Sunday, May 27, 2012

RESTORATIONS by Bonnie Blythe


When Sara Andersen's grandfather passed away he left her his property which has an old farmhouse and a quaint cottage on it. She returns to Buell Creek, Oregon to stay with her aunt just long enough to fix up the house to sell. That's when she finds out that Brian Farris is living in the cottage. How could that possibly be? She and Brian were quite an item in college until she overheard something Brian said to his friend. She hasn't seen him in two years but when she does all those feelings come rushing back. Sara finds out the farmhouse needs extensive repairs and Brian seems to be the man for the job. Brian does excellent work but she's determined not to let him work on her heart. Brian is a new man since he became a Christian and is determined to win back the heart of the only woman he's ever loved. Can they each work through the issues they face and come to terms with the past to be able to forge a future or will past hurts and a old farmhouse keep them apart for good?

Restorations was a great title for this story. It was about the restoration of an old farmhouse but it was also about the restoration of relationships. The author does a great job in reminding us of the importance of not jumping to conclusions, the importance of forgiveness but most of all, to be careful of the things we do because they have an impact later on in our life. We see that with Brian and I'm sure we've all experienced that at some point. I liked getting to know Sara and Brian and enjoyed watching them dance around their feelings with each other. I particularly liked Aunt Hattie. I think she added a great element to the story. Restorations is an easy-to-read story with a great message and one I thoroughly enjoyed!
File Size: 319 KB
Print Length: 177 pages
Publisher: Firefly Press Books (October 12, 2010)
ASIN: B0046ZSMU0

Thursday, May 24, 2012

ESCAPE TO BIG FORK LAKE by Mary L. Ball


Samantha (Sam) Blacker's life seems to be in a downward spiral. She lost her job, rent's due and she has to deal with her heavy drinking, very aggressive neighbor. On top of all that, her good friend Bo, didn't show up for their yearly meeting. Then an unexpected inheritance leads her from Atlanta to Big Fork Lake, Alabama. She doesn't think, as a city girl, she'll be happy in the country but also feels like she has no other choice. There she meets Noah Frye. A good man who was a good friend to Bo. The attraction is immediate but Noah keeps things pretty light as Sam does not share his faith. It's not long before trouble knocks on Sam's door. And why does that black truck always seem to be lurking in the shadows? When a murder victim is found and Sam is the only suspect, her world is turn upside down. Will Sam lose everything she holds dear or through all the trials, find something more precious than anything else?

Escape to Big Fork Lake was a very enjoyable romantic suspense. I liked getting to know the characters and the little town of Big Fork Lake. It was interesting learning a little about running an Inn. I wouldn't classify this as an edge-of-your-seat type story but it did have a few twists and turns along the way that were a bit of a surprise. That's always a plus when you can't figure it all out until the end. There was an underlying message about trusting God and keeping the faith no matter what, as well as a message about remaining morally pure before marriage, which I was delighted to see. It was a good reminder that whatever your failures might be, God meets you where you are. If you're looking for a little R & R with splash of suspense, you may want to take a trip to Big Fork Lake.
File Size: 337 KB
Print Length: 188 pages
Publisher: Inspired Romance Novels (March 21, 2012)
ASIN: B007NK1EEQ

Friday, May 18, 2012

DEADLY RACE by Margaret Daley


Ellie Winters is a governess for a wealthy man on Bella Isla in the Caribbean. One night she overhears her boss talk of a revolution he's involved in and he locks her away. Realizing she's in danger, she escapes and flees to the village to see if she can find someone to help her. With two goons on her tale she slips into a place where she might find help. There she finds Slade Calvert. She's not sure if she can trust him but he's a fellow American and with any luck, her ticket out. The revolution begins sooner then expected and they run for their lives, together, on an unforgettable adventure.

I've got to tell you, this was a fast and extremely FUN read! It takes you on an adventure that reminded me a little of Indiana Jones. Ellie was such a refreshing character. So honest and just plain funny. She made me laugh a lot throughout the story. Slade was a great leading man. Strong and tough yet caring. He reminded me a little of MacGyver. From beginning to end the story held me captive with what would happen next. This is not billed as 'Christian Fiction' but it is a clean read. It's got lots of romantic tension and there are times when the characters ideas sway toward the forbidden but nothing that's unrealistic and certainly nothing beyond what I would call 'edgy'. It's just pure enjoyment! If you're looking for something to take you away, forget Calgon, pick-up Deadly Race. It's guaranteed to leave you breathless!
File Size: 277 KB
Print Length: 121 pages
Publisher: Margaret Daley (December 4, 2011)
ASIN: B006HXVDTG

