Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble

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The House at Saltwater Point
by Colleen Coble


ISBN-13: 9780718085827
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Released: July 3, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Ellie Blackmore is making a name for herself as a house flipper. But when her sister Mackenzie disappears, Ellie can’t focus on anything but uncovering what happened. Her only clue is the bloodstain on the deck of Mackenzie’s boat. Ellie knows her sister isn’t on the best of terms with her ex-husband, Jason, but he wouldn’t kill her—would he?

Coast Guard intelligence officer Grayson Bradshaw believes Mackenzie faked her own death after stealing a seized cocaine shipment. The problem is convincing Ellie.

Both Ellie and Grayson want truth, but truth—and family—is often more complex than it first appears. From international terrorism to the peaceful lavender fields of Puget Sound, The House at Saltwater Point is a thrilling race to uncover the truth before it’s too late.


My Review:
The House at Saltwater Point is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second book (and third story) in the series. While it can work as a stand-alone novel, this book continues Shauna and Zach's story--the search for her missing siblings--in addition to Ellie and Grayson's story.

Grayson had to deal with learning he's adopted at the same time he's tracking down the theft of a seized cocaine shipment and a known terrorist. He knows who took the shipment, but Ellie refuses to believe her sister could be involved. She also struggled with her guilt over her youngest sister's death when Ellie was still a child. Ellie and Grayson ended up working together to discover what happened to Ellie's sister. I cared about what happened to the main characters, and they reacted realistically to events. The suspense mainly came from knowing that Mackenzie needed immediate medical care--if she survived--and from the danger to the town that they uncovered while searching for her.

The main characters prayed a couple "God, help me" type prayers at the very end. Ellie also realized that God could heal the broken places but she hadn't let him. 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll

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Darkwater Secrets
by Robin Caroll


ISBN-13: 9781683700685
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Gilead Publishing
Released: July 17, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The Darkwater Inn stands tall and proud in the French Quarter, the hub of New Orleans. Bourbon Street is bustling, and general manager Adelaide Fountaine has her hands full with a hotel at capacity. But she is shocked when a body is found: a hotel guest stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Detective Beau Savoie, Adelaide's childhood friend, is on the case. As Beau digs into the victim's past, he unearths a shocking connection between Adelaide and the murdered guest. Beau is hurt that his friend--the woman he's quietly loved for years--kept the truth from him. To make matters worse, the stress of the investigation has sent Adelaide right into the comforting arms of her coworker Dimitri.


My Review:
Darkwater Secrets is a novel about how secret traumas affect our lives. It's not really a mystery as I easily and correctly guessed who committed the murder (and why) very shortly after the murder occurred. While the detective did follow up obvious leads and was able to get forensic results nearly instantly, the mystery was solved by the murderer confessing at 66% into the story. After that, it was simply a matter of dealing with the non-mystery relationship problems that had developed and healing from past trauma.

Gorgeous Adelaide had no desire to date (and for good reason), but both Dimitri and Beau secretly love her. It's not really a romance novel, though. I liked the characters and cared about what happened to them. However, the story had a lot of filler. For example, several conversations were basically repeated (since the good advice was rejected the first time or two). Also, the sentence structure was often poor, creating sentences that were confusing or unintentionally funny.

One main character was a Christian, while other characters practiced voodoo. There was no sex or 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.


Friday, July 13, 2018

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

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The Hope of Azure Springs
by Rachel Fordham


ISBN-13: 9780800734732
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: July 3, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won't be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He's determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn't expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.


My Review:
The Hope of Azure Springs is a Christian romance set in 1881 in Iowa. Many of the characters dealt with grief over losing loved ones. Em was separated from her sister when they rode the Orphan Train, and she has endured 7 years of poverty and loneliness. Many of the locals lost children in a sickness that swept the area. Caleb lost his brothers in the Civil War. Throughout the story, they learned from each other how to grieve and find joy again.

Caleb initially thinks Em is very plain and treats her like a sister, but he finds healing as he tries to bring joy and playfulness back into her life. The story was basically about the characters getting to know each other and learning to care about each other.

Sheriff Caleb had a deputy but did everything by himself, like search for a missing person whose life was in danger. I found that odd. I was also surprised that the sheriff kept riding off with Em in the saddle in front of him. Mainly because that's hard on the horse, but also because they were alone. Then he takes a girl he's courting out alone on a picnic with her riding in front of him. Are there no other horses in that town or public places to picnic? There were several minor things like this that didn't seem accurate to the historical period. Still, the realistic, caring characters made for an enjoyable story.

There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

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Dead Drift
by Dani Pettrey


ISBN-13: 9780764212970
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Released: July 3, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Seven years ago, operative Luke Gallagher vanished to become part of an elite team set on capturing a deadly terrorist. When Luke returns to face those he left behind, their help becomes his only hope of stopping his target's latest threat of an attack that would shake America to its core.

Private investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving or looking for Luke after he disappeared. But she also never imagined he left her or his life by choice. Now he's back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal, all while on the brink of a biological disaster. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist's next mark?


My Review:
Dead Drift is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the fourth book in a series. It's not really a stand-alone novel as main characters from the previous novels have point-of-view roles in this one and there are two cases being investigated that are a continuation from events in the previous book(s).

Two characters worked on solving the cold case of their sister/friend while the rest focused on stopping the latest threat by the terrorist who was revealed in the last book. The suspense came from trying to stop the deadly terrorist plot while avoiding assassins (as Luke and Kate are now on a hit list). Luke and Kate still cared for each other and enjoyed working together, but Kate needed to forgive Luke for disappearing on her for so many years. She has to decide if she can trust him with her heart again.

