemen who have become legends in 1890s Texas. They defend the innocent and obtain justice for the oppressed. But when a rustler's bullet leaves one of them at death's door, they're the ones in need of saving.

Dr. Josephine Burkett is used to men taking one look at her skirts and discounting her medical skills. What she's not used to is having a man change his mind in a heartbeat and offer to assist her in surgery. Matthew Hanger's dedication to his friend during recovery earns Josephine's respect, and when she hears of her brother's abduction, he becomes her only hope for rescue.

Matt has stared down ruthless outlaws, betrayal, and injury, but when a bossy lady doctor crawls under his skin, his heart is tempted to surrender. And when she is caught in the crossfire, he may have to s
acrifice everything--even his team--to save her.

Bethany House, 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:
Buy At Love's Command at Amazon
Buy At Love's Command at Christianbook.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

MASQUERADE AT MIDDLECREST ABBEY by Abigail Wilson, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas

When I saw the lovely cover of Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey, I knew I had to read the story. With a colorful, well-developed cast of characters and an intriguing premise, I was hooked from the first page. Lord Torrington and Elizabeth Cantrell were both endearing, and I enjoyed the interactions between them. Of course, baby Isaac added an extra helping of cuteness.
The story was well-paced, and the mystery involved kept me guessing to the end. Filled with intrigue, suspense, adventure, and a dose of romance, this compelling book has a little of everything and should captivate those who enjoy well-written Regency tales. I’m eagerly awaiting the next Abigail Wilson story.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.
Light faith thread. 4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
In this new Regency romance, a young unwed mother must protect her heart from the charms of her convenient new husband, Lord Torrington. She is not, however, prepared to protect her life.

When the widowed Lord Torrington agreed to spy for the crown, he never planned to impersonate a highwayman, let alone rob the wrong carriage. Stranded on the road with an unconscious young woman, he is forced to propose marriage to protect his identity and her reputation, as well as his dangerous mission.

Trapped not only by her duty to her country but also by her limited options as an unwed mother, Miss Elizabeth Cantrell and her infant son are whisked away to Middlecrest Abbey by none other than the elder brother of her son’s absent father. There she is met by Torrington’s beautiful grown daughters, a vicious murder, and an urgent hunt for the missing intelligence that could turn the war with France. Meanwhile she must convince everyone that her marriage is a genuine love match if her new husband has any hope of uncovering the enemy.

Determined to keep her son’s true identity a secret, Elizabeth will need to remain one step ahead of her fragile heart, her uncertain future, and the relentless fiend bent on her new family’s ruin.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, library binding and audiobook:
Buy Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey at Amazon
Buy Masquerade at Middlecrest Abbey at Christianbook.com

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A GIRL'S GUIDE TO THE OUTBACK by Jessica Kate, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"She has more faith in me that I have in myself."

Kimberly Foster and Samuel Payton endured (or enjoyed . . . depending on who you asked or what day of the week it was) a love/hate, fire/ice relationship for three wonderful years. . . if you cared to define butting heads twenty-four-seven as a "relationship". It ended badly. Sam resolutely returned to Australia to help his sister stabilize their fledgling family farm business and Kimberly unsuccessfully led the once vibrant Wildfire youth ministry through two failed successors.

So, what possible reason could Kim have for getting on a jet plane and traveling half-way around the world to Australia in order to convince Samuel Payton that he was burying his God-given talents on a dairy farm? Miraculously, she didn't have to. Sam's sister Jules came up with the idea. Jules was under the delusion that Kim's business savvy was just what they needed to reorganize their assets. Kimberly, on the other hand, had a sneaking suspicion that the experience was going to end up being a pitiful crash-and-burn notation on her resume. But my oh my, if she secretly crushed on Samuel Payton in Virginia, when he stood in front of hundreds of adoring teenagers, how would she ever manage to control her infatuation when the man rode a tractor across the fields of Australia?

