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.