Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told
Carol Cox

Book Summary: Wild West Romance and Mystery. When Amelia Wagner takes over the running of her father's newspaper in Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have consequences. Her father's revealing articles about Great Western Investment. Company’s business methods have caught the notice of the wrong person, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father's statements. Determined to find the truth, Amelia goes through her father's notes and begins to interview members of the community. She can't seem to shake Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who's been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company. The more Ben and Amelia learn, the more Amelia's father's claims appear to be accurate. In fact, it's probably worse than he realized. Even Ben is beginning to wonder if he's become a pawn in the workings of a corrupt empire. But Great Western isn't about to stand for a female reporter and one of their own men bringing down their lucrative schemes. Working against time, and never knowing what danger lurks around the next corner, Ben and Amelia set out to reveal all they've discovered before Great Western silences them for good.

Review: This is the first, but not last book by Carol Cox that I have read. I enjoyed getting to know Amelia and Ben. The sadness of Amelia loosing her father at the start was hard, but realistic. The Great Western thing was realistic for the most part, although Owen Merrick, in my opinion, could have been a little more slick. Since he had someone do all his dirty work it would have been more realistic. Clara, Martin, Jimmy, and Homer were good secondary characters that helped move the story along. The mystery was not so mysterious and that was disappointing. Overall I liked the writing style. Ms. Cox did well painting a picture of the town and the surrounding areas. The newspaper aspect was a great hook to draw me into the story. The newspaper office was realistic and interesting to think of all that went into printing a newspaper.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Unforeseeable was a Great Ending to this Series!

Nancy Mehl

Book Summary: Mystery, Romance, and Suspense Seamlessly Combined in a Mennonite Small-Town Setting Callie Hoffman knows she has a good life in Kingdom, Kansas. She's thrilled to be engaged to Levi Housler, the new pastor of Kingdom Mennonite Church, and she spends her days working with her friend and soon-to-be sister-in-law, Lizzie Housler, at Cora's Cafe. However, Callie's idyllic life is interrupted when a body is discovered on the road outside Kingdom and the deceased turns out to be a victim of a serial killer. As Washington County's new sheriff begins questioning Kingdom residents, Callie and the rest of the town are appalled at the prospect of a killer among them. The very reason Kingdom exists is to protect the people from the temptations and dangers of the outside world, but all the town founders' attempts to plan ahead couldn't prevent a threat like this. Unsettled at this unforeseen danger, Callie is concerned when it appears Levi knows more than he's telling. Desperate to find answers for herself, Callie never expected that she'd have to face some of her own past's skeletons. As Callie and the residents of Kingdom fear this danger for which they never planned, they must learn anew that only God knows the future and their trust must always lie in Him.

Review: I loved the series overall. I found this last in the series to start out slower than the first and took more time to grab my attention. It was about a 1/4 of the way through when the story took off. I was hooked and enjoyed the characters immensely. Many things were easy to guess the outcome for, but right at the end Nancy Mehl threw in a curve that made the entire story a smashing success!! At times I found the relationship between Callie and Levi to be unexciting, but after the first secret was revealed their relationship got more believable. The most believable constant throughout the series was Lizzie’s dad. Many times it is those little things that make a story worth reading because the secondary characters help to make or break a storyline.
I would like to thank Library Thing and Bethany House Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Second Success of the Mercy Falls Series

The Lightkeeper’s Bride
Colleen Coble

Book Summary: When Katie answers the call of duty, she awakens the call of her heart. Katie Russell loves working as a telephone operator in Mercy Falls, California. But since childhood she has been expected to marry well. Her family presses for an engagement to wealthy bachelor Bartholomew Foster and though he doesn't stir her heart, their engagement promises a secure financial future. Working the phone lines one evening, Katie overhears a chilling exchange between her friend Eliza and a familiar male voice. Katie soon learns that Eliza has diappeared, and the crime may be linked to another investigation by handsome new lighthouse keeper, Will Jesperson. Katie and Will soon form an alliance. An alliance that slowly blossoms into something more. Despite the danger surrounding her, Katie is powerfully drawn to Will. But she is not at liberty to marry for love. And though society forbids their growing affection, Katie can't help but notice Will's sense of peace. It's a peace that rests on his trust in God--a trust that Katie has never had to depend on, with her future so clearly mapped out before her. But the more Katie uncovers of the mystery, the more she discovers about herself, her past, and the brilliant future that could be hers if only she has the courage to trust in God and follow where her heart so fearlessly leads.

