Sunday, December 27, 2020

Leave No Trace by Sara Driscoll

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Leave No Trace
by Sara Driscoll


ISBN-13: 9781496722492
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Released: December 29th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
One arrow through the heart could be a tragic hunting accident. A second one, within days, looks more like a crime. That’s when Meg Jennings and Brian Foster of the FBI’s Forensic Canine Unit head to Georgia to investigate. With their dogs Hawk and Lacey, Meg and Brian are enlisted to follow the scent of a killer. At first, nothing seems to connect the two victims–a county commissioner and State Patrol officer. But the blood sport around the southern town of Blue Ridge is just beginning.

As the body count rises, the compound bow killer becomes even more elusive, appearing and vanishing like a ghost. Meg is beginning to suspect that, at its heart, a tragic event that reaches back nearly two centuries in Georgia’s history is now turning Blue Ridge into a hunting ground. But as Meg gets closer to solving the puzzle, the closer she is to stepping into the crosshairs of an elusive murderer with deadly aim, and motives as deep and dark as the woods.


My Review:
Leave No Trace is a suspense/mystery. This book is the fifth in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one. This novel did refer by name to several whodunits in the previous mysteries, though.

The main characters were likable, interesting, and reacted realistically to events. Much of the suspense came from the dangerous terrain that Meg, Brian, and their K9s had to navigate while tracking the murderer. Added to that was the danger that a highly accurate bow hunter could shoot them at any time. They also helped some with the investigation. Part way through, I wondered why they weren't even considering certain people, including one person that seemed worth investigating further to me. Later, someone pointed this out--that they are making certain assumptions that may not be true. As it turns out, I had correctly guessed whodunit, and they quickly figured it out at this point, too.

There was a fair amount of bad language. There were no sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this 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.

Friday, December 25, 2020

The Last Eligible Bachelor by Ashtyn Newbold

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The Last Eligible Bachelor
by Ashtyn Newbold


ISBN-13: 979-8662720541
ebook: 292 pages
Publisher: Three Leaf Publishing
Released: June 25th 2020

Source: Rented ebook.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Tillie Sherbrooke was born a lady, but lost her place in society by her father’s folly. Quiet, resourceful, and loyal, she now makes the perfect lady’s maid for her mistress Sophia. When Sophia's parents give her no choice but to travel across England to be matched with a mysterious young bachelor, Mr. Hill, she has no interest, especially since there are several other ladies vying for him. Who better to send in her place than Tillie? What gentleman would notice a maid, even one disguised as a lady? So when Sophia asks this favor of Tillie, or rather—threatens her into it, Tillie must rely on her past, the life of a proper lady, if she hopes to keep her position at Sedgwick Manor.

Disguised as her mistress, Tillie takes a coach across the country to a new place, one both unfamiliar and frightening. With so much at stake, she does all she can to stay quiet and invisible. But when she inadvertently catches Mr. Hill’s attention, she may also very well risk losing her heart.


My Review:
The Last Eligible Bachelor is a romance set in the Regency period. It's the third in a series, but it works as a standalone novel. Tillie's mistress didn't want to be one of several women trying to get the attentions of one bachelor, so she forced Tillie to go in her place. Tillie's initial plan was to avoid drawing Mr. Hill's attention, but a mishap foiled that idea. She then acted like her normal, imperfect self assuming that would drive him away to the beautiful, perfectly mannered women desperate for his attention. Only that intrigued him more, and he insisted on spending time with her.

The main characters were interesting and likable. Sometimes the manners didn't seem correct for the time period. I didn't understand why the hero didn't offer to take the object meant to ruin Tillie's reputation and return it but suggested that they meet together later at night to return it when being caught alone together would ruin both of their reputations. Still, I liked that the hero and heroine became friends and got to know each other in the process of falling in love. There is no sex about language. Overall, I'd recommend this fun, enjoyable book.


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, December 20, 2020

The Persian Always Meows Twice by Eileen Watkins

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The Persian Always Meows Twice
by Eileen Watkins


ISBN-13: 9781496710567
ebook: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Released: September 26th 2017

Source: Rented ebook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Professional cat grooming isn't all fluff--when the fur starts flying, Cassie McGlone, owner of Cassie's Comfy Cats, handles her feistiest four-legged clients with a caring touch and nerves of steel. While these qualities certainly help keep her business purring, they also come in handy when she makes a house call to her best client, millionaire George DeLeuw, and discovers his murdered body next to his newly orphaned Persian, Harpo.

To help the local police find the actual killer, Cassie begins her own investigation. But no one, from George's housekeeper to his vindictive ex-wife, is giving up clues. Not until Cassie is given permission to temporarily board Harpo does anyone show interest in the Persian's wellbeing. Someone is desperate to get their paws on Harpo before the feline helps untangle a felony. Are there deadly truths that Cassie can coax out? She needs to tread lightly and remember she gets one life, not nine....


My Review:
The Persian Always Meows Twice is a cozy mystery. The main character was a nice person who cared about others and about animals. She discovered the body and got involved because she was concerned about the dead man's cat being neglected. Once she arranged to board the cat, everyone suddenly seemed interested in getting the cat. She tried to discover why and turned in any evidence that she found to the police. She was not trying to figure out whodunit so much as why people wanted the cat. However, whodunit did come after the cat in the end (thus solving the case). Happily, Cassie did a good job of defending herself and the cats throughout the story.

