Friday, May 26, 2023

A HEART WORTH STEALING by Joanna Barker, Reviewed by Kim

I loved A Heart Worth Stealing! Joanna Barker is a wonderful author. Her characters are great, her stories always keep my interest, and her writing is always engaging.

I really liked the romance between Ginny and Jack! I have to admit, at the beginning of this story I was a bit concerned because I felt like Ginny said some things to Jack that were frustrating. Happily, about mid-way through the book, she started really growing on me and I ended up really liking her. Jack, on the other hand, was more than easy to like. As soon as he stepped on the page I knew he was gonna be a great character! He was charming, witty, and flirtatious. The chemistry between Ginny and Jack was perfect. The mystery aspect was a fun addition to this story and I absolutely loved the ending!


A Heart Worth Stealing is the third book I’ve read by Joanna Barker and I’ve loved them all. She has definitely become an auto-buy author for me. If you’re looking for an excellent regency, this is the one!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This is a clean read. 

SEE WINNIE'S REVIEW

BackCover Blurb:

Little Sowerby, England, 1802
Miss Genevieve Wilde―a magistrate’s daughter and independent heiress―is determined to meet life’s challenges all on her own, just as her late father had taught her. So when her father’s pocket watch is stolen, she will do anything to get it back, especially when the local authorities prove incompetent.

Upon reading an advertisement in the paper, she takes a chance and contacts a thief-taker to find the watch. It’s a choice Ginny regrets when former Bow Street officer Jack Travers arrives on her doorstep. He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.

But after Ginny discovers that the missing watch is just a small part of a larger, more frightening plot against her, she needs Jack’s help more than ever. To protect her home and her reputation, the two enter into a risky charade―pretending Jack is her cousin so he can begin his investigation, starting with the household staff. As they work together to unravel the mystery, Ginny finds herself falling fast for her charismatic thief-taker, leaving her heart in just as much danger as her life.


Shadow Mountain Press, May 2, 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback

 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

COUNTER ATTACK (Pearl River #2) by Patricia Bradley, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney #NewRelease

"Her spidey sense tingled from the back of her neck to the small of her back, where a belly band secured her small back up pistol. Someone was watching her . . . "

Going undercover to bait a serial killer, Chattanooga Homicide Detective Alexis Stone gets a little more than she bargained for. Not only coming face to face with a deadly weapon, she is rescued by the one man who has the potential to break her heart . . . for the second time; showing up when Alexis needs him the most, Nathan Landry plays a key role in preventing her demise at the hand of "The Queen's Gambit Killer". . . or at least that is their working theory, based on the evidence. Something about the incident seems a little bit "off".

Required to take a leave of absence in order to recover from her injuries, Alexis travels the short distance to her hometown of Pearl Springs, where she learns that Nathan is now serving as the community's chief of police, and doing a wonderful job according to her grandfather, the long-time sheriff of Russell County. While Alexis and Nathan puzzle over what has just transpired, Alexis' plans gets derailed once again; called to serve a lot closer to home, her first day on the job makes it clear that a determined killer has followed her to Pearl Springs. The question is, why?

"Many plans are in a man's heart, but the purpose of the Lord will prevail."


Needing a good dose of God's purpose, Alexis can only hold her breath while her career goals twist and turn, but being around Nathan is dredging up a myriad of feelings from the past that are just as certain to change the course of her future . . . "Alexis, if you keep running from love, you'll end up all alone" . . . if she doesn't make the right move.

"Check. Do you know where your queen is?"

Never mind needing to boast a level of proficiency in the game of chess to appreciate this thriller; it practically oozes with mesmerizing word flow, fascinating scene changes and likable characters; not only making this book fun to read, but marking it as one of the author's best publications to date. 


*I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 

See Paula's Review

BackCover Blurb:
A brand new heart-stopping series from a USA Today bestselling author

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer strikes again--this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex's real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer's calling card--a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it--cannot be ignored.

Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can't believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can't help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it's too late. 
 
Revell Publishing, May 16, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

 

Friday, May 19, 2023

THE WORDS WE LOST by Nicole Deese, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

" . . . no heartache has ever gone unseen and no darkness has ever been too dark for light to overcome."

A reminder that these characters so desperately needed, whether whispered from the depth of their grief or worn courageously as a symbol of hope rising up from the bottom of the sea. Ingrid Erikson and Joel Campbell lost far more than the words between them when their beloved friend and cousin Cecelia, affectionately known as "Cece", did not make it through surgery; Ingrid and Joel lost the part of themselves that belonged to each other, leaving a gaping hole and and painful memories. Cece had never wanted that for them in life, nor would she settle for that outcome in death . . . and so Cece did what Cece did best . . . she wrote a story.

