Monthly Archives: October 2016

Finding Margo by Jen Turano

Finding Margo book cover.jpg

Margo Hartman is exhausted. She may greatly enjoy her job as an international pop star, but the constant fame as well as the pressure from her parents is causing her to feel overwhelmed. When Margo decides to run away for a little break, she does not expect to stop in a small Amish town in Ohio, but the unexpected events of a peculiar animal forces her to pause there for a while. She meets Sheriff Deputy Brock Moore, who is temporarily in the quiet town to support his brother-in-law and also to investigate a mysterious murder. When Margo somehow manages to attract the attention of a killer, she and Brock must work together to solve an old crime before it is too late.

I always adore Jen Turano’s books and this one is no exception. This particular story is a deviation from her normal historical fiction genre, but it still has all the elements that make her stories great – a spunky, strong female heroine; a dashing male who valiantly tries to save said female but discovers instead the heroine may end up saving a part of him; a humorous animal side-kick that adds numerous funny episodes; and a deeper development of faith and difficult topics throughout the storyline. This novel also adds a new element, that of a contemporary mystery. The villain is not predictable, adding to the suspense. And since this is the first book in a new series, I simply cannot wait to read more! Most highly recommended to lovers of any genre!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

another-day-another-dali-book-cover

FBI special agent Serena Jones decides to do her grandmother a favor and takes on a new case investigating a forged Dali painting. However, when the case suddenly becomes more complicated than she anticipated, it becomes apparent that someone is after Serena and has a more deadly aim in mind than simply forging. As Serena realizes this case may also have a link to the unsolved murder of her grandfather, the situation becomes even more complex. Serena’s personal life is no less difficult and only contributes to the chaos that surrounds this particular case.

This is an enjoyable second book in a delightful series. It has a bit of humor, suspense, and romance. I really enjoyed the fun and quirky Aunt Martha. I think the reader may better understand the characters by first reading the first book in the series. It took me a few chapters to get reacquainted with the characters, but I was excited to see how Serena’s love triangle would further develop in this book. The plot becomes more interesting when the case becomes so personal to Serena and her family. Unfortunately, the suspense is going to continue into the next book, as not all lose ends are finalized in this novel. I recommend this series to anyone who loves contemporary suspense and romance!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Where Two Hearts Meet by Liz Johnson

where-two-hearts-meet-book-cover

Caden Holt loves her job as executive chef of Rose’s Red Door Inn, but when her boss asks her to entertain a travel writer in order to help save the inn, she realizes her calm demeanor flees in the presence of an attractive man. Adam Jacobs is practically forced to travel to Prince Edwards Island is order to track down a story. He is surprised to be shown the island by the intriguing chef from Rose’s Red Door Inn. As both Caden and Adam discover more about each other, they each also must deal with the struggles in their own lives, struggles that may even come between them.

It was a delight to return to Prince Edward Island and read about a few familiar faces, in addition to learning more about Caden and her new story with Adam. The setting has so much charm and is the perfect backdrop for their romance. But this story is so much more than romance, it has spiritual truths, courage, honor, forgiveness, and trust mixed in. There is even a dose of humor throughout the novel that made reading enjoyable. I enjoyed the intriguing characters and the plot. Reading the first novel in this series is not necessary to enjoy this book, but of course both are excellent reads! I recommend this book!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

waves-of-mercy-book-cover

Anna Nicholson retreats to the Hotel Ottawa in Holland, Michigan, after breaking up with her wealthy suitor. She has many questions that cannot seem to be answered by her mother or father, and instead seeks answers by contemplating her life and asking questions about faith with Derk Vander Veen. Derk is studying to be a minister and is excited to discuss faith with Anna while he works his summer job at the hotel. As Anna shares her story, Derk realizes she has similar probing questions that his neighbor, Geesje de Jonge, struggled with in her youth, questions he has gleaned from reading Geesje’s story that she is currently writing down for her town’s settlement anniversary. As both Anna and Geesje tell their stories, the similarities in their lives demonstrate that both ladies have had deep struggles with family and faith.

