Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jordyn Redwood's Peril ~ Reviewed


Peril
Jordyn Redwood
Series: Bloodline Trilogy (Book 3)
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0825442133


Description:

Dr. Thomas Reeves is at the pinnacle of his career. The Department of Defense has awarded him a lucrative contract for his new research into superior autobiographical memory, which promises the ability to create combat troops able to quickly learn complex battle plans and enact them perfectly under the most demanding battlefield scenarios.
An elite unit has received neural grafts from fetal cadavers of genetically altered brain cells with enhanced NMDA receptors. The results are remarkable . . . until the recipients begin suffering hallucinations, nightmares, paralysis, . . . and death. Dr. Reeves searches for answers, but DOD insiders want him to stop the search.
The situation becomes public when pediatric ICU nurse Morgan Adams, Dr. Reeves’s daughter, is taken hostage by three research subjects in an attempt to force Dr. Reeves into disclosing why they are sick. If answers aren’t revealed within twenty-four hours, patients in the pediatric ICU will be killed.
This spine-tingling conclusion to the Bloodline Trilogy raises spiritual and ethical dilemmas torn directly out of today’s headlines. When does life begin? How far does commitment to family go? And can the sins of the father ever be forgiven?


Review:

Medical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Crime fiction is right up there. So when they are combined and the story is a well-written page-turner, then it earns a two thumbs up. 

Jordyn Redwood's Peril is definitely a two thumb up novel. A ruthless killer, oh, not just any killer, one who's had some help from a mad scientist, a woman grieving the loss of her baby and her part in missing the signs, a husband trying to keep his grieving wife through the dark days...oh, and a young girl who...well, let's just say the plot is action packed. 

Chicken warning, this book has some intensity that may make you suck your thumb and need a night light. Anyone who is intrigued by the above, it's a page turner.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Diann Mills's Deadlock ~ Reviewed



Deadlock
by DiAnn Mills
Series: FBI: Houston (Book 3)
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (October 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414389957

Descriptions: 

Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?

That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.

When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.


Review:

Deadlock is about two FBI Agents, coming together as partners for the first time to investigate serial killings that are going on. Special Agent Bethany Sanchez is a “by the rules” kind of gal. She got involved in the FBI after seeing so much violence in her neighborhood growing up. She has even had to testify against her own brother, which sent him to prison. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested Bethany's brother, but hasn't connected the relationship. He goes by his gut and isn't afraid to throw the rules out the window and go by instinct. This case has them struggling, not only trying to balance their strengths with each other, but trying to solve the case before someone else gets murdered. On top of that, they are having a growing attraction to each other that they are trying to fight as it's against the rules.

I really enjoyed this book. I typically wouldn't choose this type of storyline, but I've enjoyed Diann Mills books. It keeps you interested and wanting to read more to find out what will happen next. And the story has twists that take you by surprise, so you don't really know what's going to happen next. If you like suspense and romance together in a clean format, I highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Colleen Coble's Mermaid Moon ~ Reviewed


Mermaid Moon
Colleen Coble
Series: A Sunset Cove Novel
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 12, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1401690289

Description: 

Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left—without a word—years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.


Review:


Colleen Coble’s Mermaid Moon, sequel to The Inn at Ocean's Edge begins with massive intrigue and murder.

Mallory is facing life alone with her teen daughter after her husband dies. Without life insurance. While trying to sell some of her handcrafted jewelry she receives a phone call from her father. Her already complicated life unfurls into a storm unlike any she has faced. 

As she returns home for the first time in 15 years she finds that her heart has never really left, and that someone wants to keep a secret deeply buried and will stop at nothing to do just that. Edge of seat reading.

Set in Folly Shoals and revisiting some characters, It was fun to see Claire and Luke settling into life. If you loved The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, you’ll love Mermaid Moon because there is another multi-twisted plot involving murder. And, of course, an equally sweet love story.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Beth Moran's I Hope You Dance ~ Reviewed



I Hope You Dance
Beth Moran
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Lion Fiction (November 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 178264170X

Description:

Can dancing mend Ruth's broken heart?
Ruth Henderson has moved back in with her parents--something she swore she would never do, especially not at the age of thirty-three. But in the face of the mountain of debt left by her late partner, and the fact that her teenage daughter, Maggie, is expressing her grief through acts of delinquency, there was really only one option.
Returning to a house Ruth swore never to set foot in again is bad enough. Add to this an estranged father, whirlwind mother, and David--the boy next door who broke her heart--and it is little wonder Ruth can barely make it out of bed.
But then, reunited with her old friend Lois, Ruth is persuaded to go along to a monthly girls' night. Here she meets a bunch of incredible women and for the first time since leaving home at eighteen, Ruth begins to make some genuine friends.
She also has her first ever date--with the charming Dr. Carl Barker. However, after a disastrous dinner, and an upset Maggie still struggling with her father's death, Ruth promises her daughter she won't go out with any other men. A promise she quickly regrets when David, the boy next door, asks her to dance. . .


Review:


I loved this novel. A couple of years ago I found Making Marion inside my mailbox. It was a charming read and I loved the skill Beth Moran showed in her characterization. And to my delight I opened the mail a few weeks ago and found I Hope You Dance. Sigh. Even better than Making Marion. 

Let me sing the praises of this novel. First off, Moran writes charming yet heavy plots. A little wistfulness, a lot of humor, and a cast full of quirky characters that are realistically complicated. Secondly, Moran tackles longing and grief and faith struggles and challenges with realistic grace and shows the gossamer threaded frailty of humanity. Finally, Moran just tells a great story full of hope and realization and growth. 