Luke struggled with some of the things he'd done in the past under orders but decided to seek forgiveness and draw closer to God. While not frequent, the characters prayed to God when they had concerns (not just "God, save us" emergency prayers). 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Blood on the Tracks by Martin Edwards

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Blood on the Tracks
by Martin Edwards


ISBN-13: 9781464209697
Paperback
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Released: July 3, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
A signalman is found dead by a railway tunnel. A man identifies his wife as a victim of murder on the underground. Two passengers mysteriously disappear between stations, leaving behind a dead body.

Trains have been a favourite setting of many crime writers, providing the mobile equivalent of the "locked-room" scenario. Their enclosed carriages with a limited number of suspects lend themselves to seemingly impossible crimes. In an era of cancellations and delays, alibis reliant upon a timely train service no longer ring true, yet the railway detective has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the twenty-first century.

Both train buffs and crime fans will delight in this selection of fifteen railway-themed mysteries, featuring some of the most popular authors of their day alongside less familiar names. This is a collection to beguile even the most wearisome commuter.


My Review:
Blood on the Tracks a collection of 15 short story mysteries published in the late 1800s up to the 1950s. Most of the stories were from the detective's point of view and were tales of old cases, cases where the detective quickly figured out whodunit but still needed to catch the criminal, or stories where the detective found clues, put them together, and solved the crime. There were two ghost stories, and a couple stories from the murderer's point of view. Not all of the stories were about murder. And trains--while always mentioned--didn't play a large role in several of the stories. There was no sex. Most stories contained no bad language, but five stories had one to five uses of bad language. Overall, I enjoyed the interesting detectives and mysteries. I'd recommend this collection.

Included stories:
The Man with the Watches by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Mystery of Felwyn Tunnel by L. T. Meade and Robert Eustace
How He Cut His Stick by Matthias McDonnell Bodkin
The Mysterious Death on the Underground Railway by Baroness Orczy
The Affair of the Corridor Express by Victor L. Whitechurch
The Case of Oscar Brodski by R. Austin Freeman
The Eighth Lamp by Roy Vickers
The Knight’s Cross Signal Problem by Ernest Bramah
The Unsolved Puzzle of the Man with No Face by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Railway Carriage by F. Tennyson Jesse
Mystery of the Slip-Coach by Sapper
The Level Crossing by Freeman Wills Crofts
The Adventure of the First-Class Carriage by Ronald Knox
Murder on the 7.16 by Michael Innes
The Coulman Handicap by Michael Gilbert


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 6, 2018

My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas by Kathleen Y'Barbo

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My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas
by Kathleen Y'Barbo


ISBN-13: 9781683225003
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Released: July 1, 2018

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
Journey now to Galveston, Texas, of 1880...

Pinkerton agent Jonah Cahill is hired by the mysterious widow to find her lost granddaughter, rumored to be living in Galveston, Texas. Though Jonah prefers to travel alone, Mrs. Smith insists that she and her companion accompany him. Madeline Latour, investigative reporter, has been acting as Mrs. Smith’s assistant for several months, and Madeline will not allow anyone—even a Pinkerton agent—to ruin the story of a lifetime. The pair forges an uneasy truce as the investigation grows dangerous. Is there a bigger story beyond a missing girl to be revealed?


My Review:
My Heart Belongs in Galveston, Texas is Christian romance and mystery set in 1880, mainly in Texas. Mrs. Smith hires a Pinkerton detective to find her missing granddaughter and insists that he work with her assistant, who happens to be an investigative reporter that he once nearly married. They have to forgive old hurts as they spend time together while investigating.

The answer to the mystery came as no surprise as I suspected that ending from the very start. However, it was interesting to watch the characters piece the story together. The main characters were interesting and likable, though Jonah did have a tendency to accuse first and think through the facts later. The historical and setting details created a backdrop to the story.

The main characters were Christians and this guided how they interacted with people--mainly, being willing to forgive and ask forgiveness. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this fun 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, July 1, 2018

Gone by Shirlee McCoy

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Gone
by Shirlee McCoy


ISBN-13: 9781335490476
Mass Market Paperback:
304 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Released: July 1, 2018

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
FBI agent Sam Sheridan’s mission is to take down a human trafficking ring and save missing teens—until he witnesses a kidnapping. Blowing his cover, Sam rescues Ella McIntire. But she’s not safe yet. While searching for the truth about her cousin’s death, Ella came too close to a dangerous secret. And now only Sam can protect her from the men determined to silence her.


My Review:
Gone is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second in a series, but it works as a standalone. There was plenty of suspense from the repeated attempts to kill the heroine. Sam is a patient, handsome hero who keeps his cool and knows how to keep Ella safe. I understand why she comes to like him.

However, she's like a deer in the headlights. When something spooked her, she panicked and acted irrationally, often dashing directly toward danger. Which made Sam's job doubly difficult. I suppose most people would act this way in real life, but I'm baffled as to why Sam is attracted to her (except her looks). At least, when not panicked, she was willing to follow directions that would keep her safe.

I was surprised that a competent, special FBI team could not anticipate what happened at the very end as I knew what was going to happen, so it felt forced to me. And not much time was spent developing the characters, so they came across as somewhat one dimensional.

The Christian element was the heroine deciding that God does have a plan even during tragic events. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, this is not my favorite novel by this author, but it was still an enjoyable fluff 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.