Thursday, May 17, 2012

WILDFLOWERS FROM WINTER by Katie Ganshert




Bethany Quinn left her hometown of Peaks (along with it's memories & her best friend Robin) to pursue her dream of being an architect. She's been working at a prestigious Chicago firm for awhile now and along with dating a good-looking but shallow lawyer, her dream has become a reality. Then she receives a phone call from her estranged mother that causes her to return to Peaks. Robin is dealing with a crisis and her grandfather has had a heart attack. Bethany decides to handle what she needs to handle and leave as quickly as possible. Then she meets Evan Price. He's taken care of her grandfather and his land for the past several years. Now she's inherited that land. And just what is she suppose to do about that? It's not long before she receives unexpected news from Chicago, which will now extend her stay in Peaks. When Bethany reveals her plan for the land, Evan fights her decision but knows she is one determined lady. And even though he's frustrated with her he also feels a tugging in his heart. Evan drives Bethany crazy but he also gives her goosebumps she's never had before. In the time shes been in Peaks, she's felt hard-pressed to reconcile the God of her youth and the God she sees now. Will Bethany continue to hold tightly to the past (hurts and all) or will she learn to let go and allow God to show her who He really is?

Wildflowers from Winter is a well-written, emotionally-stirring tale that's full of very true-to-life characters. I honestly felt like they could just walk right off the page into my living room. I found the dialog to be very realistic as well. We all have our issues and, like Bethany, our past is what shapes us into who we are today. With that in mind, I appreciated how the author so carefully displayed that God can still work in our lives despite how we feel and in spite of what we think. The story deals with some very deep emotions. The emotions of hurt, anger, loss, grief, pride and hypocrisy. I think those are emotions that have touched all of our lives. And though you'll find a lot of angst among the pages, you'll also find a lot of hope. We can all use a good dose of that! If you're looking for a story that will challenge your emotions then I would definitely recommend Wildflowers from Winter. I am now looking forward to Wishing on Willows!
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 8, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0307730387
ISBN-13: 978-0307730381
*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review*

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TOPAZ HEAT by Hallee Bridgeman




Sarah Thomas has always shunned Derrick DiNunizo. Her brother-in-law, Tony, helped Derrick get off the streets, clean up his life and gave him a home. Most of all, Tony introduced Derrick to the Lord. Derrick has loved Sarah from the first time he met her, but instead of seeing the new person he's become, all she sees is the unkept, street kid who has lots tattoos. Derrick even left town thinking distance would shake the love he has for her. Now several years later he returns home to run one of Tony's hotels. He realizes that his feelings haven't changed but Sarah is just as stand-offish. When she gets sick and Derrick sweetly nurses her back to health she begins to see him in a different light. But just when things look kinda hopeful Derrick's past returns with a vengeance. Before all is said and done, they will be stretched to the very limits of their faith.

Topaz Heat is an excellent romantic suspense! Hallee Bridgeman is a new author to me so I wasn't sure what to expect. Wow! What a wonderful surprise! The story was very well written and seemed to have the perfect blend of suspense, romance and intrigue, with some splashes of humor along the way. I fell in love with the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction of the 'family' and the closeness they shared. I really appreciated the underlying message that, as believers, we are new creatures in Christ and that our old self is done away with. Derrick was a great example of how God can change a heart and when He does He changes a life as well. That's always an encouraging message to hear. Sarah was a very relateable character and though we don't like to admit it, I'm guessing we probably all have a little 'Sarah' in us. You'll find Derrick to be very romantic. There were several toe-curling moments between him and Sarah. And I must say, the Epilog was totally sigh-worthy! Topaz Heat is Book 3 of the Jewel Trilogy but I didn't feel lost not having read the other two books (Sapphire Ice & Emerald Fire) first. I will, however, be reading those very soon. I think reading them in order would be beneficial in gaining the family history but not necessary for understanding the story. Topaz Heat is a great romantic suspense and one I would definitely recommend. Great job, Hallee!
Publisher: Olivia Kimbrell Press (May 21, 2012)

*This complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Monday, May 7, 2012

COVETED BRIDE by Regina Tittel



Mike Buchannan is a controlling person and when he and Lindsey married everything was kept in his name. Now he is dying of cancer. In an effort to exercise his last bit of control over Lindsey and the children, he writes the will in such a way that would force her to marry Keaton Durham within two months or lose the house and the inheritance. Lindsey can't believe Mike would do such a thing and totally rejects the idea of marrying Keaton. But Keaton's inner strength and gentle loving ways toward her and the kids are slowly winning her over. Life is quickly turned upside-down though, when Clayton (a drug-addicted family member) wants drug money and will use whatever method he can to get it. Lindsey finds herself relying on Keaton more and more. Will Lindsey find the kind of love she's always wanted? Will Keaton get the wife and family he's always desired? or will Clayton make good on his threats!