There were no sex scenes. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable cat-related 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, December 18, 2020

My Wild Heart by Martha Keyes

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My Wild Heart
by Martha Keyes


ISBN-13: 979-8652384050
ebook: 240 pages
Released: June 14th 2020

Source: Rented ebook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
No one stands in doubt of Edith Donne's opinion on marriage—or of her ability to ward it off using nothing but her stinging wit. With the fortune her aunt has left her, Edith has no reason to marry and certainly no intention of it. When she inadvertently overhears that her lifelong archrival is in love with her, she is stunned, but she has no compunction in setting him straight.

Elias Abram trusts no woman, but he can bandy words with the best of them—and Edith Donne is undoubtedly the best. Her razor-sharp tongue has been a constant companion and a welcome challenge since their prank-filled childhood days. But when Elias is given to believe that Edith is secretly in love with him, his world is flipped on its head, forcing him to reconsider everything he thought he knew.

Soon realizing they have been duped by their conspiring friends, Edith and Elias resolve to turn the tables on them in the most shocking manner they can concoct—the ultimate revenge. But what's to be done when the lines between charade and reality begin to blur?

My Wild Heart is a sweet Regency romance inspired by Shakespeare's classic Much Ado About Nothing.


My Review:
My Wild Heart is a romance set in Regency England. It was inspired by a romance in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Both of the main characters are disillusioned about marriage and determined not to marry. They enjoy battles of wits with each other – mainly exchanging insults. When their friends trick them into thinking that the other is secretly in love with them, it doesn't take long for them to discover the trick. Edith's determined to turn the tables and have the last laugh, but everything seems to go wrong, putting Edith's reputation in jeopardy. Along the way, Edith and Elias see a different side of the other – things they admire and respect.

The main characters had some depth and reacted realistically to events based on their character. However, the story and the characters didn't really remind me of the Shakespeare play. The author slowly changed the exchange of insults to more supportive dialogue, and the hero did the one thing that could prove his newfound love. However, I still wasn't completely convinced they were the best match even though Elias admired her wit and spirit. They knew each other since childhood, but it's difficult pulling off the change from disdain to love and admiration within about a week's period. Still, it was an enjoyable story.

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


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Storm Rising by Sara Driscoll

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Storm Rising
by Sara Driscoll


ISBN-13: 9781496704450
ebook: 295 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Released: November 27th 2018

Source: Rented ebook.

Book Description from Goodreads:
In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Special Agent Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk--invaluable members of the FBI's Human Scent Evidence Team--have been deployed to Virginia Beach. They have their work cut out for them. Amid graveyards of debris, and the buried cries for help, the search and rescue operation begins. The most alarming discovery is yet to come--a teenage girl hiding in the Great Dismal Swamp. Shaken by the storm, she has reason to be scared. But this young survivor is terrified of so much more.

Her name is Emma--a disheveled runaway lost to the sordid underbelly of a Virginia sex-trafficking ring. Its leader has disappeared in the chaos--along with other victims. With so much evidence, and so many witnesses, seemingly washed away, Meg joins forces with Special Agent Walter Van Cleave to ensure no further harm comes to their vulnerable charge. They soon discover that this is no small-time localized syndicate. Its branches are rooted in some of the most influential powers in Virginia. Now as Meg's investigation digs deeper, she's making some very dangerous enemies. And one by one, they're coming out of the storm to stop her.


My Review:
Storm Rising is a suspense/mystery. This book is the third in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one. The characters were engaging, complex, and reacted realistically to events. Meg and her K9 partner worked to find flood victims and then track down two victims of sex trafficking who escaped after an accident. After that, the dog didn't do much tracking but Meg helped with the investigation. At the beginning, the suspense came from the danger to everyone due to the storm damage. In the second half, the suspense was trying to track down and stop the human trafficking ring before they hurt anyone else.

There was a fair amount bad language. There were no descriptive sex scenes. Overall, I'd recommend this 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.

Friday, December 11, 2020

True of Heart by Martha Keyes

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True of Heart
by Martha Keyes


ISBN-13: 979-8670606516
ebook: 332 pages
Released: September 15th 2020

Source: Rented ebook.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Miss Ruth Hawthorn helps support her fatherless family the only way she can: doling out love advice in a local newspaper column under an assumed name, The Swan. When she receives a lucrative request for an in-person consultation from someone signed "O," her brother persuades her to go to London with him, teaching him what he needs to know in order to survive the short appointment. But when "O" moves up the time of the rendez-vous and Ruth's brother is nowhere to be found, she is forced to take matters into her own hands.

Philip Trent, Lord Oxley, knows precisely which woman will best fill his late mother's shoes as the viscountess—now all he needs is a little help winning her over, swarmed as she is by suitors. Ashamed of his ineptitude with women but determined to succeed, Philip secretly enlists help. The youthful, bespectacled Swan seems like the last person capable of providing such help, but Philip finds in the young man both a friend and a confidant, with a surprising understanding of love.

Philip's choice of woman is proving more difficult than anticipated, though, and Ruth's ongoing disguise and frequent meetings with him are taxing her conscience—and her heart. With more secrets than Ruth can manage and a heart long since lost to her most important client, she faces the threat of discovery and ruin—a prospect somehow eclipsed by the heartbreak she will face when those secrets are inevitably discovered by the man she loves. True of Heart is a sweet Regency retelling of Shakespeare's classic, Twelfth Night.