Review: I love the start of this mystery. It put the mystery right at the center of the storyline. It was a fun book of ignoring the society expectations and the relationship between Katie and Will. I loved the cove which was spectacular and drew me in right away. I love lighthouses and was excited to read the second in the series too.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Surprisingly Good Read

Hannah’s Courtship
Emma Miller

Book Summary: Amish widow Hannah Yoder never intended to marry again. Yet when her friendship with veterinarian Albert Hartman begins to bloom into something more, Hannah wonders if perhaps she's finally ready for a new love. Albert waited his whole life to find the right woman, only to realize Hannah was there all along. But there's more than their friendship to consider. Albert is a Mennonite, born-and-bred, and Hannah cannot—will not—leave her Amish faith, not even for him. Does Albert have the courage to give up his modern life for Hannah…and will Hannah have the courage to let him? 
Hannah's Daughters: Seeking love, family and faith in Amish country

Review: When I first got the book I was excited. Than I started to read it and had mixed feelings. Than about page 7 I got more interested than I ever thought I would. Ms. Miller did a fantastic job of mixing the themes of maturity and liveliness. At no time did I dwell on Hannah being a mother of grown children or a grandmother. The romance was complicated in the eyes of the Amish religion. I really liked the tie in with Albert’s nephew and Hannah’s daughter Grace. It makes me long to read all the previous books. Someday I hope to do that .
I would like to thank Net Galley and Harlequin for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Fun Group to Join the Smitten Book Club

Smitten Book Club
Colleen Coble, Diann Hunt, Denise Hunter, & Kristen Billerbeck

Book Summary: At a rummage sale, Heather, a member of the Fireside Book Club, discovers a turn-of-the-century romantic advice book written by a once-famous Smitten, Vermont, resident. When she shares the precious volume with her friends in the club, they find clues about a hidden treasure rumored to be buried in their tiny town. As Heather, Abby, Lia, and Molly take turns reading the book, each projects onto it her own literary tastes. Heather sees it as a mystery. Abby discovers delicious dashes of Jane Austen. Lia sees in it the idealism of a bygone day. And Molly just wishes they'd made the book into a movie! One by one, each of the women finds romantic love—often in spite of the historic book's advice. And in searching for the legendary gold, the friends discover the best kind of treasure. The kind that brings hope and healing to each of their hearts.

Review: I liked the overall theme that the stories kept of the Treasure hunt through the book historic book of advice. It was fun to watch this time into the stories. I liked most of the characters but did not enjoy Molly’s story as much. I felt sorry for her the book opened with the death of her husband. But for me I could not connect with Molly as easily as I did Lia, Heather and even Abby. I like the male characters in all the stories. I think the changing seasons lent itself to the moving of time that led into Molly’s story. I liked Heather’s story the best overall. Usually if I like the first story I tend to enjoy all of them. Despite not connecting with Molly, I did find her spunk to be a plus by her learning to run the company. I think the most moving part for me is that Diann Hunt is now with the Lord and this is her last story. It is bitter sweet for her friends and family left behind. All that being said the book was worth the read and continues in the periphery the characters that have gone before always a real plus when reading a series style book.
I would like to thank Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Investigation Can Be Deadly Business!

A Deadly Business
Lis Wiehl

Book Summary: A prosecutor of violent criminals. A detective on a dangerous beat. When these two pros take on an off-the-books case, the line between professional and personal becomes perilously blurred. When a twenty-two-year-old convict walks into the courtroom, his eyes confirm what Mia Quinn already guesses: he blames her for his conviction. In seconds, he knocks her to the ground and holds a razor blade to her throat. While she manages to escape without injury, it's just one more reminder that Mia's job prosecuting Seattle's s most dangerous criminals is far from low risk.  As a single mom, the last thing Mia wants is for her work to follow her home¬ – or discover that it already has. Now Detective Charlie Carlson is suggesting the very thing Mia doesn't want to believe—that her accountant husband’s deadly car accident was no accident at all. When Mia and Charlie encounter resistance to reopening the case, they take the investigation into their own hands. And they find much more than they bargained for. Was Mia's husband more than an accountant . . . and less than an honest man? As the truth becomes more shocking and the case grows more complex, her husband's killers take note of Mia . . . and her children. How far will this prosecutor go to learn the truth about her husband—and how far will she have to go to protect her family? 

Review: This is the first book I have read by Lis Wiehl. I loved the pace, story line and action. The page flew by. Mia was a sympathetic character along with being easy to like. She and Charlie make a great team. I thought the investigation to her latest case sad and very true for our times - the grocery cart being dropped on Tasmin’s while walking out of a store. It was so real and sad. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book. It was a great mystery although I did catch on to who did it about half way through. The person who ordered the murder was a coin toss for me. I loved the compassion Mia has although not a hard core Christian message the living the Bible message out was distinct. I believe that more people today are Mia, Eli and Charlie than not. This is a great fast pace read with a lot of twists and turns filling the pages.
I would like to thank BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.