Sunday, August 1, 2021

Hostile Intent by Lynette Eason

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Hostile Intent
by Lynette Eason


ISBN-13: 9780800729370
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: August 3rd 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Ava Jackson entered the military shortly after high school, but her mother's illness has forced her to request an early discharge. She already lost her father while deployed, and there's no way she's going to let her mother die alone. But after a visit to the nursing facility where her mother lives, Ava is attacked walking back to her car. Fortunately, FBI Special Agent Caden Denning arrives in time to help fight off her attacker.

Caden reveals to Ava that she may hold the key to the murders of three families, and he needs her help before anyone else is harmed. The hits show a pattern, and clearly the killer has an agenda. But if Caden and Ava can't discover what it is, Ava may be next on the hit list.


My Review:
Hostile Intent is a Christian romantic suspense. This book is the fourth in a series, but it works as a standalone. Both Ava and Caden were competent and did a good job of thwarting the bad guy. The suspense came from Ava being a target as well as the need to solve the complex mystery of what was going on and who was killing people before more people died. The main characters were engaging and reacted realistically to events. Ava and Caden worked very well together and finally acknowledged an attraction that had existed for a long time. 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.


Friday, July 30, 2021

The Gunsmith's Gallantry by Susan Page Davis

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The Gunsmith's Gallantry
by Susan Page Davis


ISBN-13: 9781602607958
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books
Released: June 1st 2010

Source: Rented through Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Can the shy gunsmith and the widowed storekeeper find love when everything around them is in an uproar? Hiram Dooley has problems—women problems! His sister’s about to leave him to get married (if Sheriff Ethan Chapman ever proposes); his sister-in-law, Rose, thinks Hiram should marry her, since they’re both widowed; and the woman he truly loves, Libby Adams, is blind to his regard. The schoolmarm has a different problem—a man claiming to be her uncle came to Fergus...and then disappeared. Did her father kill him? Can the Ladies’ Shooting Club once again ride to the rescue?


My Review:
The Gunsmith's Gallantry is a humorous Christian romance (with a mystery) set in 1886 in Idaho. This is the second book in a series, but you can understand what's going on without reading the first book. The main events in the first book were not spoiled in this one. Some new men in town are causing trouble, and the town's biggest land owner is having money problems. The women of the Shooting Club work to find out what's going on and keep the town safe from the troublemakers.

The women were capable, interesting characters that supported each other despite their many differences. The light humor came from these differences, a marriage-minded widow, and other amusing situations. Libby and Hiram admired each other's character and finally felt ready to move on after grieving the death of their spouses. Hiram, Ethan, and Gert also worked together to solve the mystery, though Ethan needed some additional prompting about proposing marriage.

There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I 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.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

Missing in the Desert by Dana Mentink

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Missing in the Desert
by Dana Mentink


ISBN-13: 9781335554444
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Released: July 27th 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Who would believe that Mara Castillo's sister—missing for five years and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer's sights with her brother's best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose is after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it.


My Review:
Missing in the Desert is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second in a series, but it works as a standalone. The suspense came from repeated attacks on Mara, some more deadly than others. The people around her also got injured, increasing the suspense. Since Mara refused to stop investigating what happened to her missing sister, she agreed to allow her friends to provide protection. She says, "I'm stubborn, not stupid." Even though she did everything right, her attacker was so desperate that they kept trying anyway.

I loved the characters. Mara and Levi followed up on the clues while also trying to save Levi's ranch. Mara initially misjudged Levi's motives but changed her opinion when she saw examples of his good, caring character. Even before she admired him, she did her best to make his ranch prosper. They were a good team, especially when it came to running the ranch. She had good ideas and was willing to sacrifice her time and effort to help others. However, I found a few parts possible but not very probable, like what really happened to her sister. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable romantic suspense.


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, July 23, 2021

Traitor's Masque by Kenley Davidson

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Traitor's Masque
by Kenley Davidson


ebook: 446 pages
Publisher: Page Nine Press
Released: December 14th 2015

Source: Rented through Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
After years of submitting to her stepmother’s unreasonable demands, Trystan finally has a chance to be free. The promise of a new life, in exchange for her help. Simple, right? After all, the old woman has only asked for one night. One night, one beautiful gown, one dance...and one message to be delivered to a mysterious recipient.

It should be easy. Maybe even fun. Especially when she can slip away into the night after the dance, leaving no clue as to her identity. But before she can escape the ball, Trystan makes a shocking discovery that leaves all her hopes in ruins. She will be forced to confront two very different princes—and choose whether to betray her kingdom or her heart. If she’s lucky, maybe she’ll even survive to tell about it later.


My Review:
Traitor's Masque is a retelling of Cinderella. It started with Trystan, the misused stepdaughter, riding a horse into the forest and, unknown to her, meeting the Prince. They became friends and felt comfortable around each other, so they began to care for each other even though they know it can't develop into a romance. Some powerful merchants felt that the Prince shouldn't be the heir since he's the second born, and one of the rebels asked Trystan to help her in return for a home of her own and money, so Trystan could be independent. She initially agreed, until she realized she's just betrayed the man that she loves.

The main characters were engaging, caring, and reacted realistically to events. Trystan grew as a person as she realized how her actions affected others and learned sacrifice over self-interest. The world-building was creating a unique situation and kingdom for the story to take place in. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I recommend this enjoyable fairytale retelling.


