Sunday, October 25, 2020

Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott

book cover
Nothing Short of Wondrous
by Regina Scottn


ISBN-13: 9780800736408
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: Oct. 20, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
It is 1886, and the government has given the US Cavalry control of Yellowstone. For widowed hotelier Kate Tremaine, the change is a welcome one. She knows every inch of her wilderness home like the back of her hand and wants to see it protected from poachers and vandals.

Refused a guide by Congress, Lieutenant William Prescott must enlist Kate's aid to help him navigate the sprawling park and track down the troublemakers. But a secret from his past makes him wary of the tender feelings the capable and comely widow raises in him. As they work together to protect the park and stand firm through injustice and tragedy, they may just find that two wounded hearts can share one powerful love when God is in control.


My Review:
Nothing Short of Wondrous is a Christian romance set in 1886 in Yellowstone. Though it is the second in a series, it's a stand-alone novel. Historical details about what the park was like at that time were woven into the story and brought the story to life. The main characters were interesting, complex, and reacted realistically to events. Kate and William built each other up and helped each other heal from the past.

Kate felt guilty about not doing more to save her husband from the grizzly bear that killed him, and she struggled to keep her inn in good repair. A company offered to buy the place from her, and they're willing to spread rumors and worse in order to get their hands on her inn. She acted as the guide for a detachment of US Calvary in return for their help in repairing the inn. She got to know Lieut. William and admired his dedication, hard work, and kindness. He admired her in return, but he failed profoundly in the past as a military officer and felt unworthy of her love and like he must atone for his sins before God will accept him again.

There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I recommend this enjoyable historical romance.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, October 23, 2020

Wildflower Road by Janine Rosche

book cover
Wildflower Road
by Janine Rosche


ISBN-13: 9780593100523
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley Books
Released: October 13th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
After her husband's tragic death, Ryann Marie Ashcroft's only remaining dream is to save her family's struggling mountain resort. And the last person she wants to rely on is a brooding stranger with secrets of his own.

Nicknamed America's rock-and-roll pastor, Shane Olson arrives in Montana after a viral video destroys his marriage, his ministry, and his reputation. Working side by side on the banks of the Madison River, he and Ryann get a second chance at love. But not everyone wants to see their happily ever after.


My Review:
Wildflower Road is a contemporary romance. It's the second book in the series, but it works as a standalone novel. This is one of those "if it can go wrong, it does go wrong" type novels. Ryann's husband committed suicide and his brother is partly to blame (though only he and Ryann know this). Unfortunately, that brother is trying to force a relationship on Ryann, and he has the wealth and influence to destroy her family's resort if she doesn't cooperate. Shane has taken the full blame for the actions committed by himself, his best friend, and his wife. He's the one caught on video angrily attacking his best friend, after all, and he refuses to expose their sins against him and the church even though it would generate sympathy for his actions. He's been vilified and is having trouble starting over, so he's thankful for job as a cook at the resort.

The main characters were complex, well-developed, and reacted realistically to events. Ryann felt like she was being punished for not better supporting and saving her depressed husband. Shane felt like his angry, violent outburst was practically unforgivable and was broken by the betrayal of people he trusted. Both helped build the other one back up and helped them to heal and hope for a better future. Their friends helped them to deal with the brother-in-law, but it seemed like an impossible situation until nearly the end. There is no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this intense novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Midwinter Murder by Agatha Christie

book cover
Midwinter Murder
by Agatha Christie


ISBN-13: 9780063030367
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Released: October 20th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
An all-new collection of winter-themed stories from the Queen of Mystery, just in time for the holidays—including the original version of “Christmas Adventure,” never before released in the United States! There’s a chill in the air and the days are growing shorter . . . It’s the perfect time to curl up in front of a crackling fire with these wintry whodunits from the legendary Agatha Christie. But beware of deadly snowdrifts and dangerous gifts, poisoned meals and mysterious guests. Some of the short stories featuring beloved detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.


My Review:
Midwinter Murder is a collection of short stories by Agatha Christie, plus one excerpt from her autobiography. I presume that all of the stories were set in wintertime; most were obviously so. I've read most of the stories before, but there were a few that I haven't come across before. They included stories featuring Miss Marple, Hercules Poirot, Tommy and Tuppence, Harley Quin, and Parker Pyne. The stories mostly showed the detectives uncovering the truth rather than being puzzle mysteries. Still, I enjoyed reading these fun stories again. There was no sex. There was occasional use of bad language.

The stories included:
Christmas at Abney Hall
Three Blind Mice
The Chocolate Box
A Christmas Tragedy
The Coming of Mr. Quin
The Clergyman's Daughter/The Rose House
The Plymouth Express
Problem at Pollensa Bay
Sanctuary
The Mystery of Hunters Lodge
The World's End
The Manhood of Edward Robinson
Christmas Adventure


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Backlash by Rachel Dylan

book cover
Backlash
by Rachel Dylan


ISBN-13: 9780764234316
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: October 6th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
CIA analyst Layla Karam has finished a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel. Though Layla never wanted to be a field agent, Langley had other ideas. After one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens up an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team's identity to the cartel. She must clear her name with the Agency and protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter--the man who broke her heart--and hope they both come out of it alive.


My Review:
Backlash is a Christian romantic suspense. It's the second in a series, but it works as a stand alone. The story follows several characters, including two other members of Layla's team and one of her friends. They're all suspected of some level of crime and have to defend themselves legally. The DEA team (including Layla) also needs to survive attempts by the cartel to kill them. Perhaps because there were so many investigations going on, it felt like things got wrapped up very quickly at the end. The reader isn't clued into which people are behind the different events, but it also wasn't a surprise to me when the bad guys were uncovered at the end (since the subtle clues were pointing that way).

