Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson

Fatal TrustFatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ian Wells had absolutely no idea what he was getting into when he took over his father's law practice upon graduation. He didn't know what to think when a malpractice suit landed on his desk either. How in the world was he to ever have a successful practice when money was tight, this lawsuit against him, and dealing with a mother with Alzheimer's?

One day he gets a mysterious phone call and subsequent appointment about a potential client. This client is willing to pay a very large sum of money up front, as well as more at the conclusion of the case, providing certain conditions were met. Ian is overwhelmed, because this offer couldn't have come at a better time. Can he meet the client's demands for meting out the trust funds?

I was completely captivated by this book from the first line. I do struggle with flash back scenes so I was a little confused for awhile but it didn't take long to figure out the differences. (Truth be told, I hate books and movies with flashbacks!) This story unwound and weaved through various angles and just when I thought I had it figured out, I realized I didn't. The twists and turns throughout this novel will have you wanting to go back and reread passages to see what you missed!! I was thoroughly entertained by this story and was completely surprised by the ending. I love it when a great author, such as Todd Johnson, can weave a story to keep the reader on his or her toes!

I would recommend this book to those who love a great mystery, thriller, or action! I appreciate very much reading a book of this magnitude that does not include the language and unsavory actions that is read in mainstream media. I'm so thankful for great quality books from authors like Todd Johnson and publishers such as Bethany House to keep me reading books in this genre without all the garbage!!!

Many thanks to Bethany House and Todd Johnson for providing a complimentary copy for review. The thoughts you have read here are my own.

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson

Treasured Grace (Heart of the Frontier #1)Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having recently read Beloved Hope and finding out it was the second book in the Heart of the Frontier series, I had to come back and read the first book!! While Beloved Hope can be read and understood without reading the first book, I did feel like I could tie up a few loose ends. I was not at all disappointed by doing so!

Grace is moving her sisters and herself from St. Louis to the unsettled Oregon country. She and her husband join a band of others travelling for the same purpose...to make a better life for themselves. During the trip, Grace's husband dies along the way. Once they arrive to their destination, Grace sets out to find her Uncle Edward, hoping that he can take the sisters in and help them establish their new life. While waiting to find Uncle Edward, Grace and her sisters find a place to stay at the Whitman mansion. Dr. Whitman isn't fond of Grace using her healing methods, as they are not true medicine in his eyes. However, several people in the mansion, along with the Cayuse Indians, are coming down with "white man's illness" and Grace feels obligated to help out. When the Indians decide that Dr. Whitman is killing their people instead of helping them, things get very heated and a massacre takes place. Will Grace and her sisters survived this tragedy?

This book is captivating from the very beginning and is a rather fast read. Grace is a strong woman who doesn't back down easily. I love that about her! Her strength is what helps Hope and Mercy endure the struggles that they will all face. I love the names that this author has chosen for these women, as they seem very fitting to their characters. I would caution allowing tender hearts to read this book as it is filled with tragedy and difficult situations. It's a heavy read, but one that I enjoyed despite all the turmoil.

I look forward to reading Cherished Mercy when it is released later on this year!!

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Beloved Hope (Heart of the Frontier #2)Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this second book in the Heart of the Frontier series, we learn that Hope has survived the Whitman massacre. However, just because she survived doesn't mean that she doesn't carry very deep scars of the event. Hope is not sure she will ever trust anyone again, especially a man. After what she's endured, Hope doesn't seem to have a lot of hope for her future. She's living with her sister, Grace and her husband, Alex, as well as her younger sister, Mercy. Hope spends her day tending to their flock of lambs.

It's time for the trial of the Cayuse who caused the trauma that happened at the Whitman plantation. Hope is expected to testify against those who wronged her and many other women in the community but she's not sure she can do it.

There's a new guy in town named Lance who's working at the jail that's holding the Cayuse until they go to trial. Lance is about to get out of the military and he's contemplating returning home to New Orleans to start his law practice and continue to run his family's plantation. After a chance meeting with Hope, Lance isn't sure he wants to go back home. There's a lot of factors that go into this though, including his secret past that he's not sure he could share with someone.

In this novel, Tracie Peterson picks up where she left off in the first book of the series, Treasured Grace. I have not yet read this book but it's my next read as this one was so captivating. I had to download it immediately!! I have also learned that Cherished Mercy, the third book in this series, is set to release in Sept. 2017!! How exciting to read more about this family!

I really fell in love with this book pretty quickly. The story captivated my attention, even though there were a few moments that I was unclear on having not read the first book. For the most part, this is an easy read in terms of picking up pieces though. It is a bit of a heavy read learning of Hope's situation and all she endured while being captured by the Cayuse. For that reason, I would not recommend this book to tender aged readers. There are several "adult" issues faced in this book that might be difficult for a younger crowd.

I loved the story of Lance as well. The way that he handled the past issues he faced was done with much grace. I am not sure I could have been as forgiving as he was (or Hope either for that matter). The overarching theme of this book is forgiveness as well as hope. I felt I could identify with both Lance and Hope on some level and I appreciated the ways in which they handled their issues. My only real issue with this story is that the path to salvation was shortened by a few steps. I do believe that one must Hear the Word (Romans 10:17), Believe on the Word (Matthew 16:16, John 8:24, Acts 16:30-31), Repent of those sins (Luke 24:47, 2 Cor. 7:10, Acts 2:37-38), Confess their sins publicly (Matt. 16:16, Matt. 10:32-33; Romans 10:8-10; Acts 8:35-38), and be Baptized (immersed) (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Col. 2:12; Acts 22:16) for the forgiveness of sins. Then and only then do I believe, as the Bible points out, that one is saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). In this story, Lance was strongly encouraged to hear the Word, believe on the Word, and ask for forgiveness. He was not encouraged to follow through with baptism for the remission of his sins.