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, July 18, 2021

Death at the Crystal Palace by Jennifer Ashley

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Death at the Crystal Palace
by Jennifer Ashley


ISBN-13: 9780593099391
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Released: July 6th 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
While attending an exhibition at the Crystal Palace, young cook Kat Holloway is approached by a woman in distress. Lady Covington is a wealthy widow convinced that her entire family is trying to kill her. It is quickly apparent that the threat is all too real, and Kat promises aid. Her charming confidant Daniel McAdam is busy infiltrating a plot against the Crown. But soon, Kat faces a more serious threat when her involvement in both investigations plunges her into peril.


My Review:
Death at the Crystal Palace is a mystery set in 1882 in England. This is the fifth book in the series. You do not need to read the previous novels to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil the mysteries of the previous books.

This story had very little investigation of the mystery. There were questions Kat could have asked to narrow down possible suspects (like who, if anyone, left the train compartment before the food was eaten), but she never did. She learned scandalous secrets, motivations, and even what the poison was, but she didn't more than superficially explore who had the opportunity. The final, critical clues weren't provided until the very end.

Instead, much of the book involved Kat "helping" her undercover boyfriend. Her one job was to prevent anyone from discovering that he wasn't who he claimed to be. Yet she told an untrustworthy con artist his true name when there was absolutely no need to. Sigh. Kat wasn't at her best in this book.

The historical details (mostly about cooking and acceptable behavior for servants) were woven into the story. There were no sex scenes. There was occasional use of use of bad language.


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, July 16, 2021

Silence in the Library by Katharine Schellman

Book cover
Silence in the Library
by Katharine Schellman


ISBN-13: 9781643857046
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Released: July 13th 2021

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Regency widow Lily Adler has just started to feel settled into her new London home when her semi-estranged father arrives, intending to stay with her while he recovers from an illness. To placate and avoid him, she takes his place in a social visit with Lady Wyatt, a woman Lily doesn't know. But when Lily arrives for her second visit, she finds the household in an uproar: Sir Charles, Lady Wyatt's much older husband and a friend of Lily's father, is dead in his library. It appears that he tripped and struck his head on the mantelpiece. But when Bow Street constable Simon Page is called to the scene, he suspects that Sir Charles was murdered.

Mr. Page was there when Lily caught her first murderer, and he trusts her insight into the world of London's upper class. With the help of Captain Jack Hartley, they piece together the reasons that Sir Charles' wife, sons, and nephew might have wanted him dead. Then Lily receives a mysterious summons to speak with one of the Wyatts' maids, only to find the young woman dead from poison when she arrives.

Mr. Page believes the surviving family members are hiding the key to Sir Charles' death, and it isn't long before Lily realizes that her father may know what it is. To uncover the truth, Lily must convince the father who doesn't trust or respect her to help catch his friend's killer before anyone else in the Wyatt household dies.


My Review:
Silence in the Library is a mystery set in 1815 in London. It's the second book in a series, but you don't need to read the first book in order to understand this one. The author didn't spoil the whodunit of the first book, either.

This was a clue-based, puzzle mystery. Lily and her friends asked questions and snooped around to discover clues. They were mostly interested in motives while Principal Officer Page was the one to confirm alibis. I guessed whodunit and why from early on in the book, and I was mostly right. I overlooked a clue (also near the beginning) that explained how it was done. The main characters were likable and reacted realistically to events. Historical details were woven into the story creating a distinct sense of time and place.

There were no sex scenes. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd 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.


Sunday, July 11, 2021

Sacrifice by K.M. Shea

Book cover
Sacrifice
by K.M. Shea


ebook: 254 pages
Released: February 2nd 2021

Source: Rented through Kindle Unlimitd.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Rakel, once feared and exiled for possessing magic, is now hailed a hero. Leading resistance forces against the Chosen—an army of magic users that invaded her homeland—she is granted everything she has longed for: acceptance, a home, and the love of her friends. But the battle for her country has just begun.

The Chosen’s powerful leader, Tenebris Malus, has come north to aid his army. His troops pillage the villages and cities they cannot hold, and Rakel’s brother—the King—refuses to rule. Most troubling of all, Rakel—who has always loved her magic—sees great similarities between herself and the deadly Tenebris. However, not all is lost as the Chosen Colonel Farrin Graydim questions his loyalties to his leader, and the attraction he holds for Rakel.

Can Rakel’s overcome her doubts and defeat Tenebris? Will Farrin choose to follow his heart or his loyalties?


My Review:
Sacrifice is the second part of this retelling of the Snow Queen fairytale. While there is a natural pause between the first and second novels, it really is one story. I recommend reading them in order. Rakel has been isolated for most of her life because people feared her magic, but those guarding her come to her for help when the country is invaded by magic users with a mercenary army. She has trouble trusting others, but through friendships and her willingness to defend her people and commitment to not killing, she's earned a loyalty of an army and a country. Now she must defeat the most powerful magic user of the invading army if they hope to have lasting peace.

The characters were engaging, had some complexity, and grew as people. I cared about what happened to them. Rakel's loyal friends helped bring out the best in her, and she helped to bring out the best in others through her forgiveness and caring attitude. The romance started as mutual respect which grew into trust and caring. They were a good team. The world-building was mostly focused on developing the magic system and how magic users were treated. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I recommend this enjoyable fantasy.


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.