Becoming re-united over a lost manuscript was the last thing that Ingrid and Joel had expected would happen, but as an acquisitions editor, Ingrid was forced to push past her hesitations, and post-traumatic reflexes to try and locate Cece's incredible finish to her best-selling series, even if it meant spending time with a man and in a place that she had once thought her heart would always call home.

Beautifully written, this story takes its readers on incredible journeys from broken to mended, from shattered to forgiven, from abandoned to found . . . "for we are known and loved by a God who collects our tears in a bottle". (Psalm 56:8) I cannot imagine reading a better book anytime soon.


*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 

SEE KIM'S REVIEW

SEE REVIEWS BY TRIXI AND PAULA

BackCover Blurb:
Three friends. Two broken promises. One missing manuscript.

As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony--two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cecelia Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she's also desperate to find the closure she's convinced will come with Cecelia's missing final manuscript.

After Ingrid jeopardizes her career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But then Joel Campbell--the man who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters--offers her a sealed envelope from his late cousin, Cecelia, asking Joel and to put their differences aside and retrieve a mysterious package in their coastal Washington hometown.

Honoring Cecelia's last request will challenge their convictions and test their loyalties, but through it all, will Ingrid and Joel be brave enough to uncover a twice-in-a-lifetime love? 

Bethany House Publishing, April 11, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

 


 

Thursday, May 18, 2023

COUNTERFEIT FAITH by Crystal Caudill, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #NewRelease


With an unfailing, solid faith thread, Ms. Caudill tells a story of love blooming in the face of adversity. Secret Service Agent Josiah Isaacs is investigating Final Chance House of Refuge for possible connection to counterfeiting.

Gwendolyn is matron of Final Chance and has her hands full and suspects abuse is going on with the boys side of the refuge. But her faith is evident in the way she treats her charges and recites a constant prayer: “Help Thou my unbelief.” I was also pleased to see my favorite verse Romans 8:38 & 39 which tells that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Gwendolyn helps Josiah along on his spiritual journey with the words: “It is not our doubt that defines our faith. Faith redefines our doubts.”
 


This is a layered story that gives lessons along with entertainment, there is historical information, a romance, and an exciting and dangerous mystery to solve, as well as family drama, forgiveness, and compassion.

This is a worthy end to the series by an accomplished author.
 
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread
 

BackCover Blurb:
She's losing her faith in mankind. He's lost his faith in God. Can working together restore them both?

As matron of Final Chance House of Refuge, Gwendolyn Ellison has dedicated her life to serving the children deemed delinquents by society. She'll protect them with everything she has. So when she suspects someone is using Final Chance for criminal deeds, she's determined to investigate and put a stop to it. But villains don't like to be crossed--and they're willing to kill to get their way.

Gwendolyn knows she can't quit fighting. More than her own life is on the line if counterfeiters go free. She must find someone she can trust to help her expose the criminals and protect the children under her care.

Charming and chivalrous Secret Service operative Josiah Isaacs has never been able to turn his back on a woman in trouble--and capturing counterfeiters is his job, after all. The danger he's truly worried about is his growing attraction to Gwendolyn when his heart wants to remain faithful to his deceased wife.

As both peril and interest grow, he begins to consider whether a second love may be possible--if they can live through this case. At the same time, he's put off by her faith in a God he no longer trusts. How can a future together even be possible when their beliefs are at odds?
 

 

Kregel Publishing, May 16th, 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

 

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

THE VANISHING AT CASTLE MOREAU by Jaime Jo Wright, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


"Beauty is found in walls of stone, beauty where love begins."

Daisy Fuentes didn't see any beauty in the monstrous stone walls of Castle Moreau, only dust, cobwebs and neglect. She'd been hired to do, what exactly? It was an eerie place, an empty place, a once elegant place, but now it seemed more like a house of horrors, much like the stories that were penned by its primary inhabitant, the famed authoress, Ora Moreau Tremblay. Women were rumored to disappear after stepping onto the castle grounds, but it was too late to turn back now, Daisy had nowhere else to go.

Fast forward to the present. Another lonely young woman by the name of Cleo Clemmons was about to cross over the nearly abandoned Wisconsin castle's threshold. Apparently, Virgie Tremblay had a hoarding problem, so her celebrity grandson had hired Cleo, sight unseen, without references, to quietly and unobtrusively help his grandmother clean out the mounds of accumulation. Before she can even get started, evidence about a local disappearance is placed on the hood of her car. What in the world?