My Review:
True of Heart is a Regency romance inspired by the Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." I honestly wasn't sure how the author was going to pull off a man falling in love with a woman that he thinks is a man, but this was very well written and it worked for me. Ruth is forced to pretend to be a man to tutor Philip (who's very nervous around women) on how to win a highly desirable marriage match. Philip's comfortable around her and becomes good friends with her, so he's shocked to later find that she's a woman. He then begins to question if he's been looking for the wrong things in marriage.

The main characters were engaging, complex, and reacted realistically to events. I loved how the friendship and respect grew between Ruth and Philip and then developed into love. The historical details were woven into the story to give it a very Regency feel. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this well-written, humorous 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, December 6, 2020

The Fateful Marriage by Elizabeth Bailey

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The Fateful Marriage
by Elizabeth Bailey


ISBN-13: 978-1913518295
ebook: 353 pages
Publisher: Sapere Books
Released: March 23rd 2020

Source: Rented ebook.

Book Description from Goodreads:
1791, England. Lady Ottilia and Lord Francis Fanshawe are holidaying in Tunbridge Wells when they stumble across the scene of a horrific accident. While visiting the High Rocks, a local tourist spot, a young woman falls to her death from the top of the climb. It soon becomes clear that the woman is linked to the infamous Dowager Viscountess Lady Wem – an indomitable matriarch visiting Tunbridge with her extended family. The young woman was at the centre of a scandal – Lady Wem’s grandson, Daniel, eloped with her three years prior.

As Lady Fan is introduced to the family her suspicions are aroused. Was the fall a devastating mishap? Or could the woman have been pushed? Lady Fan must unravel dark family secrets in her quest for the truth…


My Review:
The Fateful Marriage is a mystery set in 1791. This novel is the 6th in the series, but you don't need to read the previous novels to understand this one. This story didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous books.

This was a clue-based mystery. Since the witnesses were also potential suspects and were being bullied by other members of their extended family, there was some difficulty discovering what happened. Lady Fan asked plenty of questions and used her observational skills, but she also got help from her husband and niece. I spotted the critical clue at the same time that Lady Fan did.

The characters were interesting, and I cared about what happened to them. Historical details were woven into the story to create the feeling of a specific time and place. There was a couple of uses of bad language. There were no sex scenes. 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.


Friday, December 4, 2020

Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers by Tessa Arlen

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Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers
by Tessa Arlen


ISBN-13: 9781984805829
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Released: December 1st 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain.

Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work and they investigate.


My Review:
Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers is a mystery set in October 1942 in England. This is the second book in the series. You don't need to read the previous novel to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil whodunit from the previous book.

The mystery was clue-based. Poppy immediately suspected poison and kept looking for some exotic poison, never considering some very simple alternatives. At least Griff had some sensible alternative suggestions (and a secret investigation of his own). However, it seemed like most of the story was learning the various backgrounds of the Attagirls and learning about what they did. Which fit as part of the investigation and filming project, but it meant that there weren't that many clues to the actual mystery. It wasn't difficult to solve once Poppy remembered a certain clue, but there was no proof. I enjoyed the story until the end, when Poppy set up a person they think will be the next target so she's in a situation where she might be murdered, but they give her no warning nor do they try to protect her. It's not even clear why they think this will flush out the murderer. Then a simple whodunit suddenly got complex as she and Griff accused multiple people of multiple crimes, some of which happened years in the past and sometimes with little proof. It didn't leave me feeling very satisfied.

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


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, November 29, 2020

The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

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The Sheriff's Surrender
by Susan Page Davis


ISBN-13: 978-1602605626
Kindle: 323 pages
Publisher: Tea Tin Press
Released: December 18th 2016

Source: Free ebook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Gert Dooley can shoot the tail feathers off a jay at a hundred yards, but she wants rancher Ethan Chapman to see she’s more than a crack shot with a firearm. When the sheriff of Fergus, Idaho is murdered, Ethan is named his replacement. The women in town are scared to think a murderer is loose among them, so Gert forms the Ladies' Shooting Club to teach them how to protect themselves, their homes, and their families.

Ethan didn’t ask to be named sheriff, but he accepts the position and takes on the investigation of the former lawman’s mysterious death. Now he’s between a rock and a hard place—being pressured by the town’s women to restore order and safety to Fergus, and being pressured by the men who insist Ethan disband the upstart Ladies’ Shooting Club. Another murder sends Ethan to Gert and her ladies for help in the investigation. But will the Ladies’ Shooting Club unmask the murderer before he strikes again?


My Review:
The Sheriff's Surrender is a humorous Christian romance (with the mystery) set in 1885 in Idaho. Ethan and his friend tried to solve a murder even though they had no training and only a few clues. The women of the town went to Gert to learn how to shoot to protect themselves, which some of the men don't like. Ethan faced pressure from these men to stop the gun practice but the women pressured him to allow them to help patrol the town until the murderer was caught. These women were capable, interesting characters that started to bond despite their many differences. The light humor came from these differences and amusing situations. Ethan and Gert admired each other's character and worked well together.

My only problem with the story is that some things were left unresolved. Gert figured out whodunit (which is eventually guessable from the clues) and several women were involved in the showdown. We're not told exactly who did what in the critical moments. Even though there were witnesses, two women remained in jail at the end, one of whom claimed to have helped. I don't understand why this was left unclear and unresolved. There was no sex about 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.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Bound in Shallows by Stephanie Black

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Bound in Shallows
by Stephanie Black


ISBN-13: 9781524415242
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Released: November 2nd 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
It’s the week before her wedding, and Natalie Marsh doesn’t have a moment to spare. But when a potential donor requests a meeting regarding Natalie’s mental health clinic, the soon-to-be-bride makes time for the conversation—especially since that donor is tied to a tragedy in the life of Natalie’s fiancĂ©, Gideon: eight years ago, Gideon’s roommate Travis died of a drug overdose. Now Travis’s mother wants to honor his memory by helping others avoid the same fate. It is a noble request that soon turns into a nightmare.