The three main couples all had relationships based on friendship and sacrificial love. They built each other up and supported each other. I loved that Hunter and Layla took turns saving each other and that Hunter was secure enough that he could thank and admire Layla for her skills. The main characters were engaging, interesting people that reacted realistically to events. Hunter's relationship with God was strengthened through the events and from talking with Layla about how her faith withstood some of the things she's been through. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this exciting story.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Sunday, October 11, 2020

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

book cover
Point of Danger
by Irene Hannon


ISBN-13: 9780800736170
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: October 6th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews, but now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently. But unless he can track down her foe, fast, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.


My Review:
Point of Danger is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the first book in a new series, but it's also a stand-alone novel. The main characters were engaging, complex people who reacted realistically to events. I cared about what happened to them. I liked that Eve was sensible while not backing down in the face of the threats (which is a hard balance for authors to create!). The suspense was created by the physical danger to Eve while uncovering those who were harassing and threatening her. Eve used her words to build Brent up, which was especially important since Brent's last relationship left him feeling torn down. They admired each other's character as well as their looks.

The main characters were Christians, and we saw this through their actions, like how they treated people. Brent was worried that Eve wouldn't be able to handle the danger involved with his job. He learned how to trust God with Eve and that Eve could do the same rather than break under the worry about his safety. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable, exciting novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Friday, October 9, 2020

Christmas Witness Conspiracy by Maggie K. Black

book cover
Christmas Witness Conspiracy
by Maggie K. Black


ISBN-13: 9781335403100
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Released: October 13th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Detective Liam Bearsmith’s life is turned upside down at Christmastime when the hacker he’s tracking turns out to be the witness he fell for twenty years ago. But Kelly Marshall insists she’s being framed, and he wants to believe her…especially after criminals attack them. Can he clear her name, even as he shields Kelly—and the family he never knew existed?


My Review:
Christmas Witness Conspiracy is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the fourth in a series, but you can understand this book without reading the previous ones.

A mob of discontented hackers threaten to bring down the power grid throughout Canada if they aren't given a hacking device that they think a man created. The man is presumed dead, but his wife might still have the device. Liam has tracked down a hacker that they know protected this woman before, and he's surprised to discover that it's a woman that he put in Witness Protection after he proposed marriage to her many years ago. She tells him that he has a daughter and granddaughter, and their daughter is the one targeted by the hackers. He pushes her to bring them in for law enforcement to protect. She explains that they refused to when she urged it and that their daughter and granddaughter are headed to another country to start a new life. Kelly's determined to go with them. Only their plans go wrong, and Liam and Kelly must do their best to protect their children.

The main characters were interesting and resourceful, though initially their different goals got in the way of their working well together. The suspense came from the bad guys attacking them and kidnapping their daughter and the mystery of why law enforcement suddenly is determined to arrest Liam. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this exciting novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.


Sunday, October 4, 2020

Colors of Truth by Tamera Alexander

book cover
Colors of Truth
by Tamera Alexander


ISBN-13: 9780718081881
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: Oct. 6, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Based on the real history of Carnton, an antebellum home that served as a Confederate hospital.

In 1866 Catriona O'Toole arrives in the town of Franklin, Tennessee, searching for her younger brother, Ryan, who, according to his last letter, was headed for Franklin only days before the catastrophic Battle of Franklin. Ryan's last note contained a stack of cash--enough money to bring his entire family across the ocean from Ireland. But after disease and illness tear through County Antrim and the O'Toole family, only Catriona and her seven-year old sister Nora are left to make the journey.

Wade Cunningham, one of ten operatives in the newly formed United States Secret Service Agency, is on the hunt for counterfeiters. A tip leads him to Franklin and to Carnton, the home of wealthy Tennessean John McGavock. The recent murder of a fellow agent mandates that Wade keep his true identity hidden, as well as his past service in the Federal Army.

As evidence in the case mounts, it eventually points to Catriona, but Wade is slow to want to believe it. Because his heart is swiftly becoming hers. However, Catriona's sole focus is to find her brother and to provide a home and safety for her sister. In doing that, she finds herself part of a burial committee for the over two thousand Confederate soldiers who were hastily buried in a field following the Battle of Franklin--and her deepest fear is that Ryan's body is among those shallow graves.


My Review:
Colors of Truth is a romance set in 1866 in Franklin, Tennessee. This book was the second in a series, but it works as a standalone. The historical details were woven into the story and brought the setting to life in my imagination. The characters were interesting and reacted realistically to events. Wade was observant, competent, patient, honorable, and compassionate. He had great sympathy for the situation that Catriona found herself in and seemed drawn to her primarily because she needed help and was very pretty.

But Catriona wasn't a very likable character for most of the story. She had a temper and quickly lashed out at others even if she was the one at fault. She wouldn't listen, made assumptions, and accused people based on those assumptions. She liked being in control. She insisted on paying back those who freely helped her and even dictated how she'd do this. Now, it's clear in the story that she and her sister learned to lie, lash out in anger, and so on from their father. Once Catriona realized how much she's acting like her father, she did attempt to change. Even later in the story, she finally learned to trust others, including God, which made a big difference in her behavior. I just found her attitude tiring, though the other characters were engaging and the plot was interesting.

Most of the characters were Christian and treated others mercifully because of this. Catriona believed that not only was God currently punishing her for some reason but that God punished believers after death as well, so she didn't feel very open towards God. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting novel.


If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.