This book is amazing. It has zip, it has character, it sizzles, it tingles, it laughs, it cries, it peels back the layers of its soulmates with the precision of a surgeon . . . .with no intention to destroy, but in order to heal, . . . . in order to face fears, so that they might move forward with freedom, and grace, and certainty . . . that God's ways are always higher than ours. I loved it, and so will you! Plus . . . Sam and Kim together? . . . they are worth reading thousands of pages! ( and Jules and Mick aren't so bad, either!) 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 4.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could l
ead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future? 

Available in digital ebook, paperback and audiobook:
Buy A Girl's Guide to the Outback at Amazon
Buy A Girl's Guide to the Outback at Christianbook.com

Sunday, June 21, 2020

WHAT MOMMA LEFT BEHIND by Cindy K. Sproles, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Read this wonderful novel to find out WHAT MOMMA LEFT BEHIND. Her legacy was just what Worie Dressar needed in tough times in 1877 Appalachia.

Fiesty is not a strong enough word to describe Worie Dressar. She is blunt. She will not let anyone run roughshod over her. She has seen too much pain in her 17 years. When she knows something is right, she will move heaven and earth to rectify an injustice.

This book is written in a no-nonsense, culturally authentic way. But, oh, the lessons it teaches. The author has covered the Seven Deadly Sins and shows the consequences. Ms. Sproles also shows Biblical solutions. The themes of trust, forgiveness and listening to the Lord are woven through this story.

The author gives us rawness and beauty through the trials of Worie Dressar. She says: “Daddy was right about these mountains. Even in the hardest of times their beauty speaks to you. Life is hard here. A body only has the simple things to keep them goin. A man closes his eyes at night and just prays to open them when the rooster crows.” And: “The mountain air brings newness, seeps down deep, and cleans out the things that weigh heavy on a body’s soul. Despite how hard things are, it’s like the mountain is forgivin. It demands a man’s hard work to survive, but then it wraps its soul and spirit around you, claimin you as its own child.”

Worie is no respecter of persons and fights for the underdog when need be. She seeks counsel from Pastor Jess and old friend Ely.

This book is rich in description, jargon and Biblical lessons. This a book not to be missed.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Revell Reads blogger program. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars, strong Spiritual thread.

BackCover Blurb:

Worie Dressar is 17 years old when influenza and dysentery ravage her Appalachian Mountain community in 1898, leaving behind a growing number of orphaned children with no way to care for themselves. Worie's mother has been secretly feeding a number of these little ones on Sourwood Mountain. But when she dies suddenly, Worie is left to figure out why and how she was caring for them.

Plagued with two good-for-nothing brothers--one greedy and the other a drunkard--Worie fights to save her home and the orphaned children now in her begrudging care. Along the way, she will discover the beauty of unconditional love and the power of forgiveness as she cares for all of Momma's children.

Storyteller and popular speaker Cindy K. Sproles pens a tender novel full of sacrifice, heartache, and courage in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

Revell Publishing
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy What Momma Left Behind at Amazon
Buy What Momma Left Behind at Christianbook.com

Saturday, June 20, 2020

A GILDED LADY by Elizabeth Camden, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

This is a romance set in the 1900/1901 Gilded Age backdrop of the McKinley administration.

This second book in the Hope and Glory series by Elizabeth Camden follows Caroline Delacroix as she navigates the job of secretary to a somewhat difficult First Lady, Ida McKinley. Ms. Camden takes us behind the scenes of the White House and its workings. Not only does Caroline have to juggle her consuming responsibilities with some political intrigue involving one of her brothers, but she has to weigh her feelings for the head of security, Nathaniel Trask.