As wedding celebrations ensue, old friends renew acquaintances. But what begins as a party of wedding guests becomes a cast of suspects when the discovery of a bloodstained knife puts them all under the spotlight. Things are taking a deadly turn, leading Natalie and Gideon to a horrifying realization: all those years ago, Travis didn’t overdose—he was murdered. And his killer is willing to take deadly action to silence anyone who suspects the truth.


My Review:
Bound in Shallows is a suspense/mystery novel. This book is the fourth in a series, but it works as a standalone. Not only does Natalie have to deal with solving a murder while preparing for her wedding, but a potential donor threatens to drastically change her clinic or get Natalie fired if she refuses to cooperate. Talk about stress!

Natalie and Gideon were kind, honest, engaging characters, and I cared about what happened to them. They asked good questions and passed on any clues or information to the police even when that information might make them look guilty. There were enough clues that I was able to guess whodunit, but it was also possible that a second character could have done it so I wasn't sure until nearly the end.

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

Sunday, November 22, 2020

A Lady Compromised by Darcie Wilde

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A Lady Compromised
by Darcie Wilde


ISBN-13: 9781496720870
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Released: November 24th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Rosalind is pleased when she's invited to Cassel House to help her friend, Louisa, prepare for her upcoming wedding. But that's not the only event on her agenda. The trip will also afford Rosalind the chance to see Devon Winterbourne, the newly minted Duke of Casselmaine. Devon and Rosalind were on the verge of betrothal before the infamous Thorne family scandal derailed their courtship. Now Rosalind wonders if there's a chance their love might reignite.

Devon is as handsome as Rosalind remembers and it's clear the attraction they once shared hasn't waned. But their time together is interrupted by one crisis after another--not the least of which is an awkwardly timed request for help from Louisa's friend, Helen Corbyn.

Not long ago, the untimely death of Helen's brother, William, was ruled a suicide, but few people truly believe he took his own life. Helen needs to know what really happened--especially since she's engaged to the man some suspect of secretly killing William.

While Rosalind desperately wants to help, she fears her efforts might cast a pall over Louisa's nuptials, not to mention her reunion with Devon. But when another untimely death rocks the ton, Rosalind has no choice but to uncover the truth before more people die...even if her actions threaten her future with Devon.


My Review:
A Lady Compromised is a mystery set in 1817 in England. Though, this book was as much about deciding on her future and the focus of her romantic interest as it was on solving the mystery. This is the fourth book in the series. You don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this one didn't spoil the previous mysteries.

This was a clue-based puzzle mystery. Rosalind (and those helping her) asked good questions and collected information. Rosalind was clever, but it took a bit to get those who knew important information to disclose it. Whodunit was guessable but not obvious. The characters were interesting and reacted realistically to events. The historical details were usually woven into the story. The author clearly researched the manners and etiquette of the time, and she gave an info dump about table manners at one point (which was interesting to me but wasn't really necessary to the story).

There was no sex. There was occasional use of 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.


Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Friday, November 20, 2020

To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano

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To Steal a Heart
by Jen Turano


ISBN-13: 9780764235313
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: November 17th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
After a childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she'd put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. In the middle of breaking into a safe that may hold the proof to prove her friend's innocence, Gabriella is interrupted by Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend—until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agreed to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he'd be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.


My Review:
To Steal a Heart is a romantic comedy set in 1886 in New York City. The characters got into silly situations, mainly involving Gabriella and her friends from the boardinghouse wearing disguises or otherwise doing unusual activities while investigating various cases. Nicholas had taken on too many of the values of the high-class social circle he now moved in, and Gabriella reminded him about how other people lived and that they had value. Nicholas became a better person due to Gabriella's influence. They supported each other and others who faced injustice. They made a good team. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this humorous 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, November 15, 2020

The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas

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The Right Kind of Fool
by Sarah Loudin Thomas


ISBN-13: 9780764234019
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: November 3rd 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river, he unexpectedly finds a dead body. The ripples caused by his discovery will impact the town of Beverly, West Virginia, in ways no one could have imagined.

The first person those ripples disturb is Loyal's absentee father. When Creed Raines realized his infant son was deaf, he headed for the hills, only doing his part to help meet his family's basic needs. But when Loyal, now a young teen, stumbles upon a murder it's his father he runs to tell--shaping the words with his hands. As Creed is pulled into the investigation he discovers that what sets his son apart isn't his inability to hear but rather his courage. Longing to reclaim the life he abandoned, Creed will have to do more than help solve a murder if he wants to win his family's hearts again.


My Review:
The Right Kind of Fool is historical fiction set in 1934 in West Virginia. A mystery motivated the events and was the focus of the story, but the point of the story was how the family came to appreciate each other and united once again. Loyal's father was asked to help the sheriff solve the crime. Loyal didn't see the actual murder but saw enough that he knew critical clues. Two other kids were involved, including one who's at ease interacting with him even though he's deaf. The adults didn't initially realize that Loyal had useful information, and later Loyal wanted to solve the mystery by himself to prove that he didn't need to be isolated and protected. The father (and mother) and the kids made some bad decisions for good reasons, and they had to work through the consequences of those actions. They learned and grew from it, becoming better people.

