Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren

book cover
The Way of the Brave
by Susan May Warren


ISBN-13: 9780800735845
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: January 7th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Former pararescue jumper Orion Starr is haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong. He may be living alone in Alaska now, but the pain of his failure--and his injuries--has followed him there from Afghanistan. He has no desire to join Hamilton Jones's elite rescue team, but he also can't shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali.

Former CIA profiler and psychiatrist Jenny Calhoun's yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from the guilt that has sunk its claws into her. As a consultant during a top-secret mission to root out the Taliban, she green-lighted an operation that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she'll be forced to trust her life and the lives of her friends to the man she nearly killed. They'll have to put their wounds behind them to survive, but at what cost? In order to truly set Orion free from his painful past, Jenny will have to reveal hers.


My Review:
The Way of the Brave is a Christian romantic suspense novel. The author thoroughly convinced me to never climb to tall, snow-covered, windy peaks. If something could go wrong, it did go wrong on their way down. It was clear that God had a hand in what was happening since one disaster led the rescuers to the women and another led them to find something that needed to be found. But the suspense was high as accidents kept happening and people were injured. There was also tension because of the guilt that Jenny carried about what happened to Orion, someone she cared about and didn't want to hate her.

Jenny was a skilled, capable climber, and it was a freak wind that blew them into danger. I did wonder why Orion, a PJ and mountain rescue worker who explained to a group why they needed a guide prepared for certain emergencies, didn't bring along some critical things for the rescue. Otherwise, he seemed very capable as well. All the main characters worked well together. Jenny and Orion supported and encouraged each other.

Both Jenny and Orion questioned why God would let innocent people suffer and if God was really interested in rescuing them. Their friends later discussed with them why God might have let them get in trouble on the mountain and how God can use difficult situations to heal and shape us. There was some intense kissing, but there was no sex. One couple nearly went too far, but that added tension (guilt) to the relationship. There was no bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this intense and suspenseful 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

In the Shadow of Vesuvius by Tasha Alexander

book cover
In the Shadow of Vesuvius
by Tasha Alexander


ISBN-13: 9781250164735
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Released: January 7th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Some corpses lie undisturbed longer than others. But when Lady Emily discovers a body hidden in plain sight amongst the ruins of Pompeii, it still comes as quite a shock.

Eager to explore ancient sites and modern archaeological digs, Lady Emily jumps at the chance to accompany her dearest childhood friend Ivy Brandon on an excursion to Italy. Soon old friends are joined by new, including the American siblings Benjamin and Calliope Carter (he, a moody painter, and she, a freethinking archaeologist capable of sparring with even the Duke of Bainbridge's most devious flirtations). But when the two women, along with Emily's devoted husband Colin Hargreaves, uncover a corpse and the police dismiss the murder as the work of local gangsters, Lady Emily investigates.

But an artful murderer is nothing compared to the sudden appearance of a beautiful young woman who claims a shocking relationship to the Hargreaves family. As Colin warms to the girl, Emily must endure an endless stream of slights and snubs. Someone else has it out for Emily, too, someone who keeps sending her threats. Undaunted, Lady Emily's desire to unearth the truth takes her from Pompeii to Naples.


My Review:
In the Shadow of Vesuvius is a mystery set in 1902 in Italy. It's the 14th in a series. You can understand this book without reading the previous ones. This book spoiled some events from previous books since Colin's daughter by a previous love shows up to cause trouble in his marriage to Lady Emily.

The author alternated between the mystery and a story about a poetess who lived in Pompeii at the time of the eruption. The story set at the time of the eruption has little to do with the mystery and seems mainly to show what life was like in the city at the time. The author clearly did a lot of research for Pompeii for both time periods and wove these details into the story. Emily and Colin asked questions, followed up clues, and considered possible scenarios until she figured out what was going on and whodunit. She was intelligent, competent, and likable. The other characters were also interesting. I was able to guess whodunit long before Lady Emily, though.

There were no sex scenes. There were only a few uses of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason

book cover
Collateral Damage
by Lynette Eason


ISBN-13: 9780800729349
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: January 7th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Honorably discharged from the Army after an explosion nearly killed her, former military psychiatrist Brooke Adams has set up shop to help others--but her days of helping military personnel are over. She's got her own battles to fight from her time overseas, and she's not equipped to take on more. Former Army Special Ops Sergeant First Class Asher James could handle anything that war sent his way--terrorists, bombs, bullets. The only thing that scares him now is sleep. As the shadows close in, the nightmares begin.

Finally convinced that he needs help, Asher makes an appointment with a counselor and asks for Brooke. When he arrives at her office she isn't there--but a dead body is. Brooke is devastated when she walks in. When it becomes clear that Brooke was the real target of the attack, Asher vows to protect her no matter what.


My Review:
Collateral Damage is a Christian romantic suspense. Both Brooke and Asher were dealing with PTSD as well as unsupportive families. The suspense came from repeated, violent attempts to get something from Brooke. They needed to figure out what was going on, why she was a target, and who was behind the attacks. The main characters were kind people who reacted realistically to events. Brooke and Asher supported each other, built each other up, and made a good team. There were other characters involved in solving the mystery and saving innocents from being killed. I look forward to their stories.

The Christians believed in the innate worth of human life because God created each person. This motivated their actions in the story. 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer

book cover
The Masqueraders
by Georgette Heyer


ISBN-13: 9780373836062
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Harlequin
Released: 1928; April 2004

Source: Borrowed from the library.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Their infamous adventurer father has taught Prudence and her brother Robin to be masters of disguise. Ending up on the wrong side of the Jacobite rebellion, brother and sister flee to London on their father's orders, with Prudence pretending to be a dashing young buck and Robin a lovely young lady.