Nathaniel has a lot on his shoulders protecting the President of the United States and he must not let the distraction of Caroline jeopardize his mission. Yet they can’t deny that they rely on one another for support in their respective jobs. When things look bleak, Caroline counsels Nathaniel: “You are unconditionally loved. Unconditionally forgiven. You are a child of God, deserving of more credit than you have given yourself. None of us are perfect. We stumble and fall and make mistakes time and again, but we can’t wallow in failure. Someday we have to accept God’s grace to stand up and try again.”

Not only is this an interesting slice of history, this book informs and encourages us to see ourselves as God sees us.

The cover of this novel is sumptuous and intriguing, for you can glimpse the profile of brother Gray in the mirror. I have seen the cover for the third book Prince of Spies and that cover also fits perfectly. I cannot wait for the story of twin brother, Luke.

*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.* I give this book 5 stars. It has a strong faith thread. 

See Nicole Cook's Review

Back Cover Blurb:
Caroline Delacroix is at the pinnacle of Washington high society in her role as secretary to the First Lady of the United States. But beneath the facade of her beauty, glamorous wardrobe, and dazzling personality, she's hiding a terrible secret. If she cannot untangle a web of foreign espionage, her brother will face execution for treason.

Nathaniel Trask is the newly appointed head of the president's Secret Service team. He is immediately attracted to Caroline's quick wit and undeniable charm, but his job leaves no room for distractions. Anarchist plots have led to mounting threats against the president, forcing him to put duty before his growing love for Caroline.

Amid the glamorous pageantry of Gilded Age Washington, DC, Caroline and Nathaniel face danger and heartbreak that shakes them to their core and tests all they know about love and sacrifice.

Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:

Buy A Gilded Lady at Amazon
Buy A Gilded Lady at Christianbook.com

Friday, June 19, 2020

ABOVE THE FOLD by Rachel McDaniel, Reviewed by Kim Ann

I can’t believe Above the Fold is Rachel McDaniel’s debut novel! I really enjoyed this well written story. The setting, the roaring 20s, is such a fun one to read and this story is romantic and fun and has a great mystery!
I loved Cole. He was determined, humorous and he was so in love with Elissa. It did take me a bit longer to warm up to Elissa, but once I did, I was sold on them being together. I really loved her growth during the story. And, their whole pen thing was so sweet. I loved it!

I’m looking forward to whatever Rachel McDaniel’s brings us next! I’m really wanting a character from this story to get his own! Excellent debut!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. Light Faith Element

See Nicole's and Paula's Reviews!

Back Cover Blurb:
After losing the love of her life to a big city journalism job, Elissa Tillman pours herself into the suffragette movement and her secretarial work helping keep her father’s Pittsburgh newspaper afloat.

Cole Parker returns to the steel city with the phantom failures of his past nipping his heels. All he asks of the future is a second chance with the woman he once spurned.

The murder of a millionaire offers the perfect chance for Elissa to prove to her father and the world that she’s a serious journalist. But there’s a catch—she has to compete for the story. Against none other than Cole Parker, the very man who shattered her heart.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy Above the Fold at Amazon

Thursday, June 18, 2020

A MOSAIC OF WINGS by Kimberly Duffy, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

A Mosaic of Wings is a stunning debut for Author Kimberly Duffy. She takes us into the fascinating world of exotic insects and the beginnings of women making their mark into the scientific world of men. Her descriptive words put you right into a small village in India with its vivid sights and smells. “The trees shaded them, casting shadows over the packed dirt and blanketing everything in a hush that whispered ancient stories. Overripe fruit scented the air with spicy incense, and Nora clasped her hands in her lap, compelled to prayer.”
She paints a realistic picture of a young woman seeking equality and pursuing her dream. In 1885 Ithaca, New York, Nora Shipley is one of a few women to graduate from Cornell University. Her deceased professor father helped instill in her a love of entomology. She wants to carry on his legacy and obtain her Masters Degree but needs to compete for a scholarship. Owen Epps could be a rival or an ally.

Owen is a complex character who grows on you as the author reveals, layer by layer, his motivations and his growth as he realizes what he actually wants from life.