Coveted Bride is another great installment to The Ozark Durham Series. This authors easy writing style will quickly draw you into the story where your attention is held until the end. I just loved getting to know Keaton Durham. What a great guy he is! How he handled Lindsey and the children reminded me, so much, of his father, Jacob. Lindsey was a great example of how powerfully words can impact us. The Bible says 'Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body'. You see this verse come to life as you watch how Keaton deals with Lindsey. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the children. They will touch your heart and make you smile. There is an underlying element of suspense that will keep you flipping pages to find out what happens. I really enjoyed the fact that Ann, Jacob and Lucy were part of this story. I think it really added something special. In the 'author note' at the end, Regina mentions how important it is to protect our children by educating them of the evils of this world and that they know what to do when trouble comes. I couldn't agree more!!! You could definitely read this as a stand alone but you won't want to miss Abandoned Hearts and Unexpected Kiss. I would not only recommend Coveted Bride but any of Regina Tittel's books! I am now looking forward to Cherished Stranger, which is Lucy's story. Great job, Regina!
File Size: 348 KB
Print Length: 162 pages
Publisher: Hawse Pipe Ministries; 1 edition (April 30, 2012)
ASIN: B007ZHESP4

Saturday, May 5, 2012

THREAT OF DARKNESS by Valerie Hansen




Samantha Rochard didn't have a good childhood and as a result grew up to be a nurse and a special advocate for children. She can recognize signs of abuse and that's what she sees with one little boy whose father has turned his anger toward him. But when Samantha gets involved she becomes a target. John Waltham is the policeman who comes to Samantha's aid. They have a history together but five years ago John left. Samantha not only lost John but her faith as well. Now he's returned and she must rely on him to help her. Will Samantha find the faith she lost? Will John and Samantha get a second chance at their happily-ever-after? Danger is close at hand and when the bullets fly, who will be left standing?

I thoroughly enjoyed Threat of Darkness. It's a story that will keep you entertained from the first page to the last. It was the perfect blend of humor, suspense, action and romance. The characters were really fun to get to know. Even Samantha's dog. I appreciated how the author pointed out that lots of times we abandon or lose our faith when God doesn't answer our prayers the way we think He should. And sometimes we fail to see the good things that God sets before us. Those are things everyone can relate to. Although this story deals with abuse, you'll also find the subject of forgiveness at the forefront. So if your looking for a good, easy-to-read, romantic suspense, I suggest you take a trip to the small town of Serenity, Arkansas. Be careful now, and don't forget your flashlight, there just may be a "Threat of Darkness"!
*This copy was given to me by Harlequin through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Love Inspired (June 5, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0373444923
ISBN-13: 978-0373444922
File Size: 476 KB
ASIN: B007JJSOYE

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

TRESPASSES by Anne Patrick



Mackayla Kensington is very familiar with heartache. The kidnapping and murder of her own daughter drives her to use her artistic skills to give faces to unidentified skulls that will help others put to rest their loved ones and hopefully catch those responsible. Three bodies have been discovered, buried on a U.S. Senator's property. The local sheriff calls for the help of Gabe Landry, a special agent profiler, to help in finding the killer or killers. Mackayla is called in to help by sketching the faces of the three skulls. As they work together in finding the answers, they just might find something neither of them was looking for. That is if the killer doesn't get Mackayla first.

B
e assured when you pick up an Anne Patrick book that you will find in its pages, a strong and capable heroine, a tough yet tender hero, many wonderful secondary characters (including a dog), a solid message of faith, lots of zippy dialog and it's all wrapped up in an edge-of-your-seat suspense. Trespasses is no exception. From beginning to end, you will find yourself totally engaged in the story and immersed in the lives of these real-life characters. I have to say, that though it's a tough subject, I found forensic artistry to be completely fascinating. How they can take pieces of information and create from it a picture of a person is amazing. Every skull really does tell a story! I loved Mackayla and Gabe, who were both very relateable people. I thoroughly enjoyed the interaction between the two of them. Mackayla had a steadfast faith that felt so natural, it made me want to be more like her. I really admired her forgiving attitude and wondered if I, in her situation, could have done the same. You can truly understand why Gabe was so drawn to her. Trespasses is book 2 in the Wounded Heroes series and one I highly recommend. This could easily be read as a stand alone but you will not want to miss Kill Shot, which is book 1 in the series. Great job, Anne! Looking forward to the next installment!
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc
ISBN: 978-1-61252-169-5
Release Date: May 11, 2012
*This ARC was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review*

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