Encapsulating this intriguing story is as likely as catching a falling star, for its brilliance moves at the speed of light in dark places, very dark places as a matter of fact. Equally as impressive is the way that what lies between the pages becomes a light; a brilliant, embracing, restorative luster . . . that stubbornly refuses to be snuffed out. Hope . . . eternal. . . . crossing generations . . . rooted in faith . . . and love . . . "and sometimes, protective love was heartbreaking".

Another fascinating story, the kind that is never what it appears to be on the surface.


*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
 
 
BackCover Blurb:
A haunting legend. An ominous curse. A search for a secret buried deep within the castle walls.

In 1870, orphaned Daisy Fran├žois takes a position as housemaid at a Wisconsin castle to escape the horrors of her past life. There she finds a reclusive and eccentric Gothic authoress who hides tales more harrowing than the ones in her novels. As women disappear from the area and the eerie circumstances seem to parallel a local legend, Daisy is thrust into a web that could ultimately steal her sanity, if not her life.

In the present day, Cleo Clemmons is hired by the grandson of an American aristocratic family to help his grandmother face her hoarding in the dilapidated Castle Moreau. But when Cleo uncovers more than just the woman's stash of collectibles, a century-old mystery and the dust of the old castle's curse threaten to rise again . . . this time to leave no one alive to tell the sordid tale.

Award-winning author Jaime Jo Wright seamlessly weaves a dual-time tale of two women who must do all they can to seek the light amid the darkness shrouding Castle Moreau.
 
 
Bethany House Publishing, April 4,2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
 
 
 

 


Tuesday, May 16, 2023

THE HEART'S CHOICE by Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse, Reviewed by Paula #ReleaseDay

From the stunning cover to the final pages, I thoroughly loved this novel. This writing team is one of the best for Historical Christian Fiction. The research was the backbone of this story and depicts the beginning of a new Carnegie Library in Kalispell, Montana in 1904 and fictional Rebecca Whitman who becomes the first female court reporter in the state.

The authors have spun a terrific tale of mystery, romance, faith and courtroom drama that I will not soon forget. I loved the touch of humor with the small white dog and the fleshed out characters. I am grateful for the clear gospel message this story contains.

The heroine was on a search for the truth in the Bible and realized that a relationship with God, through Christ, can be personal. Other themes included reconciliation, being too busy to focus on family and relationships and not being afraid to accept help from those older and wiser, great lessons to learn from this entertaining read.

Put this one on your To Be Read pile.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the authors. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a strong faith thread.

BackCover Blurb:
They must uncover the truth before it's buried forever.

After witnessing a wrongful conviction as a young girl, Rebecca Whitman--the first female court reporter in Montana--is now determined to defend the innocent. During a murder trial, something doesn't sit well with her about the case, but no one except the handsome new Carnegie librarian will listen to her.

Librarian Mark Andrews's father sent him to college hoping he would take over the business side of the family ranch, but Mark would rather wrangle books than cows. When a patron seeks help with research in hopes of proving a man's innocence, Mark is immediately drawn to her and her cause.

In a race against time, will Rebecca and Mark find the evidence they need--and open their hearts to love--before it's too late?

Bethany House Publishers, May 16, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

 

 

COUNTER ATTACK by Patricia Bradley, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay


PEARL RIVER SERIES #1

What a heart-pounding start to a new series. A crafty villain and my favorite trope of second chance romance. Ms. Bradley has penned an interesting plot with chess moves left in notes by a serial killer who puzzles everyone.

Alexis Stone takes over as Deputy Sheriff when her grandfather has a heart attack. But murder follows her to previously sleepy Pearl Springs when she moves from Chattanooga where she was hoping to work her way up to police chief. Could it be a coincidence that all the victims resemble Alex? Nathan Landry could be a rival as the County Sheriff, but her old love chooses to join forces with Alex instead. They try to stay one move ahead of the Queens Gambit Killer as well as take down drug activity infiltrating this quiet community.

A very quick read because I had to know what happened next. Ms. Bradley gives us believable characters such as Gram Judith who prays for Alex and gifts her a Bible and devotionals.

The danger, suspense and romance make for an exceptional story. A great beginning to a new series. 

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author and as part of the Revell Reads Review program. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread.
 

BackCover Blurb:
A brand new heart-stopping series from a USA Today bestselling author

No sooner has Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, when a serial killer dubbed the Queen's Gambit Killer strikes again--this time in her hometown. Pearl Springs is just supposed to be a temporary stop along the way to Alex's real dream: becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer's calling card--a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it--cannot be ignored.

