logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: revell-reads-blog-tour-review-copy
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-06-26 05:21
Sea Rose Lane : A Hope Harbor Novel by Irene Hannon (review)
Sea Rose Lane: A Hope Harbor Novel - Irene Hannon

There are certain things I expect from Christian Fiction.  Good writing, an interesting premise and plot, a touching story (not always heartwarming, but definitely touching), and characters at different places in their faith or lack thereof.  I had heard praise being heaped on Irene Hannon's novel that preceded this one, so I had high hopes that all of these expectations would be met.  They were.

 

While we are still given the usual for romance - beautiful heroine and hunky hero fighting their attraction, for a while and then unsuccessfully, because of their past/circumstances -  what I really enjoyed was seeing them helping others.  This is a romance novel, but it is also wrapped around stories of hope lost and restored.  For me, the lasting impression will be of people whose lives take unexpected turns, forcing them to reassess their values, their thinking, and the direction that they thought their lives should go.

While a few of the secondary characters (including a local seal with bad timing) feel like they are/will be reoccurring in the Hope Harbor novels, Eleanor and especially Luis are much of what gives this story much of its depth.  While the resolution of their story-lines may not be unexpected, having them roll out at a realistic pace is gratifying.  

 

Also gratifying is seeing a portrayal of people of different races and denominations, and at different places in their faith, interact in primarily positive ways.  Self reflection and realization, of faith and of prejudices, are handled in a way that feels straightforward and genuine.  

 

Recommended for those who enjoy clean romances that feel a bit authentic and subtly go a little deeper.  

 

This review was originally posted on bookworlder.wordpress.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-06-20 21:01
Annabel Lee: A Coffey & Lee Novel by Mike Nappa (review)
Annabel Lee (Coffey & Hill) - Mike Nappa

I never thought I would want to gush about a thriller, but this hit an unknown sweet spot for me. Action, suspense, a child in jeopardy, evil bad guys with many minions, heroes and a heroine that you want to root for.

 

As much as I want to gush, I don't want to be the one to spoil any of the suspense, so I will simply share a few of the things that are not too plot related.

 

The story is told from three points of view, with only Annabel's being in first person. Annabel lives on a farm in Peachtree, Alabama. She is months away from her twelfth birthday, and has been home schooled by her uncle. When she is left in the bunker with the guard dog, she does not understand why. We experience this through her eyes.

 

Trudi Coffey has a degree in English lit but now works as a private investigator. Her part of the narrative is told in third person, and it is in her sections that we get to know Samuel Lee, her ex-husband (a descriptor that she generally follows up mentally with "the pig.") and former business partner.

 

The third perspective is that of an Iraq veteran known as The Mute. Also told in third person, it is primarily in his sections that we learn more about Leonard Truckson's past. Having his perspective was a surprise to me, and I am so glad that the author chose to let us into his head.

 

If this had been an action movie rather than a book, I think that the portrayal of the villains might have gone over the top - as they often seem to do when the characters are of Middle Eastern or German origins. Here, while they are extreme characters, the author seems to have used enough restraint that they are not overblown.

 

The characters are interesting, the storyline compelling, and the action is riveting. I read this straight through with a few necessary breaks to eat and sleep. The resolution is satisfying and everything is wrapped up nicely, including a much appreciated epilogue.
________________________________________
This is an edited version of the review originally published on bookworlder.wordpress.com at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-1iz

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-05-02 03:22
A Fool & His Monet by Sandra Orchard
A Fool and His Monet (Serena Jones Mysteries) - Sandra Orchard

Serena Jones is the youngest member of the FBI Art Crime Unit. She is on her first undercover assignment as the novel begins, and what could be a serious and seriously boring story is anything but. Serena is smart, a bit sassy, claustrophobic, and a great choice for narrator. She's a knowledgeable and capable agent, who is surprising bad at keeping the details of her life, and work, from her friends and family. And that is part of what makes this mystery so much fun.

 

The central mystery begins when a friend asks Serena to take on the investigation of two paintings missing from a local St. Louis museum. A case "colder than Buffalo" (p.27), that has her interviewing the museum staff and participating in the funniest chase scene I've ever read.

 

A secondary mystery is one that I am sure will be a thread through the series, the murder of Serena's grandfather and theft of his painting. Another thread will undoubtedly be Serena's romantic prospects, her family's meddling in them, and possibly her slow descent into being a bit of a cat-lady.  I liked the touch of having her parents be British and I adored her Aunt Martha, a feisty old lady who just can't keep out of the case.

 

This is a fast paced story, with just enough danger (she will keep going into unsavory places) and a nice dose of humor. This can easily be read as a romance, since there are plenty of attractive and willing male characters swarming around, but it is definitely a mystery. As a reader who used to read a lot of mysteries, I was mostly kept guessing, but once solved, everything made sense. All good things, and all a lot of fun.