The main characters were complex, realistic people. The mystery was interesting and based on some historical things that were happening at the time. The historical details were woven into the story and brought the time period to life in my imagination. There were no sex scenes or bad language. Overall, I highly recommend this well-written historical fiction.


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, November 13, 2020

Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March

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Murder in Old Bombay
by Nev March


ISBN-13: 9781250269546
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Released: November 10th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lies in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier, with little to do but re-read the tales of his idol, Sherlock Holmes, and browse the daily papers. The case that catches Captain Jim's attention is being called the crime of the century: Two women fell from the busy university’s clock tower in broad daylight. Moved by Adi, the widower of one of the victims — his certainty that his wife and sister did not commit suicide — Captain Jim approaches the Parsee family and is hired to investigate what happened that terrible afternoon.

But in a land of divided loyalties, asking questions is dangerous. Captain Jim's investigation disturbs the shadows that seem to follow the Framji family and triggers an ominous chain of events. And when lively Lady Diana Framji joins the hunt for her sisters’ attackers, Captain Jim’s heart isn’t safe, either.

Based on a true story, and set against the vibrant backdrop of colonial India, Nev March's Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning lyrical debut, Murder in Old Bombay, brings this tumultuous historical age to life.


My Review:
Murder in Old Bombay is a mystery set in 1892 in India. The story started out with Jim carefully collecting and analyzing the evidence and asking questions of the various suspects. He was trying to follow the methods of his literary hero, Sherlock Holmes. But some of his witnesses were now in areas involved in fighting or were otherwise difficult to get to. The story turned into a suspense as Jim headed into danger using his wits and talent for disguise to save not just himself but others as well. Throughout the story, Jim was interested in the sister of his employer, an intelligent, beautiful, and bold young woman. She becomes his friend as much as his employer and the rest of the family, but their romance is forbidden due to their ethnic and religious differences. The story ended with their trying to figure out if they could marry without dire consequences to themselves and her family.

Due to the danger stirred up by Jim asking questions as well as the politics of the time, there was plenty of suspense as Jim narrowly avoided death again and again. The historical and cultural details were deftly woven into the story without slowing the pacing and brought the story to life in my imagination. The mystery was clue-based. Jim asked good questions and was clever in how he collected his evidence. The characters were engaging, complex, and reacted realistically to events. I cared about what happened to them. There was no sex. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting, engaging 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.


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Joy to the World by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, Erica Vetsch

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Joy to the World
by Carolyn Miller,
Amanda Barratt,
Erica Vetsch


ISBN-13: 9780825477195
ebook: 336 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Released: October 13, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
In Joy to the World, three popular romance authors come together to offer a heartwarming collection of holiday Regency romance. Based on lines from a beloved Christmas carol, these three novellas have depth, faith, and satisfying stories.

"Heaven and Nature Sing" by Carolyn Miller
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. Can they ever overcome their fears to find their way back into each other's arms?

"Far as the Curse Is Found" by Amanda Barratt
One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleonic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?

"Wonders of His Love" by Erica Vetsch
A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he'd fall in love with the beautify but timid widow there.


My Review:
Joy to the World is a collection of three short story romances set in the Regency period. The main characters were all likable people. In the first story, a couple that wanted to be married now had a second chance at love. The heroine had to overcome her shame about hurting the man she loved when she rejected his marriage offer and find the courage to acknowledge that she still loves him. In the second and third story, the hero and heroine saw the beauty and good character of the other and built each other up. In the second story, two hurting people reached out and helped each other even though society rejected them. The heroine explained how she could still believe in God after everything bad that had happened, and this helped the hero break through the darkness in his life. In the third story, the heroine needed to break free from the stifling control of her mother-in-law. The kind, confident hero showed his interest in her life and opinions, which helped her find the courage to pursue the life she wanted. In each story, characters looked to God for guidance and comfort. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I recommend this enjoyable collection.


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, November 8, 2020

Fatal Identity by Jodie Bailey

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Fatal Identity
by Jodie Bailey


ISBN-13: 9781335403179
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Released: November 10th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
At her partner’s Christmas wedding in the mountains, deputy US marshal Dana Santiago’s almost abducted—and only the quick actions of Alex “Rich” Richardson save her. Now Dana and Rich must work together to figure out why the kidnappers seem willing to go to any lengths to capture her. But to find the truth they must first dig up her family’s long-buried past…


My Review:
Fatal Identity is a Christian romantic suspense novel. Though a part of the series, it can be read as a standalone. The main characters were likable and capable, and they reacted realistically to events. The suspense came from constant attacks on Dana, and she's not sure why she's a target. She's also worried about losing her job because of a connection that she did not know about that she has to two serious criminals.

She's married to her job, and Rich lived in a different city. Rich also blamed himself for not being good enough to save his fiancée when she was targeted because of him, so he struggled with Dana putting herself in danger even though she was capable agent. She was willing to have someone watch her back, but she wasn't going to avoid danger if it meant getting answers and bringing down the bad guys. Though they're attracted and worked well together, the question all along was if they were willing to make changes to be married to each other. So it kind of worked that they got married immediately upon resolving these issues.

They both struggled with trusting that God had planned everything, was in control, and could use bad things to good purposes. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I recommend this enjoyable suspense 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, November 6, 2020

The Escape by Lisa Harris

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The Escape
by Lisa Harris


ISBN-13: 9780800737306
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: November 3rd 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are thrust into a high-profile case when they are called on to transport two prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest.