Pearl Springs chief of police Nathan Landry can't believe that his high school sweetheart Alexis (he refuses to call her Alex) is back in town, and he can't help wanting to protect the woman he never stopped loving. But as the danger mounts and the killer closes in, can Nathan come through on the promises he makes to himself to bring a killer to justice before it's too late. 
 
Revell Publishing, May 16, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Monday, May 15, 2023

IN THE SHADOW OF THE RIVER by Ann H. Gabhart, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #NewRelease



One of my favorite authors, Ms. Gabhart pens a fascinating tale of life on a showboat in 1881. Not only does she give us interesting facts about a showboat traveling and stopping to entertain, she gives us a mysterious story from the past that catches up with Jacci Reed who has spent most of her life as an actress aboard The Kingston Floating Palace.

These people have become her family but something happens to disrupt her peaceful existence and threaten her life. Jacci strives to separate the performances on the stage of the showboat and the scenes played out on her real-life stage. Her family aboard the boat gathers to protect her, especially Gabe, the owner’s son and longtime friend, who keeps telling her that he is not her brother. They try to discover who of the newcomers could be out to harm her and in the process discover that they are growing closer than brother and sister.
A wonderfully woven tale with danger, secrets, family, faith and romance.

*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell on behalf of the author and through Revell Reads Review Program. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:

If all the world's a stage, Jacci will play her part.

She only hopes her story does not turn out to be a tragedy.

In 1881, Jacci Reed is only five years old when a man attempts to kidnap her from the steamboat her mother, Irena, works on. Badly wounded during the confrontation, Irena takes Jacci aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, a showboat tied up beside them. There, Jacci's actor grandfather tends to her mother, and Jacci gets a first taste of the life she will come to lead.

Fifteen years later, Jacci is an actress aboard that same showboat and largely contented with her adopted family of actors, singers, and dancers. Especially Gabe, who has always supported her, and the gruff grandfather she has come to know and love. Jacci's mother has been gone for years, but the memory of the altercation that ultimately took her life--and the cryptic things Jacci has overheard about her past--is always there, lurking in the back of her mind.

When someone on the showboat tries to kill Jacci, it's clear her questions demand answers. But secrets have a way of staying in the shadows . . . and the answers she craves will not come easily.


Revell Publishing, May 9, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:



COLD FURY and COLD CASE by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

COLD FURY - Cold Harbor Series #3
"The screams tore through his body. Maggie. He was too late, and she was in trouble."

A heart-wrenching tragedy had driven them apart. It had been six years since Jackson Lockhart had laid eyes on Maggie Turner, but it didn't matter. Her life was in danger and Jackson was determined to protect her, although it seemed that his timely arrival had been a minute too late; a dark figure had his hands around Maggie's neck.

Maggie. Once upon a time, she had been his Maggie. But they had promised to go their separate ways, and separate ways they had gone. Jackson, back to his Special Forces unit and Maggie pursuing her career as a college professor and forensic anthropologist. Now in his role as an operative in Blackwell Tactical, their current contract and Maggie's safety had intersected; had God seen fit to bring them back together under these kinds of circumstances, where Jackson could "be there" for Maggie when she needed him most?

" . . . you never get used to losing someone you love so deeply . . . Memories will come flooding back at the oddest times, and you have to continually remember that God will work it all out for good . . . God always gets it right. When we worry or question Him, it's like we think He's gotten it wrong."

This story unpacks so many burdens of the heart. Yes, there's a race to the finish line of a complicated criminal case, but there's also a well-spring of spiritual truth that every reader will find mutually convicting and uplifting. Who doesn't need to be reminded that God is good . . . all the time . . . God is good.


*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review

BackCover Blurb:
Six years ago tragedy tore them apart…
Maggie Turner happily works as an assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department and lives a quiet life near campus. That is until Jackson Lockhart bursts into her life unexpectedly. Then a cyclone of emotions erupt as she remembers the tragedy that once tore them apart. She'd often thought of him, but they'd agreed never to see each other again, and so far, they'd kept their promise. But today…Jackson has a good reason for breaking his promise. Maggie's life depends on it.Will it now bring them back together?
 

In an ongoing investigation, Jackson has learned that university officials secretly photographed her classroom in a study on attendance. The recorder was supposed to run only during the class session, but it malfunctioned and recorded an entire week, which includes a shocking murder that has now put Maggie's life in danger. Can Jackson unravel the lies surrounding this incident before the killer unleashes his fury on Maggie and takes her life?

COLD CASE, Cold Harbor Series #4
"Cancel your classes or your computer isn't the only thing that will be DOA."