Lynn Austin usually writes novels that explore deep spiritual truths and considers hard questions and this novel is no exception. In her typical writing pattern, the story is told through the lens of two different women, both of who have similar struggles but are in very different situations and time periods. I thought the storyline was interesting and I appreciated the depth of the characters as well as the fascinating Dutch history. The romance is a little different than your typical boy-meets-girl-and-falls-in-love storyline, and I personally thought the ending left too much unfinished. Perhaps there will be a sequel to tie up lose ends! I recommend this novel to all lovers of historical fiction.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren

wild-montana-skies-book-cover

Kacey Fairing returns home to Mercy Falls, Montana, in order to spend time with her daughter and leave behind her past tours and their nightmares in Afghanistan. She did not expect to run into her old high school sweetheart, Ben King, and is not fond of the fact that she has to work with Ben during the Search and Rescue operations in her hometown. Ben moved to Nashville years ago to pursue his successful career in singing and songwriting. He is not excited about managing PEAK rescue but decides to stay until his father’s health improves. When flash floods put the community in a state of emergency, Ben and Kacey have to work together despite old hurts in order to help their friends and their family.

This book is a wonderful start to a new series. I really liked the depth and development of Kacey and Ben throughout the novel and the spiritual struggles which with they both wrestled. I like heroines that are strong and independent but are also willing to admit when they need help and Kacey fit that description so well. The romance in the story was well developed, especially considering the pasts of the characters. I did think that parts of the plot are predictable, and near the end, I felt like the same argument was being hashed over and over, but the ending is truly sweet and wraps up their story well. I am excited to learn more about some of the secondary characters in the second novel. I recommend this new series!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

the-devoted-book-cover

Ruthie Stoltzfus is ready to begin her life and start a career doing something that will matter. She has managed to pass her GED and is saving money to get a job and make a difference. She first meets Patrick Kelly, a Canadian who desires to learn the ways of the Amish lifestyle and asks Ruthie to teach him Penn Dutch, all within a mere thirty days. While Ruthie cannot fathom why a stranger would want to belong to their community, she is surprised when she finds herself drawn to Patrick, especially since she is not quite over her dashing, daring, and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock. As Ruthie’s heart is torn in different directions, she learns the importance of patience and hope.

This novel does a fantastic job of incorporating so many different characters that are all distinctively connected in their spiritual and emotional struggles. I loved catching up with old characters from the first two novels in the series, but the author does a great job of creating a story for Ruthie that does not require readers to read the other books first. The depth and development of the characters is truly remarkable and allows readers from all backgrounds to connect with at least one (although most likely all!) of the characters. There are great spiritual lessons and unusual Bible verses that are used to help the individuals overcome their current circumstances, which added to the uniqueness of the story. I loved David’s heart but I also adored the graciousness and joy of his dear wife, Birdy, and found myself desiring to emulate some of her positive characteristics. This novel has something for everyone, even those who are not avid Amish fiction readers, and I highly recommend it!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

tangled-webs-book-cover

Dana Lewis escapes to her beloved grandparent’s lakeside cabin after an accident causes her to take some time off of work. She is excited to spend some quality alone time in the peaceful setting of so many wonderful childhood memories. She is therefore surprised to meet Finn McGregor, the mysterious Army Ranger who seems to be overcoming his own demons in his past, and even more astonished when she finds herself drawn to him. Finn is recovering from a disastrous Middle East mission and is looking forward to a quiet month-long vacation. When strange events begin occurring, Dana and Finn initially dismiss it as a poor taste in pranks. However, when the events start to take on a menacing tone, both must work together to solve the mystery before it is too late.

I have very much enjoyed the other novels in the Men of Valor series and was looking forward to this final installment. Although the characters had great depth and good development throughout the story, I thought the attention was more focused on their relationship than the mystery or suspense of the plot. I was disappointed that we knew so many details about the villain that it left little to the anticipation of the story. I did appreciate that the romance was so well developed in this novel, but I do wish there had been a little more uncertainty and mystery to the story. It was wonderful to catch up with the other brothers (the family dynamic is so fun), but the stories do not need to be read in succession to follow the plot. Overall, however, I do really like the entire series and highly recommend them all!

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews