1.17.2020

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

Brooke Adams is a former military psychiatrist , who barely escaped an explosion with her life. She is setting into civilian life, when her past comes back to haunt her and a killer on her trail.

Asher James has worked his way up in the military into the special forces through old fashioned hard work, doing dangerous things that few could imagine, but he's been having trouble sleeping at night. So he goes to Brooke, because he remembers her from a mission in Afghanistan.

Together can they help each other, and stop the killers before it's too late?

Fast-paced, suspenseful new series from Lynette Eason. I didn't want to put in down and read it all in just two sittings. Asher is a very brave man who has faced down fear on many levels, I liked how he wanted to help Brooke and took it upon himself to help protect her.

Brooke has leaned on her faith through all the traumatic experiences that she has been through, she is passionate about her work, and wants her work to be meaningful. I admired her resilience and how she encouraged others to turn to their faith as well.

There was great relationship building throughout, Brooke and Asher had a unique understanding of each other because of their similar past experiences. There were many well developed side characters and a lot going on. I didn't want to put it down, as the pieces all fell satisfyingly into place. There was such a well balanced blend of relationship building, suspense, mystery, romance and faith. This fantastic read will not disappoint!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.15.2020

With Every Breath by Elizabeth Camden ~ Review

My Review:

Kate Norton and Trevor McDonough were school rivals, always completing for the best marks. Kate loses her one chance at a full ride college scholarship to Trevor, and then they go their separate ways.

Eight years later, and now widowed Kate is enlisted by Dr. Trevor Kendall, who is none other than her schoolhood nemesis, to work alongside him in his quest to eradicate Tuberculosis. Kate is surprised to find that working with Trevor is rewarding and meaningful, but will secrets from his past or her fears keep them from finally finding common ground.

Trevor considers it his calling to work to find a cure for Tuberculosis, I admired his passion for what he does, as well as his selflessness and strong principals. He has his secrets, and a wry, matter-o-fact sense of humor. I think in the end he was probably my favorite character, because the more that I understood about him the more everything made sense.

Kate is intelligent and hardworking, with a compassionate heart for others, with a heavy load of responsibility on her shoulders. I liked her spirit and how she isn't afraid to challenge Trevor to look at things differently, and to ask him uncomfortable questions.

I love how Ms. Camden brings tail end of the 19th Century to life, showing the brutal effects of Tuberculosis and the ways that it was treated in the past. Excellently researched, this fantastic book drew me in from the very start. Full of innovation, mystery, secrets, romance and fantastic heroes to cheer for. Highly enjoyable read!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.14.2020

The Thief of Lanwyn Manor by Sarah E. Ladd ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A gothic romance, set on the mysterious shores of Cornwall.

Julia Twethewey accepts the invitation of her cousin to visit Cornwall, and is swept into the local politics and cutthroat world of mining. There are rumors of mysterious occurrences, as things begin to disappear, Julia wonders just what she has gotten herself into. She finds a friend in a neighboring mine owner's son, Isaac, who is kind hearted to a fault, but is it too soon for her recently broken heart? 

Isaac is the younger son of a priminant mine owner, with a passion for fair treatment for the miners. He and his twin brother have worked alongside each other for years, Matthew is the face of the business, while Isaac does much of the legwork of the family business. I admired his strong work ethic and his care for others.

There is a lot going on in this book with the  eeries goings on at the house, business politics of mining in Cornwall, as well as family drama, and obstacle-filled romance. I admired both Isaac and Julia, their friendship grew naturally over the course of the book, and how they supported each other through the trials that they faced. Highly enjoyable, with surprise twists along the way, with great tension between the characters as their various relationships are navigated.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.12.2020

The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren ~ Review

Lucie's Review:

A battle for survival against the elements, brings Orion Starr face to face with a familiar face as they fight to get off of Denali alive.

Orion returns home from his time in Afghanistan injured after a failed mission to his home in Alaska. When a group of climbers goes missing--a  group that includes a former ally, Orion agrees to join the rescue team to go up after them. Orion has never wanted to go up the mountain, because he respects it's dangerous beauty and is still recovering from injuries he received while on duty. His anger has kept him from taking good opportunities to live up to his potential, and I really loved how he had a faithful and encouraging friend in Hamilton.

Jenny has a passion for climbing, and struggles to come to terms with the guilt that she carries. The mountain is unpredictable and Murphy's Law seems to be out in full force. I admired her determination and dedication to leading her friends to safety.

The first in a brand new series by Susan May Warren, sure to thrill, with her signature Easter eggs from previous novels--I love seeing some familiar faces. Filled with dangers around every corner, sometimes it was hard to read because it just seemed like these people couldn't catch a break. There was a lot going on, as well as a well built back story. Strong characters, who must beat the odds in order to survive. Full of action and adventure!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.09.2020

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White ~ Just Read Tour, Review, and Giveaway


On Wings of Devotion JustRead Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M. White, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

On Wings of Devotion by Roseanna M White  Title: On Wings of Devotion
Series: The Codebreakers #2
Author: Roseanna M. White
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: January 7, 2020

Against Every Warning, She's Drawn Ever Closer to the Man Known as "Black Heart" 

All of England thinks Major Phillip Camden a monster--a man who deliberately caused the deaths of his squadron. But he would have preferred to die that day with his men rather than be recruited to the Admiralty's codebreaking division. The threats he receives daily are no great surprise and, in his opinion, well deserved.

As nurse Arabelle Denler observes the so-dubbed "Black Heart," she sees something far different: a hurting man desperate for mercy. And when their families and paths twist together unexpectedly, she realizes she has a role to play in his healing--and some of her own to do as well. 

With Camden's court-martial looming, an old acquaintance shows up, intent on using him in a plot that sends the codebreakers of Room 40 into a frenzy. With their fragile hopes for the future in the cross hairs, Arabelle and Camden must hold on to hope--and to each other--if they want to survive.

Review:

Former pilot Phillip Camden's reputation has gone down in flames with relentless speculation that he led his squadron to their deaths. He has been re-appointed to the codebreaking division, and the threats he receives daily only drive the knife of regret deeper.

Heiress Arabelle Denler is a trained nurse, engaged to a man who says he cannot love her, she watches with all the other nurses as Cam walks by everyday. Cam sees her kind heart, and appoints himself her protector.

Meanwhile a troublemaker from Cam's past is trying to resurrect the drama that besmirched his good name, and drag it all into a public trial.

I loved how supportive Ara and Cam are of each other, as they are both very aware of their own personal shortcomings. Instead they build each other up and help each other overcome the past. Ara helps Cam to see that he doesn't have to live in the past, and that he can laugh again and move past what happened. I liked how Cam admires Ara's kindness, positivity, and faith.

There was a lot going on in this book with the war on, and the codebreakers working together. As well as a lot of character development and growth with Ara and Cam's friendship, all the drama going on with her relationships, as well as his past and family. I really liked how thoughtful Cam was, and how he and Ara find a true friend in each other.

I wasn't sure how much I would like this book since the previous book in the series completely blew me away, but the author absolutely delivered with this excellent gem, filled with faith, high stakes, romance and redemption. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christianbook 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White is a bestselling, Christy Award-nominated author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books…to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.

CONNECT WITH ROSEANNA: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a On Wings of Devotion inspired prize pack including a Recreation RFC Pilot Wings pin, a mini globe, Cadbury Chocolate, Caddie the Cocker Spaniel (handmade by Roseanna), and One Seat and Tea Package for an Online Tea Party Book Club with Roseanna (Winner's choice of scheduled dates. Includes treats, loose-leaf tea, and book club goodies. A $25 value! For more information, visit http://www.roseannamwhite.com/tea-party-book-club/.)!

On Wings of Devotion giveaway JR

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 7, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 14, 2020. US only. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

 

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

1.05.2020

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy ~ Review

My Review:

In a world where memories are currency, power, and weaponry, your past can be bought or stolen, and nightmares implanted.

Etta Lark is a gifted young woman who would do anything to save her mother, who is in a coma. She is her mother's only hope,  yet her intricate past and rare gift makes her the target of Madame, a power-hungry megalomaniac. She is ruggedly independent, removing herself as much as she can from the caste system of sorts that rules the realms. I admired her courage, and her devotion to her friends.

This story operates with multiple flashbacks, and a heavy backstory that helps the reader keep up, yet the whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking, "I would have read a whole book about that!" There is a lot going on in this book, especially for its length of just over 300 pages, which plenty of twists, reveals, secrets, and good world building. Multiple times while reading this book I wondered if it might have been better as a series, with more room to expand upon the world that they operated in, as well as fleshing out many of the intriguing characters and relationships, without relying so heavily on flashbacks. The main reasons I believe it would have been a  great series, are because the notion of memories being used in this way, with the associated gifts is a pretty big premise, also there are many prominent characters who are alive only in memories, and Etta's time in the Shadows sounds like it could have been a book in itself.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, but in the end I really liked it. It is great for fans of Defy or Graceling but more clean in content, though the stakes are still high. As a result of this book's shorter, single volume length I think that the punch of some of the more shocking reveals was lost, as I wasn't as hungry for it, and in the end there were so many reveals that some challenges seemed in my mind too easily solved. I'm sorry if this all sounds so negative, but what I am really saying is that I liked it, and I wanted more!

Overall, very entertaining, with many surprising plot twists, and reveals. Hard to put down with a full cast of characters, though I did feel like many of the concepts were really good there just wasn't enough time to expand on it and appreciate it all. Etta is determined and independent, a strong sympathetic character. An entertaining read, with intriguing fantasy concepts, filled with action and hard to put down.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

1.01.2020

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke ~ Review

My Review: 

A compellingly hope-filled heartbreaking story of two couples during WWII, and one child that links their lives inextricably.