Well if that didn't get her attention, nothing could. Blackwell Tactical cyber security expert Eryn Calloway is stunned by the message that fills her computer screen. Deputy Trey Sawyer has a different take; besides being somewhat openly "smitten" with the lovely agent, Trey readily volunteers to step up as her impromptu bodyguard while she begins working to unmask the hacker, and proceeding to teach her computer classes at the annual Policing in the Modern World Conference. Neither kind of attention will be readily received by the very independent and emotionally guarded Eryn Calloway, but Trey is determined to keep her safe.

Quite an interesting story. The plot proceeds along, carefully and cautiously taking numerous twists, turns and dead ends. Don't be fooled there's a real ending . . . . that is quite the ending. And of course, there is just enough room to slide in that happily-ever-after that is just begging to be written.

" . . . she offered a prayer of thanks to God . . . for making her see that forever with the right guy was always worth the risk of loss. Always."
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. 3.5 stars
..

BackCover Blurb:
When her past comes back to haunt her…
Former FBI cyber security agent Eryn Calloway worked many cyber investigations during her career as an FBI agent and while serving as Blackwell Tactical's cyber expert. But when her computer is locked with ransomware, she suddenly finds herself facing the biggest investigation of all. Failure to solve the case and find the hacker could result in the loss of her very life.

Can she let the one man who can protect her get close enough to do so?
Enter former Green Beret, deputy Trey Sawyer who offers to serve as her bodyguard. Trey has been in love with Eryn for a year, but she lost her husband several years ago and isn't ready to open herself to the potential for pain again. She's kept Trey at arm's length and wants to do so now-after all, she can take care of herself. But she has a four-year-old daughter to protect, so Eryn reluctantly agrees to let Trey into her world. But when they're thrown together in a race for her life, she has to combat both a vicious enemy-and the pain from her past. Is Trey trustworthy enough to let him into every area of her life, or is the risk too great?


 COLD FURY and COLD CASE and the entire Cold Harbor Series is available (individually and as a set) in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook at Amazon

Saturday, May 13, 2023

26 BELOW by Kimberley Woodhouse, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

ALASKAN CYBERHUNTERS SERIES #1

"And when the heat faded and the snow flew, then everything would be in motion. For devastation. Destruction . . . And he couldn't wait."

Trapped underneath the floorboards and within the confines of her shattered memory, Natalie struggled to remember what she didn't want to forget; "Plan. Twenty-six below".

Settling into her new job as the director of the Emergency Operations Center in Fairbanks, Alaska Darcie Phillips had long lists and high expectations. What she had never expected was being ambushed by extreme environmentalists during her first public briefing. Adding to her angst was an enigmatic old woman who had been shouting strange predictions throughout Fairbanks about an upcoming disaster. And then mysteriously disappearing. Was she already in over her head?

Cyber-security specialist Jason Myers is determined to assist Darcie in her aggressive approach to bringing public safety systems up to speed with cutting edge security measures . . . just in case. What he didn't expect was for his long lost brother to be involved with the activists dogging Darcie's efforts at every turn. Most surprising was the way his heart was drawn to the lovely director, she seemed broken on the inside without any hope of putting the pieces back together again.

Unfortunately for Darcie and Jason, all personal concerns have to be put on hold . . . twenty-six below was quickly approaching and there is someone out there who doesn't want them standing in the way.

This story's unique formatting with its shifting view points is a huge plus . . . the tension grows as the clock ticks and the temperatures drop. So much vital information is happening "behind the curtain", so to speak, leaving readers and characters struggling to make sense of the clues . . . what few there are. Light romance, well-timed inserts of inspiration, and an almost uncannily realistic scenario add up to a very interesting story . . . which evidently isn't quite over!

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

SEE PAULA'S REVIEW

BackCover Blurb:
In her new role as Emergency Operations Center director for Fairbanks, Alaska, Darcie Phillips prevents disasters. But none of her training can prepare her for the terror that's coming.

As a cybersecurity specialist, Jason Myers is determined to ferret out any threats to the town he now calls home--and that includes his reckless brother and his ecoterrorist friends.

When an old woman's wild prediction--widespread destruction as soon as the Fairbanks temperature falls to 26 below--hits national headlines, neither Darcie nor Jason sees a real risk to anything but tourism.

Then the bodies start dropping.

Darcie is relying on her experience and intelligence to stop a killer; Jason is relying on God to guide the way. They'll have to work together to find the truth and prevent their Alaskan town from becoming a city of nightmares. The first in a thrilling new suspense series from best-selling author Kimberley Woodhouse, 26 Below will delight fans of Lynnette Eason, Irene Hannon, and Lynn Blackburn. 

