Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano

Finding Lady Enderly book cover.jpg

Raina Bretton is certain that her life will amount to nothing except working as a collector and restorer of rags in London’s East End in 1871.  So when a handsome stranger offers her a glittering opportunity to enjoy a position at a mysterious abbey, she is excited about the adventure. However, she soon realizes that beneath the impressive wealth at the abbey, secrets abound in the darker, hidden rooms.  As Raina explores the secrets further, danger creeps in and traps her in its clutches, causing her to question everything she’s ever known.

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Wow!  I have started and edited this review several times since finishing the book because I do not think that words can adequately express how much I loved this book!  Joanna Davidson Politano has a rare talent and a true gift for writing.  She crafts plots that contain unexpected twists and turns, creating a complex storyline that draws you, as the reader, into its mystery and will not let you go (even when are reading well into the wee hours of the morning and are terribly tired the next day!).  She also incorporates such intricately deep themes that resonate with you and cause you to reflect and apply them to your own life (how does she do that??).  I particularly loved the theme of identity in this book and finding the core of who God made you to be.  This story has additional themes of mercy and grace and renewing what was once broken into something beautiful.  I loved the characters and Joanna’s ability to develop them so deeply in just a few hundred pages.  I found myself crying with Raina more than once.  I was completely absorbed in the book from the beginning to the end, oblivious to the laundry and chores awaiting me at home.  I adored the romance in the book and it made my romantic heart go pitter-patter with their aching affection and absolutely adorable way of communicating their love through classic book quotes.  The scenes are vividly painted with rich descriptions that make it easy to visualize the scenes.  The ending wraps up beautifully without every detail working out perfectly, which makes it believable.  (Is it possible to actually miss the characters when you finish a book?  Because I did).  If I could describe this book in one word, it would be… captivating!  I could go on and on about how much I loved this book, but I instead of wasting your time by rambling, instead I encourage you to just go and buy a copy of this book!  I know you will fall in love with it, like I did!  There are not enough stars to rate this book, in my opinion. It is one of my favorite reads of all time and I cannot wait to see what Joanna writes next!

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Joanna at a local book signing while reading this book and I can attest to the fact that she is one of the sweetest, most genuine authors. I think it made me love her writing even more!  Here is a picture of us together (she is on the right).  Thank you for signing all of your books for me, Joanna!

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

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Vow of Justice by Lynette Eason

Vow of Justice book cover

FBI Special Agent Lincoln St. John is not sure that he can recover from the death of the woman he loves, Allison Radcliffe.  He is determined to make sure that those who killed her pay for their sins.  But when he discovers that Allison is alive, he suddenly finds himself unsure whether to be happy or angry.  Yet the danger is not over yet, and he and Allison need to unravel the mystery before it is too late.

This series has been full of great action and suspense!  This final installment has awesome twists and turns and a chilling villain that makes your skin crawl and you cheer when justice is finally delivered!  The romance is realistic and gets put through the wringer throughout the story.  I really liked Allison, too!  She has a great heart and is a strong, independent female.  There are lose ties to earlier stories in this series, but you can also read this novel as a stand-alone.  The action is very fast-paced and keeps the story constantly moving.  I definitely recommend this series!

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

A Glitter of Gold by Liz Johnson

A Glitter of Gold book cover

Anne Norris is thrilled when she finds evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island as her recent move to Savannah, Georgia, is not panning out as she expected and she could use the money.  She turns to Carter Hale, a local museum director, for confirmation about her findings. Along the way, she realizes that she has to trust Carter, a task she is not certain her heart can handle.

This book has great characters and an intriguing plot!  Anne really captured me with her backstory and I found myself feeling her emotions throughout the novel.  This created a sweet romance with depth.  The plot is creative with stories of pirates and a mystery surrounding the lost treasure. At times, I thought the story moved a little bit slow but overall I enjoyed the novel.  The ending has a satisfying conclusion to the story.  I have enjoyed this series and recommend this book!