Those who love British novels and charm and certainly those who eat up realistic fiction that features characters limping toward or returning to faith might want to check this one out. I love that I received a copy in exchange for an honest review. And honestly, I loved it. 



Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Blackstock's, Calvert's and Warren's Chance of Loving You ~ Reviewed



CHANCE OF LOVING YOU
Terri Blackstock, Candace Calvert, Susan May Warren
Paperback: 425 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1496405374

Description:
An anthology by three bestselling romance authors

For Love of Money by Terri Blackstock 
Trying to launch her own design firm while waitressing on the side, Julie Sheffield was drawn to the kind man she waited on at the restaurant last night . . . until he stiffed her on the tip by leaving her half of a sweepstakes ticket.

The Recipe by Candace Calvert Hospital dietary assistant Aimee Curran is determined to win the Vegan Valentine Bake-Off to prove she’s finally found her calling. But while caring for one of her patients―the elderly grandmother of a handsome CSI photographer―Aimee begins to question where she belongs.

Hook, Line & Sinker by Susan May Warren Grad student Abigail Cushman has agreed to enter the annual Deep Haven fishing contest. She’s a quick learner, even if she doesn’t know the difference between a bass and a trout. But nothing could prepare her for competing against the handsome charmer she’s tried to forget since grief tore them apart.

One chance for each woman to change her life . . . but will love be the real prize?

Review:
Chance of Loving You is made up of three different short stories by three different authors. For the Love of Money is about Julie Sheffield, a struggling fashion designer working as a waitress. Her life is suddenly thrown together with a man who tipped her half of his lottery ticket. The Recipe is about Aimee Curran, who works as a dietary assistant at a hospital, and is aspiring to win a bake off in order to fund her way through culinary school. She learns that her priorities may be a tad off when she meets the grandson of one of the hospital patients. Finally, Hook, Line and Sinker reunites Abigail Cushman with the man she's loved since she was a teenager. It seemed their paths would keep crossing and would never meet, until the campus ministry hosted a fishing contest.
I enjoyed these stories. I wondered how it would work, having three completely stories in one book, but it did work. I'm not sure I could pick a favorite, but I guess I would say I like the first story the best. The chemistry between the two characters is great, and the situation that brought them together was a make or break situation, and I really enjoyed seeing how they grew and realized things about themselves and each other.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Christine Johnson's Love's Rescue ~ Reviewed




LOVE'S RESCUE
Christine Johnson
Series: Keys of Promise (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Revell (June 2, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800723503

Description: 

When her mother dies, Elizabeth Benjamin heads home to Key West, determined to transform herself into the perfect Southern belle her parents always wished her to be. But nothing goes according to plan. Her crippled brother resents her, the servants do not obey her, and Rourke O'Malley, the dashing man she vowed to forget, refuses to relinquish his hold on her heart. Worst of all, it becomes painfully obvious that her father is not the upright man he appears to be.

As family secrets come to light, Elizabeth is faced with a difficult choice: to do her duty and abandon her dreams, or to leave her life of privilege behind to chase the man her father sees as little better than a pirate.

From the first emotional page, author Christine Johnson throws readers into a world of impossible choices, hidden desires, and heart-melting romance in the steamy south. Readers will cheer for Elizabeth and Rourke as they battle the odds and the elements to secure their future.

Review:

Love's Rescue is about a young woman named Elizabeth Benjamin. The story takes place in the mid-1800's in the Key West Area. Elizabeth grew up there with her family, but after her headstrong ways to seek the man she loved ended up crippling her brother, she was sent away to live with her aunt in Charleston to find a husband. Four years later, she still has not found a husband. After hearing that her mother died, she talks her aunt into escorting her back to Key West to be with her family, and to find the man she loves in hopes that he loves her. 

As much as I like stories in this time period, I did have a bit of a hard time getting into it, but I still enjoyed it. It was interesting to see how different parts of the story came together in ways you didn't expect. I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth's character evolve as well. 

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Mesu Andrews's The Pharaoh's Daughter ~ Reviewed



THE PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER
Mesu Andrews
Series: Treasures of the Nile
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (March 17, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601425996

Description:
“Fear is the most fertile ground for faith.”
 

 “You will be called Anippe, daughter of the Nile. Do you like it?” Without waiting for a reply, she pulls me into her squishy, round tummy for a hug. 

I’m trying not to cry. Pharaoh’s daughters don’t cry.

When we make our way down the tiled hall, I try to stop at ummi Kiya’s chamber. I know her spirit has flown yet I long for one more moment. Amenia pushes me past so I keep walking and don’t look back. 

Like the waters of the Nile, I will flow.
 
Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile. 
     
When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.
  
As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

Review:

The Pharoah's Daughter is a fictionalized telling of the story of Moses' adopted mother. This book calls her Anippe, and tells her story, from growing up as Pharoah's daughter, and later, King Tut's sister. She is terrified of Anubis, the god of the afterlife, after seeing him take her mother and baby brother during childbirth. She is married to a man she doesn't know at age 14, and is terrified to give birth, but after finding a Hebrew child floating in a basket while her husband is away at was, she decides the gods are favoring her so she does not have to bear a child of her own. 

This book was interesting, as the author did use Biblical and historical truths for the story, but other parts were clearly made up and not scriptural. I think we have to be careful, as I said in a review for another book, that we don't let the fictionalized story replace the Biblical truth we know in our minds. As a story, this was interesting, but I just don't like liberties taken in a “Biblical” story that aren't in scripture.

Reviewed by: Sarah Meyers