Kregel Publications, April 2023
Available in digital ebook and paperback







Friday, May 12, 2023

THE SWINDLER'S DAUGHTER by Stephenia H. McGee, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"What did one say to finding out a dead man had died?"

Obviously, considering this new information, Lillian Doyle's life story had been built on falsehood; her mother had never been a widow and her deceased father had up until recently, been very much alive. Regardless of the confusing untruths, her new reality involved an inheritance . . . left entirely to Lillian. Could it mean that Lillian no longer had to marry a man that she didn't love, while struggling to maintain her mother's societal pretenses? There was only one way to find out, leave Atlanta and travel to the small town of Dawsonville, where once again Lillian was going to face unexpected obstacles, starting with . . .  someone was already living in what was now her house?

Lillian's journey to truth and happiness is pleasantly predictable in some ways, and rather challenging in others. Having lived with practically no family for so long, she is both encouraged and befuddled by those who seem to both trust and distrust her motives, starting with one of her family's employees, Jonah Peterson. Trusting in God's providence proves much harder than it sounds. . . . but, does it have to be? Just wait until you reach the ending!

"I think we get promptings to do the things we least understand so we can learn to lean on God's understanding."

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I also purchased a copy. The opinions stated above are entirely my own. 3.5 stars

SEE PAULA'S REVIEW

BackCover Blurb:

A surprise inheritance. A cache of family secrets. A choice that will change her life forever.

Lillian Doyle has lived her entire high-society life with her widowed mother, believing her father died long ago. But when news arrives that her estranged father only recently passed away--in jail--Lillian is startled to find that the man has left a business and all of his possessions to her, making her a rather unusual heiress.

When she goes to take possession of her father's house in a backwoods Georgia town, the dilapidated structure is already occupied by another woman who claims it was promised to her son, Jonah. In her attempts to untangle the mess, Lillian will discover not only a family she never knew she had but a family business that is more than meets the eye--and has put a target on her back.

To discover the truth and take hold of the independence she's always dreamed of, she'll have to make friends with adversaries and strangers--especially Jonah, the dusty and unrefined cowboy who has secret aspirations of his own.

Revell Publishing, May 2, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy THE SWINDLER'S DAUGHTER at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House
 

 

 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

COLD TERROR and COLD TRUTH by Susan Sleeman, COLD HARBOR SERIES, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


COLD TERROR - Cold Harbor Series #1
"The water hit like a tidal wave. The boat swirled. Churned. Turned. Lifted. Crashed down . . . panic overwhelming her as the water washed over her head and took her into the deadly depths."

Cold terror. . . was what it was. Until suddenly, "Strong arms held her".

Hannah Perry had run for her life, carrying her small son towards the only means of escape that was available on a secluded island. The water. Providentially, they were both rescued by a man whom Hannah not only knew, but had once loved; former SEAL Gage Blackwell. Now it was going to be up to both of them to figure out why Hannah had been attacked in the first place. Would they form a new forever partnership in the process?

"God had arranged for this amazing man to protect her. Maybe God had been looking out for her all along . . . "

It goes without saying, this author knows how to start off a new series with . . . in this case . . . a splash!

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review 3.5 stars

BackCover Blurb:
Forensic artist Hannah Perry's skills make her a valuable asset to the police in solving criminal investigations.
Now she's taking a much-needed vacation on a secluded island with her young son. But a young woman has been murdered. Her body unidentified. Her skull recently discovered by the police, and Hannah feels compelled to help find the killer. She decides to work on the reconstruction in the evenings while her son sleeps. But as the woman's face takes shape, an assailant invades Hannah's cabin and tries to end her life. Before he can permanently silence her, she and her son flee the island in a small boat. Trouble is, as they approach Cold Harbor, ocean waves capsize the boat, enveloping them both in cold terror.

But it also makes her the next target.
Former SEAL Gage Blackwell can't believe his eyes as he plunges into the raging waters to rescue the pair. Owner of Blackwell Tactical-a law enforcement training facility and protection services agency-Gage pulls the woman he once loved from the angry ocean. When he learns of her attack, he vows to protect her while hunting down the killer. Alone and vulnerable, Hannah has to accept Gage's protection-even if it means staying close to the man who'd once walked out on her without a backward glance.

COLD TRUTH, Cold Harbor Series #2
"Solve the puzzle and save your brother."

Stunned, Kiera Underwood frantically tries over and over again to reach her twin brother Kevin in order to find out why someone would have issued such an enigmatic ultimatum. Both of them were research chemists, so Keira knew about, and understood the value of, her brother's highly secret project for Oceanic Labs; synthesizing a biotoxin carried by seafood in order to create an antidote, but now he is missing and so is some of the lab's biotoxin.