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

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

Deadly Intentions book cover

Caitlyn Lindsey becomes suspicious that someone is killing her fellow team members when three of them die within months and now she barely survived a hit and run.  She turns to Detective Josh Solomon with her theories. Initially skeptical, Josh soon cannot discount Caitlyn’s fears.  As he teams with Caitlyn to finds answers, Josh realizes that they are going to need to solve this mystery before it is too late.

Suspense, mystery, and romance, this book has it all!  The action throughout the entire story keeps the plot moving.  The romance is sprinkled among the action and has depth as one of the characters struggles with past trauma.  I like how this author always incorporates Christian principles in her books, too, that are easy to connect with and speak to me as a reader. It definitely did not take long to read this book as I was eagerly anticipating the nail-biting conclusion.  I recommend this book to all lovers of romantic suspense!

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

The String by Caleb Breakey

The String book cover

The “Conductor,” as he calls himself, is selecting individuals around Trenton University to be pawns in his game.  He gives threats and rewards but promises to destroy everyone if they refuse to participate. He calls the game “The String” as each piece is connected somehow to each other piece.  No one quite understands the end game, but as Markus Haas, the university cop, realizes that the Conductor is creating chaos and death, he stops at nothing to destroy The String before all the pieces collide and collapse.

This novel is certainly an exciting thriller!  There is suspense from the prologue until the very last page—and probably into the next book as there are a few loose ends that will likely be answered in future novels. The villain in this book is a true psychopath and his actions made me cringe more than once.  I definitely only recommend this book to mature audiences because it contains quite a bit of violence and details of the horror inflicted by the villain on his victims.  I felt like the suspense was a little chaotic, creating at times a disjointed plot, but it’s true that I did not guess the villain until it was revealed. I wished for a bit stronger of a Christian message to outweigh the evil in the book.  I appreciated that the characters in the book were fierce and intelligent, however, willing to act and fight back rather than passively wait for the end.  This book definitely kept me up late several nights.  I would classify this as more “thriller” than true suspense given its darker elements, but if that’s your style, it is definitely well written and worth a read!

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

Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham

Yours Truly, Thomas book cover

Penny Ercanbeck likes her job as a clerk in the dead letter office because sometimes she comes across interesting life stories or love letters that are lost.  When a letter from man to a woman falls into her lap, she realizes that this is not an ordinary letter.  The man’s desperation and hopelessness pulls at her heartstrings and causes her to set off on an adventure to identify the missing woman and provide comfort for the man.  Her travels take her to Azure Springs, Iowa, where she meets the letter-writer and finds herself falling for him.  As secrets emerge and danger lurks, Penny must search her heart for what God is planning for her own life.

The premise of the story easily intrigued me as it was original and not like something I had read before.  Combined with the talent this author demonstrated in her debut novel last year, I was eagerly anticipating this book!  Once again, Rachel Fordham writes sweet, faith-filled romance.  I thought the story moved a little slowly and I did not feel the spark between Thomas and Penny.  The ending also wrapped up just a little too conveniently for it to be believable as well.  Nonetheless, I did enjoy the book and liked reading about the history of the dead letter office.  I liked how the story was broken up with intermittent letters, which was creative. I am definitely a fan of this author and cannot wait to see what she writes next!  I recommend this book to those who like historical romance.

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

Light from Distant Stars by Shawn Smucker

Light from Distant Stars book cover

Cohen Marah experiences his childhood reimagined.  All the pain he saw in his past—his parents’ separation and the accident he witnessed. He befriends two children in the forest who take him on a dark adventure.  But soon Cohen’s past and present collide and he cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy.  And through it all he begins to wonder if he was in fact the man who was responsible for his father’s death.

This author writes great suspenseful fiction!  His words seem to jump off the page with their vivid descriptions.  The plot is interesting and complex, making you as the reader begin to wonder with the protagonist what is real and what is not real.  This is not my typical genre, which I would classify as science fiction, but the book pulled me in and drew me along on its journey with ease.  The Christian principles are not as obvious as other Christian fiction, but there is evidence of a Greater Being throughout the story.  There are enough gritty topics to create depth to the story as well, which also means this is probably best suited for adult audiences.  I recommend this book to those who like science fiction and are looking for a great read in that category!

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