Things get more complicated when they join a research team in India. Known for speaking her mind, Nora will need to navigate a fine line when her Christian morals bid her to act on behalf of one who is trapped in the pagan practices of a foreign land. “India, and everything that happened there, spoke to her in whispers that caressed her memories, wrapping everything in the exotic perfume and sultry, cicada-song nights.”

Ms. Duffy weaves a complex story into a beautiful tapestry and shows us that God can turn the impossible into the possible. This is an author to keep an eye on.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.* 5 stars 

BackCover Blurb:
It's 1885, and all Nora Shipley wants, now that she's graduating from Cornell University as valedictorian of the entomology program, is to follow in her late father's footsteps by getting her master's degree and taking over the scientific journal he started. The only way to uphold her father's legacy is to win a scholarship, so she joins a research expedition in Kodaikanal, India, to prove herself in the field.

India isn't what she expects, though, and neither is the rival classmate who accompanies her, Owen Epps. As her preconceptions of India--and of Owen--fall away, she finds both far more captivating than she expected. Forced by the expedition leader to stay at camp and illustrate exotic butterflies the men of the team find without her, Nora befriends Sita, a young Indian girl who has been dedicated to a goddess against her will.

In this spellbinding new land, Nora is soon faced with impossible choices--between saving Sita and saving her career, and between what she's always thought she wanted and the man she's come to love.

Bethany House Publishing
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover and audiobook:
Buy A Mosaic of Wings at Amazon
Buy A Mosaic of Wings at Christianbook.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

PORT OF ORIGIN, Agents of Mercy Book #2 by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Pirates? Seriously? . . . And he'd been worried about exposing his daughter to typhoid."

Dr. Josiah Allen travels to Central Africa with his six year old daughter in order to spend a couple of weeks assisting a medical team onboard the Liberty, a renowned medical ship docked off the port city of Doula, Cameroon. The incessant shroud of grief hanging over Josiah's head following the loss of his wife was reaching the point of emotional debilitation, so his sister's insistence that he and Emma join her in Africa seemed like a fine idea at the time. . . . . . . .
Mackenzie Scott is certain that extracting hostages off of an hijacked oil tanker is not going to be easy. Being the member of a highly specialized extraction squad carried an automatic degree of danger, but it was widely known that African militant groups were becoming increasingly hostile as they routinely watched their country's natural resources being decimated by foreign industry while the indigenous people died from disease and starvation. What were the chances that a tragic injury would bring the gorgeous warrior in contact with a grieving plastic surgeon . . . . .

. . . . . .in the middle of a terrifying threat of pandemic . . . . . while two determined fathers waged a fierce battle to save the lives of their children. "Desperate people always complicated a mission, because they were willing to take risks that the average person would never take."

"Sometimes bad things happen, but that doesn't change who God is."

What an excellent book by two authors whose voices harmonized so perfectly that it was impossible to tell one from the other. (Read 2 times!)
*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:
When virus-infected pirates hijack a humanitarian medical ship, they trigger the threat of global pandemic.

Hijacking oil tankers brings cash to Dabir Omar’s family, but it doesn’t buy the medical care needed to stop a deadly sickness attacking his people. When Dabir’s son becomes ill, the desperate pirate sets sail for the Liberty, an international humanitarian medial ship ported on the Cameroon coast.

Shortly after Dr. Josiah Allen arrives on the Liberty with his precocious six-year-old daughter, he is sent ashore to investigate a mysterious illness at the ship’s post-op clinic. While he’s gone, Ebola-infected pirates hijack the medical ship where Josiah left his daughter.

When pirate negotiations fail, ex-military Mackenzie Scott’s extraction team comes in for the rescue. But when the medical ship becomes the pirates’ key hostage, both fathers are forced to go to war to save their children. If Mac can’t convince them to work together, the winner of this conflict will be the deadly virus intent on destroying the world.

