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Monday, June 15, 2015

Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard – A Book Review

  Desperate Measures        Sandra Orchard

    Desperate Measures is the third book in the Port Aster Secrets series.  I read the books out of order, book two, then book one, and finally book three.  I was able to follow the storyline, and felt in reading book two first that it worked well as a stand-alone read.  I do believe, however, reading books one and two first is important to truly comprehending book three. I have greatly enjoyed the series, and will look for other books by Sandra Orchard. 
     While in several series I’ve read lately each book focuses on a particular character from a family or group of friends, the Port Aster Secrets series follows the adventures of a plant researcher and amateur sleuth, Kate Adams, and her love interest, Detective Tom Parker.  Kate solves a variety of mysteries, many linked to a pharmaceutical company that has its eyes set on her research laboratory, and the mysterious plants she harbors.  Kate’s dogged determination to clear the names of loved ones, to restore relationships, and to ferret out the truth often frustrates Tom, who only wants to insure her safety. The author includes an abundance of red herrings, and does not make it easy on her readers to solve the variety of mysteries that pop up in this book and in this series. 
     My favorite quote in this whole series comes near the end of book three, “Isn’t it funny how often what we think we want is really only how we’d imagined getting it?...Makes me glad that sometimes God says no so he can give us what we truly desire.”  That second sentence is fairly easy to comprehend, but the first takes some rereading to truly capture the wisdom there. 

     I would highly recommend this book, but once again would encourage readers to read the first two books of the series before reading this one. I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing Desperate Measures for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.       

Monday, June 1, 2015

Love's Rescue by Christine Johnson - A Book Review


     I selected Love’s Rescue to review mainly due to its setting, Key West, Florida.  Having spent a lot of time in south Florida, and being interested in the history of the area, I found this book very appealing.  Well, I got way more than I bargained for.  This book really drew out my metacognitive side, making me think about the way I was thinking as I read.  (Okay, maybe I’ve been reading too much about comprehension strategy instruction, but it did make me appreciate this book even more!)  This book has characters you will cheer for as well as those you will love to hate.  At one point I wondered to myself how I was enjoying the book so much even though I was gritting my teeth with frustration at the turn of events, and while I hate to admit it, I did take a peek at the last few pages just to make sure all was going to end well.  The author gives just the right amount of information for the reader to make inferences without feeling like they came too easy, and without throwing in some new information or character from left field, allowing the reader that pleasant sense of accomplishment as the pieces of the story begin to fit together. The sights and sounds of the 1800s Key West come alive with the author’s wonderful word-smithing, backed by sound research. 
     Elizabeth Benjamin returns to Key West after a four year absence.  Having fended off all potential suitors, she anxiously waits to see what type of reception she will get from Rourke O’Malley, captain of a wrecker ship.  She just didn’t anticipate her ship’s colliding into a reef being the event that would bring her face to face with Captain O’Malley.  Elizabeth also has to wonder about how her father will react to her returning unwed and unbetrothed.  As Elizabeth struggles to meet her obligations while remaining true to herself, she uncovers family secrets that will impact the lives of everyone within her home, and many outside of the family as well.  She is faced with hard decisions and the possibility of great sacrifice. While multi-themed, the central theme that winds itself throughout the story, and brings it to a climax, is forgiveness.  The author deals with the struggle we all face at one time or another, the desire to forgive in the face of a stronger desire to withhold it.
     Fans of historical romantic fiction will enjoy this book, even those who may not have selected a book within this genre that focuses on Christian themes.  I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing Love’s Rescue for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
     I do have to share a picture from a 2014 trip to Tarpon Springs that this book reminded me of, even though it doesn’t fit the time frame in which this book is set.  You’ll have to read the book to discover my connection.