When Madison and Jonas regain consciousness, they find both pilots and one prisoner dead--and one fugitive on the run. They'll have to negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry to the big cities while tracking a murderer who is desperate to disappear--and will do anything to stop them.


My Review:
The Escape is a romantic suspense novel. Due to the physical danger to the main characters and bystanders as well as the race to catch the fugitive in time, there was a great deal of suspense. Madison and Jonas worked well together as a team and appreciated the other persons' strengths and talents. They were just beginning to be romantically attracted in this book, despite Madison's lingering grief for her dead husband and Jonas' conviction that he shouldn't date a coworker. The story ended with a cliffhanger of sorts relating to the murder of Madison's husband.

My main problem was that the characters didn't feel realistic, or at least relatable. They went through a scary plane crash, but they weren't nervous about flying on a plane...and they do so several times in their pursuit of the fugitive. No one even thought about the possibility of fear about getting on another plane. They were injured in the plane crash, but those injuries disappeared very quickly. No one suggested that maybe they should go to the hospital to be checked out or allow someone else to take over the fugitive hunt. They did something that they knew was probably unwise at the beginning of the story and it made the situation much worse, but neither one questioned if they were making good decisions because of this; they promptly forgave themselves and moved on.

Though by Christian publisher, the only Christian content was a couple references to "she prayed" (that it would work, for example). 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.


Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Delayed Justice by Shirlee McCoy

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Delayed Justice
by Shirlee McCoy


ISBN-13: 9781335574701
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Released: November 10th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Detective Bradley McGregor and his K-9 partner, King, come to the rescue when journalist Sasha Eastman’s targeted by a shooter who looks just like her mother’s murderer. But that killer supposedly died years ago in a shootout with the police. Now it’s up to Bradley and King to protect Sasha…but how can they stop a killer who’s already dead?


My Review:
Delayed Justice is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the eighth book in a series, but each novel can be read as a stand alone. Sasha's shot at by a man who looks just like the man who murdered her mother. Only, he's dead. The shooter's also bold: he shot at her right in front of Detective Bradley, a man that she wanted to interview for her TV show. Bradley's concerned that she'll use this opportunity to get the personal details about his difficult past, but she clearly needs his and his K-9's protection.

The main characters worked hard to overcome difficult pasts. They were likable and reacted realistically to events. The suspense came from the repeated attempts to kill Sasha and their need to figure out who the attacker was and why he wanted to kill her. After wrapping up that case, Sasha used her investigative skills to help wrap up the ongoing murder investigation involving a recent murder that mirrored the murder of Bradley's parents.

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


Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser

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The Promised Land
by Elizabeth Musser


ISBN-13: 9780764234453
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: November 3, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
With her oldest son taking a gap year in Europe, her aging father losing his sight and his memory, and her husband of twenty years announcing that he's leaving her, Abbie Bartholomew Jowett is surrounded by overwhelming loss.

Desperate to mend her marriage and herself, she follows her son, Bobby, to walk the famed Camino pilgrimage. During their journey they encounter Rasa, an Iranian woman working in secret helping other refugees, and Caroline, a journalist who is studying pilgrims on the Camino while searching for answers from her broken past.

Each individual has their own reasons for the pilgrimage, but together they learn that the Camino strips you bare and calls you into deep soul-searching that can threaten all your best laid plans.


My Review:
The Promised Land is Christian general fiction. The story was told from several viewpoints, and we switched between these viewpoints. Each character was well-developed, complex, and came across as a real person struggling with real problems. They reacted very realistically to events, and I cared about what happened to them. Abbie was afraid of losing the people she loved to an accident or disease, and she expressed her fear by using her talent for organization to control every aspect of her family's lives. Suddenly, she had to deal with her son going on a pilgrimage in Europe, her husband saying that he needed some space from her for a few months, and worries about her father's health. She ended up inviting herself along on her son's pilgrimage to chaperone his sudden romance. The pilgrimage helped her work through why she was so controlling and to regain healthy relationships.

Bobby had a history of reaching out to hurting people, and he tragically lost a previous girlfriend. His family expressed concerned when he decided to date someone that he just met: an Iranian refugee with a tragic past of her own. He had to deal with this past loss while also helping his girlfriend deal with her past as they walked the pilgrimage road. Finally, Caroline blamed herself for what happened to a close friend, though there was nothing she could actually have done to save her friend. She's spent years trying to discover what happened to her missing friend, only to discover that a fellow pilgrim has the answers.

All of the main characters had to reach out to God to find healing as they could not change themselves or their circumstances on their own. There was no sex or bad language beyond several uses of the word cr*p. Overall, I'd highly recommend this touching, interesting 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, October 30, 2020

The Princess Search by Melanie Cellier

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The Princess Search
by Melanie Cellier


ISBN-13: 978-0648305132
Kindle: 308 pages
Publisher: Luminant Publications
Released: May 11th 2018

Source: Rented through Kindle Unlimited.

Book Description from Goodreads:
After a lifetime of rejection, seamstress Evie can't trust Frederic, the crown prince of Lanover—not his words of friendship or the way the warmth in his eyes seems to ask for even more. But when they end up on a tour of his kingdom—one filled with increasing danger—Evie's mistrust might doom them all.

In this spin on the classic fairy tale, an ugly duckling must discover her true worth in order to save her kingdom and maybe even find true love.


