Monthly Archives: March 2016

A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard

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Serena Jones is excited to be on the FBI Art Crime Team, her job allowing her to apply her passion for lost and stolen art. She is quick to jump into a case involving a valuable stolen painting from a local museum, especially since one of her best friends is the new manager at the museum. Serena’s mother would rather that she settles down, perhaps with a nice man. But Serena is determined to catch thieves and black market traders. As she digs into the museum mystery, strange things begin happening in her personal life that makes Serena worry that past criminals may try to hurt her or her family.

An exciting novel from page one! I enjoyed the interesting plot involving the world of art. I thought the characters were relatable and loveable, the storyline flowed well throughout the novel, and the ending has some surprises that were unpredictable. Certain scenes made me laugh and others made me nervous to discover the answers to dangerous secrets. The romance is not predictable or rushed, which is refreshing. This story is recommended to all lovers of suspenseful contemporary fiction!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson

The Red Door Inn book cover

Marie Carrington dreams of moving to Prince Edward Island and finding sanctuary on the quiet island. However, she does not even have enough funds to travel, much less live on the island. So when she receives a job offer from an elderly gentleman who is remodeling a bed and breakfast, she hesitantly accepts. Seth Sloane moves across the country to help his uncle restore the old Victorian bed and breakfast but does not expect to find a young, jumpy female who has expensive taste. He hopes that he can forget about a fiancée who broke his heart but conflicts with Marie cause him to continue to feel unsettled. The two must learn to work together, perhaps finding something even better in the process.

I fell in love with Marie in this novel from page one. The author does a great job of demonstrating her finding love and acceptance both in new friends and her Heavenly Father after past hurts. The setting of the story is lovely, the scenery beautifully depicted. The plot flows well, incorporating spiritual truths among an interesting plot. There were some characters that I did not love and certain portions of the story that were frustrating to me as a reader but the theme of redemption shines through. I recommend this to those who enjoy contemporary fiction with stories of healing and forgiveness.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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A Powerful Secret by Dr. Kevin Leman and Jeff Nesbit

A Powerful Secret book cover

Sean Worthington is shocked and angered when his brother Will suddenly drops out of a major Senate race in New York. It is up to him to clean up the mess his brother leaves behind. To make matters worse, Sean’s family supports his brother’s bizarre decision, causing family tensions to rise. However, when another powerful secret is revealed, Sean must overcome past hurts and fight against those who wish him and his family harm.

Unfortunately, I did not read the first book in this series before beginning this novel, but I highly recommend that other readers do so as I think it would give better background to this story. That being said, I still enjoyed the complexity and character development in this second installment in the series. The authors write a story that is interesting and flows well from beginning to end. The book digs into family dynamics and gives a unique perspective from a political standpoint. I would read the rest of this series and recommend this novel to those who would enjoy a contemporary novel about American politics and family.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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Playing the Part by Jen Turano

Playing the Part book cover

Lovable and famous New York City actress Lucetta Plum avoids her aggressive admirers with the help of her intimidating bodyguard. However, when a particularly overzealous fan turns threatening, she finds herself whisked away with the help of her widowed friend, Abigail Hart, to none other than Abigail’s grandson’s estate. Lucetta is less than amused with Abigail’s matchmaking schemes but Bram Haverstein may be more than simply a handsome and eligible gentleman. In fact, the strange circumstances at Bram’s possibly haunted estate has Lucetta questioning the very sanity of the characters she has trusted with her safety. With secrets and suspicious abounding, Lucetta sets out to find answers, perhaps finding herself in the process.

Whenever a Jen Turano book is announced, I anxiously await the release date. She always writes the most hilarious and creative scenes and storylines, weaving together truly delightful novels. This particular book once again delivers a humorous story, perhaps sacrificing a bit of depth to the characters in the process. However, I greatly enjoyed the adventures of Lucetta and her personal development as she confronts her past. Jen also did a fantastic job of capturing the time period in this particular book. And it was most wonderful to encounter a few characters from past novels, even though reading these stories first is not required. I truly enjoyed this charming book and most highly recommend it to all readers!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

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Secrets abound in Peachtree, Alabama, as the mysterious Leonard Truckson hides away in a secluded plot of land with his niece, Annabel Lee, and his vicious finger-eating dog. However, someone is out to find “Uncle Truck” and some precious cargo that he has kept for many years, stowed in an unknown location. Meanwhile, a former Army sniper is tasked with protecting Annabel Lee, using his skills to contact a friend of Truck’s to assist him in defeating the enemy. As the hunt intensifies for the treasure, dangers for some characters may prove to be quite deadly.

What a fantastic novel! I loved this book from the very first page. Mike Nappa has a writing style that is both fast-paced and exciting while also containing depth in its descriptions of scenes, details, and characters. I could not put the book down as I eagerly wished to discover what would become of the key players in the interesting plot. I loved all of the characters, but my favorite was probably the spunky and brave Annabel Lee. The storyline contained a mystery that was both unexpected and very fascinating. I cannot wait to read more exciting tales by this author. Most highly recommended!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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The Prophetess by Jill Eileen Smith

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Deborah struggles with her future in the Israelite society, worried about who she will marry and what will be her purpose in the community. However, God has a special and different plan for Deborah than simply being a wife and mother. Israel suffers from Canaan’s armies and needs a deliverer from God. Deborah may be the chosen prophetess and leader for Israel, but she first must convince her family and the people of God that she has their best interests at heart in their quest to defeat Canaan.

I really enjoyed the first Biblical novel about Rehab by this author, so I was looking forward to this book. Jill Eileen Smith takes such a rich Biblical story and adds a personal aspect that allows the reader to connect with the character in a new manner. My one critique for this story is that the storytelling was a bit more monotonous than the first novel, even though the writing itself was still well done. Overall, however, I enjoyed the descriptions of both the Israelite lifestyle and Deborah’s personal struggles. I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy Biblical fiction.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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On Lone Star Trail by Amanda Cabot

On Lone Star Trail book cover

Gillian Hodge’s dream of becoming a concert pianist is ruined when a motorcycle accident crushes her hand. Feeling depressed, she tries to find solace by heading to Rainbow’s End Resort, a charming reprieve in the rolling hills of Texas. However, a thunderstorm on her journey to the resort causes an accident right in front of her car, and of a motorcycle, no less. Lost and wandering after his wife’s death, TJ Benjamin travels around the country with no real purpose or direction. A busted bike forces him to spend some time at Rainbow’s End Resort with a most reluctant rescuer, a woman who wants nothing to do with any men who ride motorcycles.

This novel returns readers to the Rainbow’s End Resort, allowing us to catch up on some past characters. However, this book may also stand alone. The plot flowed smoothly in this particular novel and the relationships felt more real than in previous stories. Certain aspects of the book were unrealistic, but that is perhaps due to the shorter timeline of the novel. I think this author improves her writing with each novel and I look forward to reading more from Amanda Cabot. This book is recommended for those who enjoy a light contemporary romance.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

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