Literally colliding with Blackwell Tactical team member Cooper Ashcroft outside of Oceanic Labs, Kiera learns that Kevin's employers have hired a private investigative unit to find her brother, spreading a cloud of suspicion around her by association. How can anyone believe that she would be involved in something that she knows her brother didn't do in the first place?

Sparks fly as Kiera and Cooper agree to disagree on some things, while moving forward to solve a case that gets stranger and stranger, and more dangerous, with every passing hour. Meanwhile, their growing attraction complicates things, especially when it comes down to one of the most basic building blocks of a lasting relationship; trust.

"When our expectations don't match with what happens, we complicate our lives to no end. Often blaming God, when He's not to blame. We simply need to realize that life is fluid. Always changing. So when God alters the course, we need to move on with Him . . . "

Enjoy this high-speed continuation of a very good series!

*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:

Want to play a game?
When research chemist Kiera Underwood receives a cryptic phone call about her twin brother, she tries to contact him to no avail. Her twin sense tingles, warning her that something is wrong. When he doesn't return her call and his supervisor at Oceanic Labs claims he didn't come into work, she heads to Cold Harbor. But when she arrives in town to find the door to her brother's house ajar, she races to the lab to question his fellow employees. 
 

Solve the puzzle and save your brother…
 

Kiera's terrified when an attempt is made on her life. Then Blackwell Tactical operative Cooper Ashcroft delivers her second shock of the day. Someone stole a deadly biotoxin. The main suspect? Her brother-and Blackwell Tactical has been hired to bring him in. If that wasn't distressing enough, she's suspected of colluding with him. She had nothing to do with the theft or murder, and despite the evidence staring her in the face, she knows that her brother is innocent of all charges. She sets out to prove it, putting her in the crosshairs of the killer. As Coop tries to protect her as well as solve the crime, he grapples with the possibility she's telling the truth and someone has likely abducted her brother-perhaps killed him. Now Kiera's life is in serious danger and Coop must protect her while discovering the cold truth behind the theft.

 

Find the entire series (in digital ebook, paperback, or audiobook) at Amazon

 


 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

WAIT FOR ME by Jody Hedlund, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

I have been enchanted with this series and want to read the next book as soon as it is available! The concept is unique for a time travel situation. The limits put upon the characters are interesting.

Ms. Hedlund has proven she can write in several different genres and she shines in each one. Her settings are sumptuous in 1300s Canterbury and she depicts the customs well. Dawson Huxam is a flawed hero but comes into his own and shows his worth. Philippa is a beauty in a time when she is being manipulated by her evil uncle. But Dawson reaches back in time to come to her rescue. The stories were tied together by the mysterious holy water and the quest to send it forward in time. There also those in the present who wish to use it for nefarious purposes. I love the way Ms. Hedlund ties it all together and leaves just enough unsolved to make us want to read the next book in the series.

Skillfully written time travel that leaves you wanting more, it contains faith journeys, romance, danger, bravery and an intriguing puzzle.
 *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to post a favorable review.all opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread 


BackCover Blurb:
When the darkness closes all around,
Beauty is still there just waiting to be found.

Dawson Huxham blames himself for his sister's death . . . until he briefly crosses time and discovers she's alive in the Middle Ages. Hoping to reconnect with her, he searches for the holy water that will help him visit the past for a longer duration. But he realizes he's not the only one looking for the miraculous water. Terrorists are threatening him and watching his every move.

As Dawson locates holy water from an unlikely source, he crosses fully into the past where he meets a beautiful noblewoman, Philippa Neville, who is desperately trying to escape her uncle's plans for an arranged marriage. When danger closes in, Dawson agrees to wed her in an effort to thwart her uncle's schemes. As forces in both the present and past conspire against the newlyweds, will they find a way to be together before the swiftly moving waters of time separate them forever?

Northern Press Lights Publishing, May 9, 2023

 

 

Monday, May 8, 2023

THE SECRET TO HAPPINESS by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Reviewed by Rebecca and Paula #NewRelease


REBECCA'S REVIEW:
"She dreaded the pity on their faces and the assumptions they'd make. She dreaded how sorry they'd feel for her. But she was desperate, lonely, and scared."

Callie Dixon had made a huge mistake that ended up destroying her career. Executive chefs weren't allowed to make errors, and now Callie was sleeping on an air mattress, sharing a teeny tiny little room with her cousin above Main Street Creamery in Cape Cod, barely able to make it out of bed in the morning.

