Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Mark of the Raven - A Review

Published - November 2018, Bethany House
Series - Ravenwood Saga Book 1
Author - Morgan L. Busse
Title - Mark of the Raven
Format - ebook, paper
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About the book:
Lady Selene is the heir to the Great House of Ravenwood and the secret family gift of dreamwalking. As a dreamwalker, she can enter a person's dreams and manipulate their greatest fears or desires. For the last hundred years, the Ravenwood women have used their gift of dreaming for hire to gather information or to assassinate.

As she discovers her family's dark secret, Selene is torn between upholding her family's legacy--a legacy that supports her people--or seeking the true reason behind her family's gift.

Her dilemma comes to a head when she is tasked with assassinating the one man who can bring peace to the nations, but who will also bring about the downfall of her own house.

One path holds glory and power, and will solidify her position as Lady of Ravenwood. The other path holds shame and execution. Which will she choose? And is she willing to pay the price for the path chosen?

My Thoughts:
This book intrigued me. I enjoy fantasy and wanted to try this one. I'll admit, I was hooked. Hooked to the point that I stayed up late many nights. Selene and Damien are interesting characters. I want to know more. I liked them both, but I really want more. I want to know more about the different gifts that the houses have. I want to find out what will happen next.

I guess that you can say I'm anxious for the next book.

I received a copy from the publisher in order to share my honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.

Recommended to fans of fantasy. 

Rating - 4 stars

Shelter of the Most High - A Review

Published - October 2018, Bethany House
Series - Cities of Refuge Book 2
Author - Connilyn Cossette
Title - Shelter of the Most High
Format - ebook, paper
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About the Book:
The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

My Thoughts:
Biblical fiction is a genre I don't read a lot of. I enjoy it, but in moderation. I've read one of Connilyn Cossette's before and enjoyed it, so I thought why not. 

This one was slow moving at first. I did enjoy it. It just took me a while to get into it. I'm not very familiar with the period in Bible history that this one is set in, but the way that the author describes things makes me feel as if I was there. She writes in vivid detail. I would like to read the next one in the series.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher to share my honest opinion of it. I was not required to like the book, only to give an opinion. My thoughts are my own.

Recommended to fans of Bible fiction, Mesu Andrews, Angela Hunt

Rating - 4 stars

Christmas Heirloom

Published - September 2018, Bethany House
Authors - Karen Witemeyer, Kristi Ann Hunter, Sarah Loudin Thomas, Becky Wade
Title - Christmas Heirloom
Format - ebook, paper
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About the book:
In Kristi Ann Hunter's "Legacy of Love," Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman's grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer's "Gift of the Heart," widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas's "A Shot at Love," Fleeta Brady's rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family's brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade's "Because of You," Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

My thoughts:
Having a book that follows generations is always fun. I've read things by these authors before, and I've loved them. Seeing them come together to do a holiday novella collection was rather fun. It's hard to pick a favorite one since I really enjoyed all four of them. This collection contains one set in the mid 1800's, post Civil War, 1950's, and present day, so there is truly something for everyone.

I received a copy from the publisher on behalf of one of the authors in order to share my thoughts and opinions. I was not required to like the book, only give an honest opinion. My thoughts are my own.

Rating - 4 stars

Friday, October 5, 2018

Secret to Die For - A Review

Published - Revell Books, September 2018
Author - Lisa Harris
Title - A Secret to Die For
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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About the book:
Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret--one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn't simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan--and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

My Thoughts:
This book was fast-paced. I was hooked from the beginning of it. I can tell you it kept me awake many evenings because I didn't want to put it down!

Grace is dealing with some of her own issues when she learns one her clients was murdered. I didn't expect this book to have developed the characters so deeply. I also didn't expect the book to show how the characters deal with their traumatic pasts.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm hoping it's part of a series so that I can catch up with these characters at another time.

I received a copy from the publisher in order to share my honest opinion. I was not required to like the book, only to give an honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of romantic suspense, Dani Pettrey, Irene Hannon

Rating - 4 stars

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Cost of Betrayal - A Review

Published - Bethany House, September 2018
Authors - Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, Lynette Eason
Title - The Cost of Betrayal
Format - ebook, paper, audio
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About the book:
In Dee Henderson's novella "Betrayed," Janelle Roberts is freed--thanks to people she doesn't know--after serving six years of a twenty-year sentence for a murder she did not commit. But a murderer is still at large, and Janelle needs to be somewhere safe with someone she can trust. She may not survive another betrayal.