Then Prudence meets the elegant Sir Anthony Fanshawe, and Robin becomes the mysterious hero of the charming Letitia Grayson. In order to have what they truly want, the two masqueraders must find a way to unmask themselves without losing their lives. Their father arrives with a scheme to make them all respectable, but their disguises (and his plans) could fail at any moment.


My Review:
The Masqueraders is a historical adventure with some romance. I wasn't expecting to like this story due to the deception involved. Yet I ended up feeling like this was one of Heyer's better stories in terms of pacing and how one event set up the next and that led to the next.

The brother and sister think quickly and manage to successfully fool society with their disguises. It wasn't clear--even to them--why they needed to be in London (which was why they required the disguise). The reason finally given was in perfect line with their father's personality, though, and he was the one who ordered them there.

Since each sibling spent most of the book in disguise, there were few traditional "romance scenes" though Anthony and Robin each got to play the hero. I loved Sir Anthony Fanshawe. He had the most awesome "start a fight without anyone realizing it was on purpose" scene. The main characters were full of personality and played off each other well so that this somewhat-serious story was still full of humorous moments.

There was no sex. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written, humorous adventure 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Fell Murder by E.C.R. Lorac

book cover
Fell Murder
by E.C.R. Lorac


ISBN-13: 9781492699590
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: January 6th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The Garths had farmed their fertile acres for generations, and fine land it was with the towering hills of the Lake Country on the far horizon. Here hot-tempered Robert Garth, still hale and hearty at eighty-two, ruled Garthmere Hall with a rod of iron. Until, that is, old Garth was found dead–'dead as mutton'–in the trampled mud of the ancient shed.

Glowering clouds gather over the dramatic dales and fells as seasoned investigator Chief Inspector Macdonald arrives in the north country. Awaiting him are the reticent Garths and their guarded neighbours of the Lune Valley; and a battle of wits to unearth their murderous secrets.

First published in 1944, Fell Murder is a tightly-paced mystery with authentic depictions of its breathtaking locales and Second World War setting. This edition also includes the rare E.C.R. Lorac short story 'The Live Wire'.


My Review:
Fell Murder is a mystery set in England that was published in 1944. The locals are turned off by the local inspector, so halfway into the story Chief Inspector Macdonald is called in to solve the difficult case. He knew how to gain the local's trust and get the clues needed to solve the mystery. This was a clue-based mystery. Whodunit was guessable, but a lot of misdirection was also worked into the case. The characters were varied and interesting. There was a fair amount of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I would recommend this interesting mystery.


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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Winter of Despair by Cora Harrison

book cover
Winter of Despair
by Cora Harrison


ISBN-13: 9780727889126
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Severn House Publishers
Released: January 7th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
November, 1853. Inspector Field has summoned his friends Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins to examine a body found in an attic studio, its throat cut. Around the body lie the lacerated fragments of canvas of a painting titled A Winter of Despair.

Wilkie realizes he recognizes the victim, for he had been due to dine with him that very evening. The dead man is Edwin Milton-Hayes, one of Wilkie's brother Charley's artist friends. But what is the significance of the strange series of faceless paintings Milton-Hayes had been worked on when he died? With his own brother under suspicion of murder, Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens set out to uncover the truth.


My Review:
Winter of Despair is a mystery set in 1854 in London. Wilkie Collins and his friend Charles Dickens investigated the murder along with a maid named Sesina. Sesina thinks that she's very clever and so created false clues for Inspector Field because she felt sorry for his chief suspect, Charlie Collins. However, all three were more interested in protecting people than in revealing the truth to the Inspector (unless finding the murderer would point to someone they didn't like). The murderer was never turned into police.

The characters were interesting and well developed. Historical details about what London was like at the time were woven into the story and played a role in the mystery. While the mystery was clue-based, some clues were hidden from the reader until the very end. There was no sex. There were a few uses of bad language. While the historical details were enjoyable, the mystery did not have a satisfying ending, in my opinion.


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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Give the Devil His Due by Sulari Gentill

book cover
Give the Devil His Due
by Sulari Gentill


ISBN-13: 9781464207013
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: January 6, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Wealthy Rowland Sinclair, an artist with leftist friends and a free-wheeling lifestyle, reluctantly agrees to a charity race. He'll drive his beloved yellow Mercedes on the Maroubra Speedway, renamed the Killer Track for the lives it has claimed. His teammates are a young Errol Flynn and the well-known driver Joan Richmond. It's all good fun. But then people start to die...

The body of a journalist covering the race is found murdered in a House of Horrors. An English blueblood with Blackshirt affiliations dies in a Maroubra crash. Reporters stalk Rowly for dirt while bookmakers are after an edge. When someone takes a shot at him-it could be anyone. Then the police arrest one of Rowly's housemates for murder.

Meanwhile, the world is giving Hitler the benefit of the doubt, the Australian right rallies against Communists, and Rowly, fond of his German car and the German people, resolves to wake his world to the mounting horror of the Nazis he has experienced firsthand. Rowland Sinclair is again hurtling toward disaster with an artist, a poet, and a brazen sculptress along for the ride...


My Review:
Give the Devil His Due is a mystery set in 1934 in Australia. This is the seventh novel in a series. You don't have to read the previous books in order to follow this one.

Besides the mystery, the story involved the dangers of a romance gone wrong and of car racing. Rowley ended up in quite bad shape between all three storylines. The mystery was a clue-based. Rowley and his friends asked questions and followed up on clues because the detective on the case felt that one of Rowley's friends was the murderer. Interesting historical details were woven into the the story. The main characters were interesting, engaging people.

There was a fair amount of bad language. There were no sex scenes. 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.