Then . . . "there stood six-year-old Leo the Cowboy".

Growing up, Dawn Dixon and Callie Dixon had competed against each other over just about everything . . . Callie coming out on top, most of the time. Now the tables have turned and Callie is just a shadow of her former self, leaving Dawn determined to shove Callie out of her funk. Wait! What a perfect idea! She'll send Callie off to the "Secret to Happiness" class at the local community center, that should do it!

"While it's important to stop letting other people tell our story . . . it's more important to let God tell our story. "


The secret to happiness; what a great topic for a novel set in a charming little town where everyday people struggle with everyday problems, and manage to solve them by simply . . . 

It's impossible to do anything but love this story. Yes, the inspirational elements are subtle, but they are meaningful, making the happily-ever-afters much more memorable.

*I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.


PAULA'S REVIEW
Callie could not feel worse after losing her dream job. When a friend asks her to teach at Ice Cream School, she bumps into her aunt Marnie and jumps at the chance for a respite on Cape Cod at the shop owned by her aunt and cousin Dawn.

What fun! A story about ice cream, and a girl searching for her lost happiness, complete with a cute little cowboy, and an author of a book on happiness who makes her work for the answers. Callie’s journey makes you wonder what is really important in life and who is in charge. “Who are you letting tell your story?” “Contentment is better than happiness.”

Along the way we are treated to awesome sunrises, nosy neighbors, interesting facts about ice cream making and how family pulls together. But do not forget about the romance in unlikely places and getting to know more about the characters from book one: The Sweet Life.

 
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Library Thing Early Readers Program. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4 stars and underlying faith thread

BackCover Blurb
Escape to Cape Cod--where you just might find the secret to happiness

Callie Dixon had the world by the tail . . . until it all slipped away. Fired from her dream job after making a colossal mistake, she's escaped to her aunt's home on Cape Cod for time to bounce back. Except it isn't a home, it's an ice cream shop. And time isn't going to help, because Callie's bounce has up and left. There's a reason she made that mistake at work, and she's struggling to come to terms with it.

Things go from bad to worse when Callie's cousin Dawn drags her to a community class about the secret to happiness. Happiness is the last thing Callie wants to think about right now, but instructor Bruno Bianco--a curiously gloomy fellow--is relentless. He has a way of turning Callie's thoughts upside down. Her feelings, too.

Bruno insists that hitting rock bottom is the very best place to be. But if that's true, how is it supposed to help her figure out what--or who--has been missing from her life all along?

Revell Publishing, May 2, 2023
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, or audiobook:

Sunday, May 7, 2023

EDGE OF STEELE by Susan Sleeman, Reviewed by Winnie Thomas #NewRelease

If you enjoy nonstop action, intrigue, and suspense--with some romance thrown in for extra measure, you’ll like Susan Sleeman’s conclusion to her Steele Guardians series, Edge of Steele. Creating realistic, flawed, but engaging characters is a strength of Sleeman, along with her obvious research skills. This story drew me in quickly and held my attention to the last page. Ryleigh Steele and Finn Durham have a shared history but needed to work together to find the bomber at a lumber company they provided security for.

I always enjoy learning more about crime solving and new technology used in it, and Sleeman is a pro at integrating it into her stories seamlessly. With plenty of twists and turns, this book kept me guessing to the end. Although this book is part of a series, it could be read alone, however, it was fun to see the appearances of characters from some of the other books in the series, and also some from Sleeman’s other series. For clean Christian suspense that will keep you reading late into the night, you can’t go wrong with this author.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

BackCover Blurb:
With enemies surrounding her…
Ryleigh Steele gives in to mounting pressure from her siblings and cousins and leaves her job as a law enforcement officer to join the Steele Guardians. She’s just getting her feet wet when a lumber company begins receiving threats, and the owner contracts with Ryleigh for the Steele Guardians to protect their workers. But the threats quickly escalate under her watch, and a bomb is detonated at one of the sites, killing one of the workers.

Can she find the killer and save her company’s reputation and her life?
Ryleigh takes the man’s death personally and commits to finding the killer. Trouble is, the owner has hired a security manager without Ryleigh’s knowledge, and the manager isn’t about to let anyone cut him out of this investigation. Ryleigh gets ready to do battle with him, but when she meets the handsome head of security, former Navy SEAL, Finn Durham, she can barely find the words to speak much less fight. She and Finn had once dated, a tumultuous month, that ended badly. Doesn’t matter. She can’t let their past or her residual feelings for him distract her in the hunt for the killer. If she’s not careful, the killer will find her first. 

Edge of Your Seat Books, May 1, 2023


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