Get the entire Agents of Mercy Series:
#1 Ghost Heart
#2 Port of Origin
#3 Death Triangle
#4 Lethal Outbreak (Available for pre-order NOW in the boxed set Dangerous Deceptions!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

THE GREEN DRESS by Liz Tolsma, Reviewed by Paula and Rebecca

I like historical fiction because I always learn something. In The Green Dress, Liz Tolsma takes a disturbing real event and brings it to life. Robinson family members are falling ill and dying. Ms. Tolsma adds two characters, Harriet Peters and Dr. Michael Wheaton to the story in order to recount the incident. Harriet is portrayed as Lizzy Robinson’s best friend and Michael is a local Doctor who helps Harriet make sense of the doom that surrounds the family. How could so many from one household suffer such horrible deaths?

It is hard to believe that this story is real. But the author has done a good job of fleshing out the story with engaging characters in Harriet, Michael and Gracie. Even though she gives us a glimpse into a depraved mind, the author also shows a faith thread that gives hope. Harriet and Michael are praying people who act out their Christian values and seek to save lives in a dangerous situation.

This is a great addition to the True Colors American Crime series from Barbour.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
 4 stars. Light faith thread.

"Get out of the house. Get out while you can."

Harriet Peters is both grief-stricken and terrified, not only has her best friend succumbed to a violent death, but others in her family have died in exactly the same manner. It's perplexing, to say the least. This is a family who has shown her nothing but kindness over the brief years of their acquaintance; taking her in and helping Harriet to establish her own millinery business; the Robinsons are hard workers and a God-fearing family, but something has gone terriby awry.

"Without evidence you can't get the warrant, but without the warrant, we can't get the evidence."

Dr. Michael Wheaton is beside himself with worry about the lovely hat shop owner. Harriet engaged his services when Lizzie Robinson was on her death bed, and he has every reason to suspect that something nefarious is going on within the household. He can't help but admire Harriet for her fierce dedication to her friends, but how can he find answers when no one will allow him entrance into the house?

"The Green Dress" is a tribute to this entire series; exposing heinous historical crimes, while managing to thread them together with tender doses of spiritual depth coupled with the sweetest of romances. 

*I purchased this book and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Fiction Based on Strange, But True, History
True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through a unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times.

When Harriet Peters came to Boston in 1882, the Robinson family took her in like one of their own, and Harriet became closer to Lizzie Robinson than her own siblings. Now, four years later, Lizzie is deathly sick, failing quickly just like several others in her family have done over the past few years. How can so many in one family die from the same mysterious illness? Harriet doesn’t have answers, but she is determined to help the family, bringing in a new-to-the-neighborhood doctor, Michael Wheaton.

As Harriet and Michael close in on the answer, putting their own lives at risk, can the cause be found before anyone else dies?

Barbour Publishing June 2020
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy The Green Dress at Amazon
Buy The Green Dress at Christianbook.com

Monday, June 15, 2020

THE CAKE LIST by Dianne Wilson, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt

Lists—there are some people who make them, and some people who hate them. Meg, now she's one who made one to cross off before her big-O birthday. In her own words “things I want to tick off before I eat that birthday cake”. But so far, it's not going so well.

I'm facing my own big-O birthday this year and I still haven't figured out or done even half the things I envisioned myself doing by this age. Maybe that's the whole point, my life isn't my own, it's in the capable hands of God and I don't have to have it all figured out. I just have to trust He'll lead me and guide me on the path I need to go. That’s my favorite item on her list “figure out God” and one lesson Meg will also eventually learn, she has to go on faith to know the Almighty.

“I used to think I had Him all figured out. He was the mean one who set up up to fail. The one who stood by with arms crossed while you floundered. Now...I know He can't be figured out. He's so far beyond what our minds can grasp. But what I do know, is that He's good. Whether it looks like He's bailed on the disaster that is my life, or not—He won't leave. He's altogether too good. Here's the clincher—I will probably never understand what He's up to.”

