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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck – A Book Review

     I enjoyed The Writing Desk, also by Rachel Hauck, and looked forward to reading The Love Letter, another time split novel. I really enjoyed the story of Hamilton Lightfoot and Esther Longfellow set in the Revolutionary War era. The contemporary story being carried out between Chloe Daschle and Jesse Gates was something I read through waiting to get back to Hamilton and Esther, that is until chapter twenty-two. At that point Jesse did something that totally grabbed my interest, and then, in my mind, the stories of the two couples truly began to merge.
     The Love Letter is a heart warming love story, and Rachel Hauck demonstrates through her story crafting the impact the love of and for Christ has on our earthly relationships. It is through His love that we receive the gift of grace freeing us to love well.
     Jesse Gates' screenplay based on his ancestor Hamilton's love letter ha been placed under contract to be made into a movie. Chloe Daschle, who had been typecast as “the queen of dying,” was thrilled to be cast as Ester, a role in which she would be allowed to live. Neither Jesse or Chloe's past had them looking for a relationship, but there was undeniable chemistry from the moment they met. Which of these couples, if either, would be destined to have a love that went the distance? Hauck's readers have some surprises in store.
    I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I do recommend this book to fans of romantic fiction. The time split stories run smoothly together, and the dialogue reads well.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The 49th Mystic: Beyond the Circle Book One by Ted Dekker – A Book Review

     Ted Dekker is the master of explaining Truth through story. I love that this time he has included Scripture, lots of it, at the end of the book to clearly connect it to the lessons learned by his protagonist, Rachelle, and hopefully his reader. For those reading this review and thinking, “Oh no, another thinly veiled sermon,” no fear! Just like Tolkien, Dekker is a beyond first rate storyteller. Fantasy and sci-fi fans will be enthralled.
     Blinded at a young age in the secluded and protected small town of Eden, Rachelle hopes to regain her sight through a controversial procedure. It seems ominous that the timing of the procedure coincides with the outbreak of chaos in the world outside the confines of Eden. Rachelle is also plagued by dreams in which a presence she labels as Shadowman threatens to continue to blind her each time she regains her sight. When he shows up at the hospital under the guise of Vlad Smith and places a smear of Rachelle's blood in one of the Books of History, her life, and the lives of all of Eden's residents, runs off the rails. Only through learning her true identity and finding the five seals as directed by someone in the other earth to which she travels each time she dreams will Rachelle be able to restore order.
     I am very grateful to NetGalley and Revell Books for providing me with a copy of The 49th Mystic in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation, and was under no obligation to provide a positive review. I highly recommend this book, along with The Circle Series.

The Negotiator by Dee Henderson - A Brief Comment

     This book has been on my shelf for a long time. It is the first book of Henderson's The O'Malley Chronicles series with a copyright date of 2000. While I really enjoyed the mystery negotiator, Kate O'Malley, and FBI agent, Dave Richman, worked to solve following a hostage crisis in a bank and an explosive brought down a passenger plane. My attention though was constantly diverted by the changes in technology in less than 20 years since this 2000 contemporary Christian fiction book was written as well as the pre-9/11 airport security. I am looking forward to reading book two, The Guardian, about Kate's brother, Marcus, a U.S. Marshall.

Green: The Circle Book Zero, The Beginning and the End by Ted Dekker - A Brief Comment

      Green is both the first and last book of Ted Dekker's Circle series. The other books in sequence are Black, Red and White. I read Green as book four and my husband read it as book one as we read it aloud together. As we read through the book I thought I preferred reading it as book four, but after reading the final chapter I decided that it would be preferable to read it as book one. Either way, it is a read filled with adventure, heartache, and the search for truth. I highly recommend this book for fantasy, sci-first, and dystopian fans.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

A Daring Venture by Elizabeth Camden - A Book Review

     Who would have ever thought a lawsuit, The Aldermen of Jersey City vs. the Jersey City Water Supply Company, from the early 1900s would make such an interesting backdrop for an historical romance novel? Once again Elizabeth Camden has developed an original plot embedded in a story with historical accuracy and importance. Today we are accustomed to advances in all areas related to public health, and even young children understand the idea of germs and bacteria too small for the naked eye to see. For the most part we do not question what is in our water (although there are times we probably should). In the early 1900s city water in the United States was filtered, but chemical purification was quite controversial. Deaths from cholera, typhoid, and other waterborne diseases were still an issue, but so was adding chemicals to kill the bacteria that caused those deaths. Camden places the heroine of this story on a team with other scientists working to insure water purification through chlorination while placing her romantic interest in the opposition. As if that did not create enough tension to keep the story moving, she added a character bent on vengeance and just a tad of scandal. The result is a compelling read that will grasp the reader's attention from start to finish.
     I thank NetGalley and Bethany House for providing me with a copy of A Daring Venture in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation and was under no obligation to write a positive review.

A Rebel Heart by Beth White - A Book Review

    This book has it all, mystery and romance in the historical setting of the Reconstruction period. It also deals with the social issues of the time on a personal level. I had very much enjoyed White's Gulf Coast Chronicles series and was not disappointed by this first book in the Daughtry House series. I must admit my interest was piqued by the setting, Tupelo, Mississippi, as I visited family there throughout my childhood. White truly captures the time and place, and fills it with intriguing characters.
     Selah Daughtry, the oldest of three sisters, is aided in retaining her family home by an undercover Pinkerton agent, Levi Riggins. Her mother had been brutally murdered by a band of renegade soldiers during the war and her father's whereabouts were unknown. Once Riggins' plan was in place, Selah was aided by her sisters and cousin, a foster son of sorts, a childhood friend and many who were once slaves on her family's plantation in her efforts to convert the plantation into an exclusive hotel as the railroad moved into the area.
     Levi Riggins used his talent in gathering intelligence, developed while serving in the Union Army, to move into a career as a Pinkerton detective following the war. Following leads as he worked to uncover the person or persons behind a series of train robberies, Levi ended up not only saving Selah's life, but providing her with a livelihood. Now he seeks to find a way to solve his case and bring their lives together as one.
     I highly recommend this, and all of Beth White's books. Her stories have depth, are well developed and paced, and her vocabulary in this book may increase your own. I thank NetGalley and Revell Books for providing me with a copy of A Rebel Heart in exchange for my honest review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley - A Book Review

     This is the seventh of Patricia Bradley's eleven books that I have had the pleasure of reading. She quickly became one of my favorite mystery writers, and remains in that group with Justice Betrayed, the third book in her Memphis Cold Case series.
     Homicide detective Rachel Sloan is not so sure how serious to take the Elvis tribute artist who showed up at her desk in full Elvis attire, until that is he mentions a connection to the unsolved mystery of her mother's murder. As the case progresses it becomes deadly serious as connections begin to appear between more cases, both past and present, and Rachel's own life appears to be threatened.
     Lieutenant Boone Callahan, Rachel's superior officer, has mixed emotions about Rachel's move to the homicide division of the Memphis Police Department; working in the division would eliminate the possibility of renewing their relationship, and he couldn't help feeling protective of her as it became apparent that her current case was becoming personal. His own past as an army officer in Iraq was impacting their situation almost as much as Rachel's history with the suspects and victims in this case. What would it take to sort through all of these issues, and would it be too late?
     I read Justice Betrayed in two days, putting other responsibilities on the back burner while becoming immersed in this story. I highly recommend it to mystery fans. If you are a fan of Colleen Coble, Lynette Eason, or Sandra Orchard, you will enjoy Patricia Bradley as well. I thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of Justice Betrayed in exchange for an honest review. I received no monetary compensation and was under no obligation to give a positive review.