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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

To Follow Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino - A Book Review

    To Follow Her Heart             Image of Rebecca DeMarino

     To Follow Her Heart is book three in The Southold Chronicles based on Rebecca De Marino’s ancestors, Barnabas and Mary Horton’s, settling in what is now Long Island, New York. In her author’s notes DeMarino clearly separates the fact from the fiction. While this latest addition to the series focuses on the romance between Patience Terry and Barnabas’ brother, Jeremy, it continues the story of the deep love between Mary and Barnabas.

     Life in the 1600’s wasn’t easy with illness and death truly plaguing residents in the New World as well as the Old. The Horton family, while not untouched, was largely spared. The community of Southold demonstrates the reliance those who settled our nation had to have upon one another and upon the original residents in the lands upon which they settled. It also demonstrates the deep attachments that developed.

     While it is satisfying to revisit Barnabas and Mary Horton, and to rejoice in the depth of their love for and dedication to one another, it is the ever changing relationship between Jeremy and Patience that keeps the reader engaged with this story. The author does a wonderful job of keeping the reader guessing as to what direction she will take this relationship. Patience, in her early forties, has waited a long time for Jeremy to commit to her, while it seems that that time has finally arrived, Jeremy seems to like the idea of commitment far more than actually committing. Might there be another suitor far more ready to do so?

     There is one aspect of To Follow Her Heart that kept me unsettled. That was the question of to what degree did the characters act and interact in a way that was true to the time period in which the story is set. Would they consider that a certain color gown would make the color of their eyes, “pop”? Would a couple, not officially engaged, spend so much unchaperoned time together in the confines of one’s home? Would there be such public displays of affection? Would women and men compete against one another in a game of tug-of-war? This line of questioning did not, however, diminish my enjoyment of the story, and would not keep me from recommending it to others.

      I thank Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for providing To Follow Her Heart for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Without Warning by Lynette Eason - A Book Review

      Lynette Eason

     Book two of the Elite Guardians series far outshines book one. Without Warning is Lynette Eason at her best. She has created a believable story with endearing characters. There are several suspects with motivations to commit the crime, and some come under suspicion again even after having been found unlikely candidates. Eason leads you to the solution of the mystery, but then provides a surprising twist that the reader won’t have seen coming.
     Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection agency, is a strong, self-confident woman. Daniel Matthews, restaurateur and client of the agency, is a former Marine who appreciates those qualities in a woman. Being a Marine, Matthews is more than capable of taking care of himself, but his niece insists he hires the Elite Guardians. After all she has already lost her mom and dad; she cannot allow anything to happen to her uncle. No one is quite sure why Daniel Matthews is being targeted by a killer and arsonist, and no one is sure when and how that person will strike again. Singleton and Matthews have the skills necessary to deal with the situation, but it is their vulnerabilities that create a bond between them.
     While Eason refers back to characters and events from book one in this series, Always Watching, it is not necessary to have read the first book in order to understand and enjoy the second. Each book in the series has as its main character one of the partners of the Elite Guardians. It would appear that the author is designing them to be read in sequence or as a stand-alone book. Something I always appreciate.

      I thank Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for providing Without Warning for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.