 

Recommended if you enjoy light mystery, romance, and a fun narrator. I was a little apprehensive about picking a straight mystery to read, but I was so pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I raced through it, wanting to know what would happen next and wanting to learn more about her building superintendent and a certain senior FBI agent... I stopped reading a couple of popular mystery series quite a few years ago, partly because they were dragging on so long and partly because of some of the "romantic" content. No worries here, if you like a fun, clean mystery story. I'm looking forward to the second book, Another Day, Another Dali due out from Revell in October. Such fun titles!

 

Can I say it one more time? Fun!

 

This review refers to a copy I received for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. This review was previously published on my WordPress blog, with the addition of two small quotes, at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-YJ

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-04-09 04:18
A Sweet Misfortune by Maggie Brendan
A Sweet Misfortune: A Novel (Virtues and Vices of the Old West) - Maggie Brendan

I was in the mood for a simple historical romance, after reading several contemporary books, and Maggie Brendan's new book was the perfect choice. 

 

Start off with a rancher/cattle baron doing a favor for a friend by throwing a dance hall girl over his shoulder and taking her home to his grandmother and I am hooked.  But then it gets better.  Though Rachel is an independent Miss who was working in the saloon out of necessity, John considers himself a sort of guardian and encourages a likely young cowboy to court her.  As a reader, I know it is just a matter of time before John starts to realize that he'd rather court Rachel himself, but it is so much fun watching him realize he's messed up.  What usually isn't so much fun is her reaction, but Brendan doesn't always go for the expected.  Instead, in Rachel we get a heroine who doesn't require huge and sudden revelations and that is where her character shines.  Of course she is friendly to the "soiled doves" she worked with, of course not everyone will approve, and of course she is feeling a little bitter, given her circumstances.  But she takes this all in stride, doing what she feels is right and owning up to her failings.  

 

Nothing is over the top in this sweet romance.  It has a nice, brisk pace and a comfortable feel to it.  Yes, it has its bits of excitement and even some romantic rivalry, but it somehow has such a cozy feel that it just leaves me smiling.  One of it's strengths, I think, is the portrayal of faith as integral to the lives of the main characters.  It, and they, feel authentic and real.  Rachel doesn't need to be hit over the head with the fact that she is feeling bitter and needs to get right with God, she is aware and simply works through each obstacle.

 

This was my first Maggie Brendan novel, though I've had her other novels in and out of my online shopping baskets many times.  It won't be my last.

 

Recommended for when you need a sweet, clean historical romance - particularly if you are being kept up until 3am by horn-happy train drivers and a noisy upstairs neighbor (sigh).  While this is the second in the Virtues and Vices of the Old West series, it was not at all apparent.

 

Oh, and the "mean girl" of the story, Beatrice (a bit of a Nelly - a character I hated when the Little House shows first aired, but think might now be my favorite), while a bit obnoxious, just made me want more of her story.  Hint, hint...


This review, with minor differences, was first published on my Wordpress blog at http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-N6  Please do not re-blog without permission.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in
Advertising.”

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-04-07 05:16
Where She Belongs (Misty Willow #1) by Johnnie Alexander
Where She Belongs: A Novel (Misty Willow) - Johnnie Alexander Donley

 

Recently widowed, Shelby Kincaid wants to bring her daughters, ages 3 and 5, up in the house that was the only place she ever really felt was home. What she finds is a neglected 150 year old house in need of complete renovation. Who she blames is the owner, the grandson of the man she has spent her life blaming for her family’s unhappiness.

 

AJ Sullivan just wants to get rid of the house his grandfather left him as a punishment for choosing to become a high school teacher instead of a lawyer. What he doesn’t expect is to start falling for the pretty young widow who hates him as soon as she learns his name.

 

Where She Belongs is a solidly written, well paced contemporary romance. It is the story of two people who are meant for each other, but have obstacles to overcome before they can find the “spacious place” of God's promise that they are each seeking.

 

It is also a story of the sins of the fathers being visited on the generations. This was my favorite aspect of the story and provided most of the interesting plot developments as Shelby and AJ slowly learn of the source of the hatred between their families, a legacy of their grandparents’ actions from the era of the Korean War.

 

4/5 stars. If you enjoy a story with a slow burning mystery and a slow burning, clean romance in a contemporary setting, then this is a book I would recommend. Along for the journey are two adorable girls, AJ’s dog, small town neighbors, and a small assortment of relatives. Among them, AJ’s cousins who want to acquire the Misty Willow property for their own purposes, at any cost.

 

This review with quotes from the book is on my Wordpress blog at  http://wp.me/p5Tcfi-LV

 

I’m avoiding reading the excerpt of the untitled Misty Willow Book #2, due out Fall 2016, included in the back of the book. AJ’s cousin Brett, who in a historical romance would be termed a cad and a rake (this feels nicer than the modern terms I would use for a moral degenerate), will be the main character. If you love a good reformed rake story, in a contemporary setting, I suggest you read the first book in preparation for the second.


 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in
Advertising.”

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?