My Review:
The Princess Search is a young adult fantasy novel with a romance. Though the fifth in the series, this works as a standalone novel. Evie has been rejected time after time, but she has finally found success as a seamstress in the capital. When Frederick goes on a tour of his diverse kingdom (and takes Evie along to help make sure his clothes reflect the local cultures), it soon becomes obvious that someone is trying to turn the people against their future king. Evie fears that she will encounter people that rejected her since they're visiting places she has lived in the past, but she slowly comes to realize that the experiences that she's had uniquely equipped her to save the kingdom from the secret plot.

The main characters were interesting, engaging, and they reacted realistically to events. Evie and Frederic worked together to save the kingdom, building their trust and friendship in addition to their physical attraction. Evie grew in maturity and healed from past hurts as the story progressed. The world-building was light, mainly a medieval feel but with curses and godmother magic items. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this fantasy to fans of fairytales and heroic 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.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott

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Nothing Short of Wondrous
by Regina Scott


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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


Friday, October 2, 2020

A Hopeful Christmas by Anneka Walker, Sian Ann Bessey, Carla Kelly, Krista Lynn Jensen

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A Hopeful Christmas
by Anneka Walker,
Sian Ann Bessey,
Carla Kelly,
Krista Lynn Jensen


ISBN-13: 9781524413620
Paperback: 374 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Released: October 1, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Kindle the spirit of the season as four of your favorite storytellers weave tales of love and hope in this charming yuletide collection.

LORD BLAKELY’S GIFT
When Miss Ivy Hunt and Lord Curtis Blakely establish a secret acquaintance, neither can deny that their feelings extend beyond friendship. But as the children of feuding parents, it will take a Christmas miracle for this star-crossed pair to reach their happily ever after.

A SEASON OF HOPE
Following the death of her father, Amelia knows Christmas will be lean. But when circumstances become dire, it is the unexpected arrival of a childhood friend that renews Amelia’s hope—both for the future and for love.

CHRISTMAS BY THE SEA
After two years at sea with the Royal Navy, surgeon Will Crenshaw longs for a quiet Christmas with his family. When the unexpected meddling of his siblings threatens to ruin the holidays, a mysterious house sitter decides to reward the kindness that they have shown to others.

EXPECTATIONS AT CANTERWOOD
Marina Rowley is a spinster, Richard Stanhope a war-weary military man. Both have battle scars from their past, but the unexpected stirrings of their hearts lead to an unforgettable holiday romance.


My Review:
A Hopeful Christmas is a collection of four short romance stories set in the Regency Period. The first story had two new acquaintances meeting, spending time together in a charitable cause, and finding a way to bring forgiveness between the two, feuding families. The second story had a good childhood friend return from abroad just in time to help the heroine and start healing his relationship with his father. The third story had a married man returning home after a long time in the Navy during war and doing his best to set things right after his meddling siblings try to thwart his wife's dreams of a new, larger home. The fourth story had a heroine who felt pressured to marry yet was repeatedly rejected due to her spectacles and low self-esteem, but the hero saw her beauty and trustworthiness.

These were all sweet romances with engaging characters. Despite being short stories, they all had either past friendship or time spent together to build the romance. The couples built each other up and supported each other. Some historical details, like the war in France, were worked into the stories. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable short story collection.


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.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Christmas Carol Murder by Heather Redmond

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A Christmas Carol Murder
by Heather Redmond


ISBN-13: 9781496717177
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington
Released: Sept. 29, 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
London, December 1835: Charles and Kate are out with friends and family for a chilly night of caroling and good cheer. But their blood truly runs cold when their singing is interrupted by a body plummeting from an upper window of a house. They soon learn the dead man at their feet, his neck strangely wrapped in chains, is Jacob Harley, the business partner of the resident of the house, an unpleasant codger who owns a counting house, one Emmanuel Screws.

Ever the journalist, Charles dedicates himself to discovering who's behind the diabolical defenestration. But before he can investigate further, Harley's corpse is stolen. Following that, Charles is visited in his quarters by what appears to be Harley's ghost—or is it merely Charles’s overwrought imagination? He continues to suspect Emmanuel, the same penurious penny pincher who denied his father a loan years ago, but Kate insists the old man is too weak to heave a body out a window. Their mutual affection and admiration can accommodate a difference of opinion, but matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of an infant orphan. Charles must find the child a home while solving a murder, to ensure that the next one in chains is the guilty party...


My Review:
A Christmas Carol Murder is a mystery set in 1835 in England. It's the third in a series. You don't need to read the previous book to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil the previous mysteries. Vivid historical and setting details were woven into the story, making it feel like these events could really have happened. The author tried to stay true to what is known about Charles Dickens' career and lifestyle in his early twenties. The main characters were interesting and acted realistically. I cared about what happened to them. Charles asked questions and otherwise investigated, but the other characters were otherwise occupied. Kate hardly played a role in this one. Charles was busy trying to prove that he was not the father of an illegitimate son, save the mudlarks from a bad situation, and juggle all of the jobs he had to do, so I suppose it's not surprising that he took a while to catch on to what I guessed near the beginning. However, the exact details weren't guessable until the confession (especially as even the murderer wasn't sure how Harley managed fall out the window). There were a couple uses of bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting historical mystery. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.