In an effort to “reinvent” herself after an engagement to her lifelong childhood friend, she takes up ballroom dancing and does all kinds of other things she never envisioned herself doing. I liked her a lot, in spite of the pain she went through, she's willing to go out of her comfort zone in so many ways. Her character growth was one I loved watching. In the process, she meets Dominic, her dance instructor. He's driven by the one thing he's passionate about, something called “The Phoenix Project”. 

I won't spoil it by telling you what it is, that's something you as the reader have the anticipation of finding out. There's also the rest of the dance troupe, each person different, each person lending their own personalities to the mix. This story truly is Meg's journey from the certainty of where her life was going to her world being upended and trying to find a new solid ground. I loved it! I loved every aspect, every twist and turn, every lesson learned, just everything. The humor kept me in stitches and made for a lighthearted read, there are some extremely funny parts I found myself chuckling at. I also found some of my own things to ponder because of the way the author wrote the book, and made the whole story relevant to myself. There just isn't anything I honestly don't like about The Cake List; I think anyone who reads this will enjoy it too. It's a funny, lighthearted mix of real life!
*I received a complimentary copy from the author and wasn't obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
Do Something Brave.
Do Something Selfless.
Do Something Kind.
Break a Never.
Stop an Always.
Figure out God.

“Some people write a bucket list, you know… things they want to do and tick off before they die. Honestly? Dying doesn’t seem half as scary as the big-O birthday that’s hunting me down. So I’ve made my own list. Things I want to do and tick off before I eat that birthday cake. So far, it’s not going too well.”
Fresh from a spectacular break-up and faced with a looming big-O birthday, Meg throws her cautious nature aside and signs up for dance classes. Little does she know that Ballroom will stretch more than just her muscles.
Between the charming dance instructor and his secrets, her grumpy neighbour and a fish that can’t swim straight, Meg’s list seems doomed from the start.
Heart-felt and funny, Meg’s list-crossing quest takes her so far out of her comfort zone, she may never find her way back.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy The Cake List at Amazon

Sunday, June 14, 2020

NO FILTER - Barks and Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery #1 by Heather Day Gilbert, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"Barks and Beans was a grand experiment for both of us, and it simply had to work."

Macy Hatfield, and her brother Bo, have both returned to their hometown of Lewisburg, West Virginia following deep personal disappointments. Repurposing their Aunt Athaleen's lovely home by dividing it into a trendy cafe/ residence for Macy, they expectantly launch their combination coffee-and-canines business with the area's eclectic community in mind. It never entered their minds that murder and mayhem would appear on the menu.

With few friends, multiple suspects, and her new adoptee; a dog named Coal, Macy cannot resist putting her dogged determination and curiosity to the test, especially when Coal literally carries the most significant clue around his neck.

I wouldn't change a single thing about this clean, clever, and very cozy mystery!
*I received a copy of this book from the author; the opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

BackCover Blurb:
BOOK ONE in the ALL-NEW BARKS & BEANS CAFE cozy mystery series!!

Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java...and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

Fed up with her go-nowhere job, newly single Macy Hatfield moves back to her small hometown in West Virginia. She joins forces with her brother Bo in his crazy new venture—the Barks & Beans Cafe, which caters to dog lovers and coffee drinkers alike.

When a golf instructor is murdered at the nearby spiritual center, Macy winds up adopting his Great Dane. Just after Macy finds a mysterious message sewn under the dog's collar, her Dane is dognapped. She launches into a relentless search for her newfound canine friend, but along the way, she digs up a cruel and confident killer.

Join siblings Macy and Bo Hatfield as they sniff out crimes in their hometown...with plenty of dogs along for the ride! The Barks & Beans Cafe cozy mystery series features a small town, an amateur sleuth, and no swearing or graphic scenes.

Available in digital ebook and paperback:
Buy No Filter at Amazon

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