In Dani Pettrey's "Deadly Isle," Tennyson Kent is trapped on the isolated island of her childhood by a storm surge, and she is shocked when the typically idyllic community turns into the hunting grounds of a murderer. Cut off from any help from the mainland, will she and first love Callen Frost be able to identify and stop a killer bent on betrayal before they become the next victims?

In Lynette Eason's "Code of Ethics," trauma surgeon Ruthie St. John saves the life of Detective Isaac Martinez. After a betrayal leads to him getting shot and then attacked while in recovery, Isaac is now a key witness determined to testify. But someone is intent on silencing him--and those around him--forever. Together, Ruthie and Isaac go on the run, desperate to escape the killers hunting him. 

My Thoughts:
Dee Henderson's Betrayed - This one had an intriguing premise to it. And I enjoyed catching up with Paul and Ann. But I felt that there was something missing. The story didn't feel finished. Rating - 3 stars

Dani Pettrey's Deadly Isle - This was by far my favorite of the collection. I loved Teni and Callen. I loved how they interacted with each other. This one kept me reading. Rating - 5 stars

Lynette Eason's Code of Ethics - This one was a delight to read. I'm already familiar with the St. John family, so getting to know Ruthie better was fun. I didn't expect the twists and turns this one took. Rating - 4 stars.

Overall thoughts on the book:
These are three talented authors. They know how to keep their readers guessing. I always know that I'm in for a good read with these authors. Overall, I enjoyed the book quite a lot.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher on behalf of one of the authors to help with the promotion of it. 

Overall book rating - 4 stars

Crescent Stone - A Review

Published - August 2018, Tyndale
Author - Matt Mikalatos
Series - The Sunlit Lands Book 1
Title - The Crescent Stone
Format - ebook, paper
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About the Book:
A girl with a deadly lung disease . . .
A boy with a tragic past . . .
A land where the sun never sets but darkness still creeps in . . .

Madeline Oliver has never wanted for anything, but now she would give anything just to breathe. Jason Wu skates through life on jokes, but when a tragedy leaves him guilt-stricken, he promises to tell only the truth, no matter the price. When a mysterious stranger named Hanali appears to Madeline and offers to heal her in exchange for one year of service to his people, Madeline and Jason are swept into a strange land where they don’t know the rules and where their decisions carry consequences that reach farther than they could ever guess.

My Thoughts:
Fantasy is always a hard genre to write in. I love reading it. Especially when the author does a great job in creating a world with a history. And Matt Mikalatos did just that. The Sunlit Lands are rich in history to the point there are legends and reasons behind why the people believe the way that they do. 

I'll admit. The book dragged on at times. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but there were times it was slow. 

I am looking forward to reading the next one in the series because I do want to know what happened to the characters Jason especially. I'd also like to know more about the Sunlit Lands in general. 

I received a copy from the publisher for free in order to give my honest opinion. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of fantasy, Tolkien

Rating - 4 stars

Hidden Among the Stars - A Review

Published - September 2018, Tyndale
Author - Melanie Dobson
Title - Hidden Among the Stars
Format - ebook, audio, paper
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About the book:
The year is 1938, and as Hitler’s troops sweep into Vienna, Austrian Max Dornbach promises to help his Jewish friends hide their most valuable possessions from the Nazis, smuggling them to his family’s summer estate near the picturesque village of Hallstatt. He enlists the help of Annika Knopf, his childhood friend and the caretaker’s daughter, who is eager to help the man she’s loved her entire life. But when Max also brings Luzia Weiss, a young Jewish woman, to hide at the castle, it complicates Annika’s feelings and puts their entire plan―even their very lives―in jeopardy. Especially when the Nazis come to scour the estate and find both Luzia and the treasure gone.

Eighty years later, Callie Randall is mostly content with her quiet life, running a bookstore with her sister and reaching out into the world through her blog. Then she finds a cryptic list in an old edition of Bambithat connects her to Annika’s story . . . and maybe to the long-buried story of a dear friend. As she digs into the past, Callie must risk venturing outside the safe world she’s built for a chance at answers, adventure, and maybe even new love.

My Thoughts:
This book was amazing! I loved the dual timelines and I loved the search for answers. WWII is one of my favorite time periods, and this had one timeline in WWII and the other in the modern day. I loved how the stories connected. 

I received a copy from the publisher to share my thoughts and opinions. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Recommended to fans of Kristy Cambron, WWII

Rating - 5 stars