Many thanks to Bethany House publishers, as well as Tracie Peterson, for allowing me to read a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The thoughts written here are my own and I was allowed to read this novel in exchange for my personal thoughts.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Weaver's Needle by Robin Caroll

Weaver's NeedleWeaver's Needle by Robin Caroll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Superstition Mountains, AZ is the setting for this adventurous read! Full of adventure, mystery, and a little bit of romance, Robin Caroll's newest title release is sure to fulfill the reading desires of fans.

Landry Parker, a former MP, and Nickolai Baptiste, a former police detective, are pitted against each other in a race to see who can find the missing information their client is desiring. As recovery specialists, the goal is to find the missing map and the Dutchman's Lost Gold Mine first and claim the prize as their own. This treasure hunt leads Landry and Nickolai to very beautiful Indian country. Both Landry and Nickolai feel a sense of not being welcome shortly after their arrival there. They do not let that get in the way, but what about their feelings for each other?

I loved the characters in this book and how the author weaved them together so seamlessly. The interjections of Gopan's story were fascinating! This is a fairly fast-paced book that I was able to read quickly because I couldn't put it down!

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me to receive a complimentary copy of this book for review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

Heart on the Line (Ladies of Harper’s Station, #2)Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grace Mallory hasn't had the easiest life. After witnessing the murder of her father and receiving his message to get away quickly, Grace finds herself in Harper's Station. She's at least found peace and comfort in her little community, made up mostly of women. She enjoys her job as the telegraph operator and finds her evenings to be entertaining by a mystery man corresponding with her on the other end of the line.

Amos Bledsoe is a simple man, one who enjoys his job as a telegraph operator. He prefers his bicycle over a horse any day and can't wait until his mom and sister leave him alone about finding the perfect woman. When he hears a distress call come over the line, he can't help but run to the aid of his "Miss G".

This was a super intense read that only took me a few hours to complete. I read this during my "anniversary weekend" and loved a few of the comparisons between the characters and my husband and I. We, like Amos and Grace, met "online". Our online meeting was more modern than what Grace and Amos experienced, but fun nonetheless. There is also a bit of an age gap between us all. Not that I mind, and I don't think Grace did either. We also all have a deep love for the Lord, which is above all importance.

I very much enjoyed the story of Amos and Grace and look forward to hearing more about their future. The secondary story line of Helen and Lee is also exciting and I can't wait to see how their relationship grows! I'm very much looking forward to the next book in this series! January 2, 2018 will be the release date of Hearts Entwined!

Thank you to Bethany House Publishing and Karen Witemeyer for providing a complimentary copy of this book to review on NetGalley. The thoughts you have read are my own opinions on this book.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury

Love Story (The Baxter Family #1)Love Story by Karen Kingsbury
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What's your love story? Is it worthy of writing a paper about it?

In Karen Kingsbury's newest release, the reader is reconnected to the Baxter Family. Or, maybe like in my case, the reader is meeting them for the first time. The Baxter's are a fairly decent sized family with many facets. John and Elizabeth Baxter are the cornerstone of their family. When their grandson, Cole, asks John to share his love story with his former (now deceased) wife, Elizabeth, John finds himself reliving the life he shared with Elizabeth. Their love story is unique, yet shares patterns that many find in their lives today.

Cody Coleman, long time family friend of the Baxters, is in utter romantic chaos. He's sick without the love of his life, Andi Ellison. However, how do you repair a relationship after two failed engagements? Can Cody come to grips with his feelings and explain to Andi why he's acted the way he has? Will Andi be accepting and welcome Cody back into her life for a third time?

There are a lot of tender moments shared in this love story of the Baxter family. I read this book in about 4 hours straight and found that I could not put it down until it was completed. I look forward to reading more about the Baxter family (there are multiple books in different series about them) in the near future.

Many thank to the author and publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book on NetGalley. These are my personal thoughts on the book.

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Threads of Suspicion (Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2)Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I took a break from my regular go-to Christian Historical reads and picked up this gem! It's been awhile since I'd read anything by Dee Henderson but she has never disappointed!

Evie Blackwell is working on a task force who is trying to close up cold cases. She chooses to work on the case of Jenna, a missing college girl. Her partner, David, chooses to work on the cold case of Saul, a missing PI. I love how the author depicts a "day in the life" of a detective going through evidence, conducting interviews, etc and sharing a breakdown of how to break a case. Evie and David discover many similarities in their cases and, while they are working on their own respective cases, find ways to work together to help each other solve the cases they have presented to them.

Evie and David have a great mutual respect for each other and the work that they do. They are both in relationships that are very similar as well. David is dating Maggie, the lead for the hit band, Triple M, while Evie is dating a wealthy financier. Each relationship has commitment issues and having each other to bounce their ideas off of is helpful to both David and Evie.

I was not aware that this was book 2 in a series until I finished it, but I did suspect it some as I was reading. There were references to events in the past that had me a bit intrigued at times but I don't feel that the prior information was essential to understanding and enjoying this book. It could be (and was) enjoyed as a stand-alone book. That being said, there are several looming questions that I have that will no doubt be covered in the next book in this series!! I do enjoy a great cliffhanger!!

This was a very fast-paced, enjoyable read! I recommend it to those who enjoy a great mystery with a little bit of romance mixed in!

I did receive a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley. Many thanks to Dee Henderson and Bethany House Publishers for allowing me to review this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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