Sunday, January 31, 2016

Book Review: Thin Ice by Irene Hanon

Christy Reed has had a very hard year. First losing her parents in a car crash and then her sister to a house fire. Though she has held on to her faith, her life is only starting to feel normal again. That is, until a letter arrives addressed in  her dead sister's hand writing. The note inside claims that her sister is still alive, and though she is instructed not to include the authorities, Christy devises a way to contact the FBI without alerting the kidnapper.
Special Agent Lance McGreggor is assigned Christy's case and it seems the more he digs, the more questions surface. Way more questions than answers. Can they find answers to their questions before time runs out for Christy's sister and maybe even Christy herself?

So I have a love/hate relationship with Hannon's books. Well maybe not that strong, but I do always feel conflicted when I review her stories. I think she writes a good mystery and is able to keep the action going well. I really do not enjoy her romance writing part of the tale though. They all seem to follow the same formula. Strong woman needs help. Strong male immediately is attracted to her and she to him and they "try" to fight their feelings til the end of the case. It wouldn't bother me if they started to like each other toward the end of the book or something but especially at first, I wish it was more to do with the case than the romantic feelings. So I give the exciting, mysterious case part a thumbs up, and the romance part a thumbs down.

Thank you to Revell Publishers for a free copy of the this book to read and review.

Book Review: Undaunted Hope by Jodi Hedlund

Tessa Taylor has made some pretty huge mistakes in her past, but she is still young and by moving away and becoming a teacher, she is hoping to put the past firmly behind her and embrace a future free from drama.
Tessa arrives in a mining town in Upper Michigan, ready to  make a difference in the lives of the families around her, but comes up against an obstacle right away - they were expecting a man. When the superintendent gives her permission to stay until spring, Tessa knows she will need to work extra hard to prove she can do just as well as a man.
She loves her students, and they begin to love her back, especially two children intent on seeing her become their new mother. But another man in town has also shown interest in Tessa and she is caught in the middle of a fight for her affections. To add to the drama she is trying to escape, it seems someone has been watching her movements. So much for a drama free move. As Spring draws near Tessa will find she has more than one fight on her hands.

This is the third book in the Beacons of Hope series. I have not read the first on but I did read the second so I knew the backstory to Tessa's life before she became a teacher. I think that it would be worth reading that before starting this one. Though I thought the previous book was ok, I really enjoyed this third story a lot. I read it in 4 hours - it was a fast moving plot with lots of points of interest. Romance, redemption, danger, and history of the life of mining towns. I would recommend this one to readers of historical fiction for sure!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: The Painter's Daughter

Captain Stephen Overtree has been sent on a task to find and bring home his irresponsible older brother who once again has taken off to find inspiration for his paintings. When he arrives in Devonshire, however, he is surprised to learn that his brother has up and sailed for Italy leaving everything behind, including a heartbroken, beautiful young lady. Upon further investigation, Stephen learns that he has left the lady in a scandalous situation and for some weird reason, wanting to protect her reputation and his brothers, Stephen offers to marry her (in name only of course).
Sophie Dupont is crushed. Fully believing that Wesley Overtree loved and was planning to marry her, she realizes to late that his creative, impulsive ways were not to be trusted after all. But should she wait to see if he will realize his mistake and return to her, or elope with this stern Captain and save her reputation, hoping she will not live to regret it?

As usual, I was so excited to see another story for Klassen. I love the time period she writes about and how her stories usually have quite a few twists and turns than what they originally seem like they will have. Though I feel like she has used the "unmarried pregnant girl" a little too much, I still loved this story. I just love the small historical details that she includes that make her stories feel so much deeper and I also love that none of her characters are set up to look perfect... Anyway, all that to say if you enjoy stories from the regency period, Julie Klassen is the way to go :-)

Thank you so much to Bethany House Publishers for a free book to read and review.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Book Review: The Shock of Night by Patrick W. Carr

Willet Dura, Reeve to the King of Bunard has once again been called on to investigate a murder, but this murder is not the what he typically sees in his line of work. First of all, a man has been brutally murdered with very strange cuts on his body, and the man he works for is a priest - who would want to harm a priest? While the priest has also been attacked there is still some life left in him when Dura arrives and his very last word - shouted a Dura in a foreign language - will change everything!
The more that Dura investigates this bizarre crime, the weirder things get because now when he touches people, he realizes that he can see into their thoughts. Dura soon learns that he has been passed a gift that most people do not even know exists but using it could make him a target of the same people who killed the priest.
Now, not only is Dura dealing with this new ability, but he is also trying to hunt the killers who it seems could not only place him in danger, but his city and even his world!

So this is totally not my normal genre of books to read, but I thought I would take a chance on it. Turns out, it was actually pretty good and I'm glad I gave it a shot. I will warn you, the first few chapters were a little rough and took me a while to get through. It was definitely not a read in one sitting type of book, but once I got into it a little bit, I was drawn into the story. By the time it ended I was excited to read the next installment which is always a good sign when you read something you normally wouldn't :-)

Thank you to Bethany House for a free copy of this book to read and review.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Book Review: Love Everlasting by Tracie Peterson

Abrianna Cunningham has grown up in the care of her three "aunts" at a bridal finishing school in Seattle. You would think that under all that tutelage, she would be more than "finished" and ready to settle down in marriage. But even with her friend - kind, dependable, handsome, Wade Ackerman's interest in more than friendship, Abrianna is still not sure she is ready for all that marriage entails.
Now Priam Welby - rich, smooth and handsome - is also trying to court Abrianna and Wade is not having any of it. Abrianna needs to examine her heart and see what is really important to her because whatever decision she makes will change the course of her life.

This is the second book I've read by Tracie Peterson, and while I liked the first one, this one was just not up my alley. Granted, I have not read the first  two books in the "Brides of Seattle" series. Though I think she did a good job of letting you know that important details of the past books that you would need to know, I did feel like the story would maybe have been more enjoyable if I had read the others. However, I really found the main character pretty annoying, especially at the beginning. The story does pick up about half way through though, and I liked the second half much better than the first. It probably wouldn't go on my "read again" list, but if you like Peterson's writing and want to give it a go, I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning of the season.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing for a free copy of this book to enjoy and review.