Sophie is a British woman living in Poland and working in the library while her husband fights with his country. The war forces her to change her identity, as she is drawn into the events of wartorn Warsaw.

Young Jewish couple Rosa and Itzhak come to Warsaw to care for Rosa's mother, but find themselves trapped there as the birth of their long awaited firstborn draws nearer.

A poignant, heartbreaking read based on true events suffered by thousands in Poland during World War II, this story tells of two families, living mere miles apart in Warsaw as it is torn apart by the war. It also honors the brave men and women, Jew and Gentile who risked their lives to help others, like the courageous Irena Sendler.

In the beginning it took a while to get fully immersed into the book, as it bounces between Sophie, Rosa, and Itzhak. But once the threads slowly started to come together and the stakes were raised, I couldn't put this book down. Ms. Gohlke always writes stunningly real books, well researched, that also cut to the heart, and this one is no different, telling the heartbreaking realities that were faced by many in the Jewish Ghetto and work camps.

There were moments when it was hard to read, because of the reality of the atrocities that thousands of people faced at the hand of other human beings. Yet through it all there was hope, small and flickering, but hope nonetheless. I was inspired by so many of the characters and what they risked, and my heart went out ot both Sophie and Itzhak over the heartbreaking decisions that they faced. Highly recommend this poignant, emotional journey, based loosely on true stories, with characters that will capture your heart.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

You can buy the book from the publisher's website here: https://www.tyndale.com/p/the-medallion/9781496429667

Secret Mountain Hideout by Terri Reed ~ Review

Lucie's Review: 

After witnessing a murder, Ashley Willis uprooted her life moving from town to town, but when her past comes looking for her, she's prepared to run once again.

Deputy Sheriff Chase Williams is determined to get to the bottom of Ashley's case, and won't let her run again.

Can they stop the killer before it's too late?

Ashley feels bad that so many people are in danger because of what she saw, she wants it all to be over and not be a victim of circumstance anymore. I admired how she faced her past, and allowed her newfound friends to help her get justice. Though the whole experience has been terrible, she has also grown in her faith.

Chase grew up in the big city, with a big last name, he moved to Colorado because he wants to genuinely make a difference and get away from his family influence. I admired his drive to make his own way in the world, and help Ashley find peace at last.

Overall, an entertaining read with great characters along the way, I especially liked Lucinda and how she counsels Chase to not give up and how she welcomes Ashley. Good pacing, and action packed twists!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

12.28.2019

God Made Me Unique by Chonda Ralston, illustrated by Trish Mahoney, with forward by Joni Eareckson Tada ~ Review

My Review:

The children at Sunday School are getting a new classmate. Together they talk with with their teacher about their own differences and special needs, and how God made each of us, and can use us for His glory.

I loved how this book encouraged the children to be open and ask questions to get to know their friends. All throughout the charming rhyming verses there was a beautiful sense of valuing every human life regardless of individual abilities and how each person serves.

Our special gifts and abilities are all valuable, and this is in turn related to the church and how we all are different parts, and each part is a valued part that makes up the whole of the church family.

Overall, a delightful read that shows the value of every person as created by God, and how He can used what the world sees as weak and despised to bring Himself honor and praise. A wonderful picture book that can open the conversation to talk about special needs and differences. There is also a great guide in the back to help parents and teachers to answer questions that child may have after reading this book. Highly recommend as a excellent book to share with the young people in your life!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Free to Believe by Luke Goodrich ~ Review

My Review:

Luke Goodrich of Becket gives a comprehensive course on religious freedom and what it means to defend it for all.

I wasn't sure what to expect when reading this book, as books of a political nature can sometimes veer to the extreme, but this book exceeded my every preconceived notion. Hailed by World Magazine  as one of the books of the year, this book lives up to its high praise. Mr. Goodrich starts by defining religious liberty, and that it is for everyone. Outlining how supporting and showing respect/tolerance to other faiths, infact strengthens our witness as Christians and paves the way for winning legal conflicts in the public arena.

Mr. Goodrich effectively uses real legal case examples from his impressive repertoire, drawing on his experience and Christian faith to show a fair, balanced approach to how we as Christians should consider responding to these conflicts. I really liked how he acknowledges that each conflict is unique and there are multiple ways to respond that could be right, and every Christian has differing levels of conviction. I also was encouraged by how he used Biblical examples of religious persecution to show that what we currently face is nothing new under the sun, using the examples of Paul, Jeremiah, Esther and more.

Overall, a must read for everyone! It is balanced and a middle of the road godly response in a midst of a very polarized world, perfect for anyone who follows the news on religious freedom cases (which should be everyone). This book did a great job of explaining why we should all care about religious liberty as well as many things that Christians should consider in business and our witness. Highly recommend.


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.