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, September 27, 2020

Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker

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Otherwise Engaged
by Joanna Barker


ISBN-13: 9781524413705
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Released: October 1st 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
She’s never been afraid of breaking the rules—until she risks breaking her heart. Constantly stifled by the rules of Society, spirited Rebecca Rowley enjoys finding ways to quietly—or not so quietly—rebel. But riding bareback and avoiding nosy neighbors are nothing compared to the thrilling secret she is keeping from her family.

When Rebecca’s quick thinking saves the life of a young girl, she unwittingly attracts the attention of the child’s dashing brother, Lieutenant Nicholas Avery. As that attention turns flirtatious, Rebecca is forced to tell him the truth: she is secretly engaged—to the one man her family would never approve of. Fortunately, Lieutenant Avery is a navy man with no wish to marry, or so they both assume as they enter into a friendship.

Rebecca hopes to change her family’s mind about her betrothed, but the more she comes to know the handsome lieutenant, the more she wonders if she promised her hand too hastily. Rebecca must force her heart to decide. Should she stay true to the promise she made or fight for the future she’s only just begun to imagine?


My Review:
Otherwise Engaged is a romance set in 1822 in England. Rebecca has entered into a thrilling secret engagement with a charming, handsome man that she barely knows. She does know that her family would never approve because of a long-standing feud between their dead fathers. She's certain that she can get her mother's approval if only she can discover the reason behind the feud, but that turns out to be more difficult than she expected. When she meets Nicholas while out secretly bareback riding and he willingly keeps her secret and even admires her skill, she begins to question whether her betrothed will be so supportive of her unusual interests.

The characters were engaging, likable, and reacted realistically to events. Rebecca wasn't self-centered; she simply longed for more adventure than social custom (and her protective brother) allowed. I liked how Rebecca and Nicholas became best friends that supported and built each other up, and that this was the foundation of their growing attraction. When conflict occurred, both were quick to ask for forgiveness and see where they were at fault. And they could laugh and joke together. Both grew in maturity and character throughout the story. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this very 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, September 25, 2020

Revenge in Rubies by A. M. Stuart

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Revenge in Rubies
by A. M. Stuart


ISBN-13: 9781984802668
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Released: September 15th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
1910 Singapore. Harriet Gordon has found fulfillment at last. Her young ward, Will, has settled into his new home with Harriet and her brother, Julian. And Harriet’s employment as a typist at the Straits Settlements Police Force has given her an intriguing way to occupy her time and some much-needed financial independence. But when her friend and employer, Inspector Robert Curran, is called to the scene of a brutal murder and Harriet is asked to comfort the victim’s family, her newfound sense of contentment is abruptly shattered.

Sylvie Nolan, the new and much-younger wife of Lieutenant Colonel John Nolan, has been bludgeoned to death in her bedroom. The tightly knit military community in Singapore quickly tries to close ranks to hinder Curran’s investigation. Harriet has ties to the Nolan family and realizes that her friendship with the colonel’s sister might prove useful to Curran’s efforts to find the culprit. But to get close enough to the family’s secrets, Harriet must once again face her painful past and Curran is forced to dredge up some long-buried secrets of his own.


My Review:
Revenge in Rubies is a mystery set in August 1910 in Singapore. This book is the second book in a series, but you don't need to read the first one to follow this story and this story didn't spoil the previous mystery.

The detective asked good questions, looked carefully for evidence, and was able to connect the clues well. Harriet was friends with many of the suspects, so she was able to gather some information for him that the detective couldn't get. She's also observant and intelligent. There were enough people who had both motive and opportunity that I wasn't completely sure of whodunit until the very end, though there were certainly clues pointing toward whodunit.

The main characters were complex, interesting people. I cared about what happened to them, and they reacted realistically to events. The historical and setting details were woven into the story without slowing the pacing. These details brought the story alive in my imagination. There were no sex scenes. There was some bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this interesting historical 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.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Princess Pact by Melanie Cellier

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The Princess Pact
by Melanie Cellier


ISBN-13: 978-0648080176
Kindle: 280 pages
Publisher: Luminant Publications
Released: February 7th 2018

Source: Rented through Kinle Unlimited.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Marie, the dutiful princess of Northhelm, chafes under the rigid protocol that governs her life. Then a growing darkness threatens the kingdom and uncovers the lie at the centre of her whole life - a single pact, made by her mother, that changes everything.

Throwing off convention, she joins Rafe, a handsome, charming newcomer, on a quest to save her kingdom. Except he doesn't know she has a mission of her own - to discover the truth about her identity. Increasingly drawn to Rafe's strength and good humour, Marie is torn by her double purpose. With time running out and death and destruction looming, Marie will have to unravel the bargains that surround her and choose where her true allegiance lies.

In this twist on the classic fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin, a hidden identity is just one of the things Marie will have to unravel.


My Review:
The Princess Pact is a young adult fantasy novel with a romance. Though the third in the series, this works as a standalone novel. When Marie learns that she's adopted and that it's her true father who threatens the kingdom by using a magic item to raise a rebellion, she's confused and feels betrayed by her adoptive parents. Her adoptive brother goes missing after being thwarted in his desire to join the mysterious Rafe in scouting out the rebel camp, so she decides to go to the rebel camp to find her brother, sort out what's going on, and figure out who she truly is.

The main characters were interesting, engaging, and I cared about what happened to them. Marie and Rafe worked together to save the kingdom, building their trust and friendship in addition to their physical attraction. Marie grew in maturity and skill throughout the story. The world-building was light, mainly a medieval feel but with curses and godmother magic items. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this fantasy to fans of fairytales and heroic 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.