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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey - A Book Review

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor Book #4) Dani Pettrey

     I stepped into Dani Pettrey's Chesapeake Valor series with Dead Drift, the final book in the series. While it was obvious as I read that it would have been preferable to read the books in sequence, Pettrey provided just enough background information to inform a reader new to the series and to refresh the mind of a reader following the series without causing the story to drag.
     CI A operative Luke Gallagher was recruited by the agency fresh out of college. He walked away from friends, family and the love of his life, Kate Maxwell, for what he thought would be a short assignment and a big adventure. Now he was back for the first time after a seven year absence. The hunt for the terrorist Ebeid having brought him full circle, back to his hometown. Now he must find Ebeid with the help of Kate and their closest friends, each with their own special skill set for fighting crime, before Ebeid could carry out his plan to unleash anthrax on unsuspecting Americans. He must do this while facing the fact that Kate was still the only woman he had ever or would ever love, working with the friends he had abandoned, and coming to terms with the things he had done while working as an operative.
     Kate Maxwell, a private investigator and a federal consultant on the task force to bring down Ebeid, was shocked to have Luke walk back into her life after seven years; seven years in which she had never gotten over loving him or being betrayed by him. No way she was going to risk having her heart pummeled again, but would her resolve hold out? Danger has a way of defining priorities.
     I recommend Dead Drift, and do suggest reading the entirety of the Chesapeake Valor series in sequence. Pettrey can always be counted upon for a fast paced, adventure filled read, and this book does not disappoint. I thank NetGalley and Bethany House for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation. All opinions are my own.

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright - A Book Review

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond Jaime Jo Wright

     The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond is a story of grace. Both Libby Sheffield's journey to grace in the early 1900's and Annalise Forsythe's in current times were painful but necessary. They had to learn to forgive themselves for their past mistakes, but first they had to bring them into the light and face them. This was made much more difficult by living in a town which was keeping more than its own share of secrets.
     Jaime Jo Wright has once again demonstrated her prowess in writing time split novels. The smooth flow with which she transitions between time periods, and the intricacies with which she ties them together make her a standout author in this genre. Wright has given her readers historical romance, contemporary romance and suspense all together in one delightful package. She has created characters that are intriguing and that have depth. The reader can easily identify with the circumstances of their lives and the difficult choices set before them. Wright puts forth an honest picture of the church with its beauty that God intended as well as its ugliness caused by our fallen natures. As was previously stated, this novel is a story of grace. Who among us doesn't need that?
     I thank NetGalley and Bethany House for providing me with a copy of The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review and received no monetary compensation.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Died in the Wool by Elizabeth Ludwig and Janelle Mowery - A Brief Comment

Died in the Wool (Massachusetts Mayhem Mysteries, No. 2)Elizabeth Ludwig  Janelle Mowery

This book came to me from my mother's bookshelf. It started out as a quick read between ARC books that I was scheduled to read and review; it ended up capturing my attention. It read like an episode of a 1980's mystery series, which are my faroites on retro channels. If you like them too, I recommend Died in the Wool.
I am interested in checking out more Hometown Mysteries. In this one librarian Monah Trenary is quite the sleuth, especially after discovering a corpse in her own library. Monah's boyfriend, Detective Mike Brockman, has his hands full keeping her out of trouble, finding the murderer of two citizens while searching for an arsonist, all in a little town that boasts only one traffic light. Settle in and enjoy the twists and turns of this cozy mystery.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The House at Saltwater Point by Colleen Coble - A Book Review

The House at Saltwater Point (A Lavender Tides Novel)  Colleen Coble

     Blogger and home renovation expert, Ellie Blackmore, responded with fierce loyalty to the accusations and rumors connected with the disappearance of her sister Mackenzie (Mac). She continually assured herself that the copious amount of of blood on Mac's tall ship's deck did not automatically mean that she was dead. Nor did the evidence that was piling up mean that she was a drug dealer. There must be more to the story.
     What a coincidence that Grayson Bradshaw of the Coast Guard Investigative Services was sent to investigate a theft of cocaine that had been previously apprehended in the same small town where he had just learned that he had been adopted from. The appearance of his biological sister, Shauna Bannister, and her new husband in the town where he was visiting his parents, with her bombshell news that he was adopted and was her long lost brother was distracting him from the case at hand, a case that needed his full attention. Shauna and her news were not the only distractions; there also was the sister of his lead suspect.
     Colleen Coble has crafted yet another spell-binding mystery. Her ability to reveal facts and unforeseen connections and to plant plausible red herrings, always places her mysteries among my favorites. While this one is not the first book in her current series, it works well as a stand-alone read. If you are a fan of mysteries, whether a fan of Christian fiction or not, you will enjoy the master storytelling of Colleen Coble. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof - A Book Review

Sons of Blackbird Mountain: A Novel (A Blackbird Mountain Novel) Joanne Bischof

     Through Thorald Norgaard Joanne Bischof honors the deaf and their language. She makes clear the importance of listening and of being heard, whether verbal speech is a part of that communication or not, and in spite of gender or race differences. Even for the hearing community, much of what we say and hear involves non-verbal communication, being aware of that will improve our skills if we will allow it to do so.
     Thor is the middle son, a skilled apple farmer and maker of hard ciders and wines. He is also an alcoholic, a slave to his handiwork, even as he supports those freed from slavery following the Civil War. Aven Norgaard is the young widow of the brothers' cousin who has braved the seas to come live with their Aunt Dorothe and the three “boys” under her care. She arrives to learn that Dorothe has passed away, and the three boys are grown men, one of whom quickly claims her heart. Aven has seen the results of a life given to alcohol, and is unsure of how to guard her heart.
     Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a study in relationships and a story of forgiveness given and at times withheld. It is a story of choosing to do the right thing over choosing the easy or self-centered path. Joanne Bischof is a new to me author, and I will be looking for more of her books in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart - A Book Review

    Ann H. Gabhart
     I loved this story of Adria Starr's rescue as a child caught in the cholera epidemic of 1833 by two of her town's slave community, and her being raised by Ruth Harmon who was widowed during that same epidemic. I loved it even more after reading the author's note following the story. Learning which characters were the real people, the ones who lived through the cholera epidemic and around who the story was built, made me want to read it over again through the lens of that new information. I live not far from Springfield, Kentucky where the story is set, and hope to visit the memorial monument in honor of one of these true, historical characters, a person of great faith, courage and compassion.
     The theme of River to Redemption is faith after great disappointment. Both Ruth Harmon and Reverend Will Robertson prayed for their critically ill spouses, standing on Scriptures about the power of prayer and God's faithfulness to answer prayer, but their spouses died anyway. With their faith rocked, they now stood on shaky ground longing for assurance. They must learn again how to “pray believing.”
     I highly recommend this book to those who are also longing for the type of faith that brings assurance, to those who enjoy historical fiction that is well-researched and based on true events and people, and to those who love a story that is carried on by a sense of mounting tension. I thank NetGalley and Revell Publishing for providing me with a copy of River to Redemption in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

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.