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 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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