Monday, February 29, 2016

Book Review: A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan

Rachel Matthews has lost everything. After her parents death, she and her brother couldn't keep up with the taxes on their beloved childhood home and ranch and while her brother is away trying to earn enough to get it back, she has run out of money to keep herself housed and fed. Feeling like she has no other choice, Rachel gets a job at the local dance hall.
Wealthy cattle baron, John McIntyre is pretty surprised when he receives a letter from a good friend asking him to rescue his sister from a life at the dance hall. So despite his having no time for women of ill repute, John sees it as his duty to help a friend in need and fetches the lovely Rachel from the saloon. When Rachel discovers that this so called rescuer also holds the deed to her family's home that her brother is working so hard to reclaim, sparks fly and drama ensues :-)

This is the second book in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series. I have read the first book in the series and you will not have to have read the first book at all to be able to read this one. It is a stand alone novel, just set in the same setting.
What's funny about this book is that the story is very steady and while it keeps moving, it doesn't really feel like there is really one hugely climatic event on which the story hangs. And that is not even really a bad thing - a slowly building friendship and regard with events that tie in with life in the old West along the way make for a nice read. It probably wouldn't stand out to me as one I would read over and over again, but it was entertaining all the same.

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

Book Review: Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Olivia Edwards runs a bodyguard agency which is a little different than most - all of her employees are women. Coming from a variety a backgrounds making them an elite team, the women excel at their job. But when one of Olivia's team members is almost killed on the job, Olivia needs to step in herself and oversee this dangerous case.
Wade Savage, radio talk show host and psychiatrist, has a stalker. While being a handsome widower who is good at listening to people has drawn his fair share of admirers - this one is different. When innocent gifts turn threatening and start including those he loves, Wade knows he needs to put his life and maybe heart in the hands of Olivia Edwards.

It's been a while since I read a book by Eason, and I really enjoyed it. While I was fairly certain I had figured out who the bad guy was after a while, it doesn't diminish from the story line - in fact it makes you turn pages faster as you are hoping the main characters will figure it out soon! I also like that while there is a bit of romance mixed in, it's not overbearing and most of the time, the case is foremost in people's thoughts, not how attracted they are to each other (which has annoyed me in other books of the same genre).  Looking forward to the next book in the series!

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