Monday, August 28, 2017

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

Series: Men of Valor #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: October 4, 2016
370 pages
About the Book:

After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready or not.

Goodreads / Amazon / Christianbook 

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (4 stars) 
“Her book deadline wasn’t what would keep her awake until the wee hours. The blame for that rested squarely on the shoulders of an ex-Army Ranger who was fast making himself at home in her life . . . and her heart.”

This is the third book and the end of Ms. Hannon’s Men of Valor series. This one features the youngest McGregor brother, Finn. Both Finn and Dana have come to cabins in the woods to get away and enjoy a bit of seclusion. Their first meeting is filled with action and awkwardness, but after moving past the awkward they get to know one another and a relationship blooms. Both of them have experienced some pretty hard times in their past and are able to help each other move forward. However that future might be in jeopardy when Dana starts getting harassed. Can they figure out who is causing the problems and why and stay safe? We learn fairly early on who is behind what is happening but the suspense builds as we wait to see what they will do to keep from being caught, and if caught what happens then?

If you are doing something wrong with good intentions are your actions still wrong or does your motivation make your actions okay? This is a debate that one of the characters is dealing with. I enjoyed the scenes with this character, following them reasoning out their behaviour. I did not agree with what they were doing but I still felt for them as they tackled this decision.

I was looking forward to getting to know Finn better after meeting him a bit in the previous two books and he turned out to be just the kind of guy that I expected and he was easy to fall for. I also really enjoyed the character of Dana, I loved when she would compare her real life happenings to things that she has read in books through her editing job, this made her more relatable for me as I’ve done the same thing (as I’m sure many readers have). I also really enjoyed getting glimpses of Mac and Lance’s lives now. I am pleased with the way this series ended.

“If everybody in town knew so much about everybody else, why was the police department having such difficulty nailing whoever was disrupting Dana’s life?”
“If you spend too much time looking back, you could miss the fork
in the road that would have led to an amazing future.”

(I purchasd my copy of this book; opinions expressed in this review
are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

 Other Books in the Series:
1 Buried Secrets 2 Thin Ice

Friday, August 25, 2017

Frist Line Friday - Week 16

Happy Friday!!!

I couldn't wait to pick up this book as I recently just read books 1 and 2 of the series. I love being able to read series books one right after another while the chracters are still fresh in my mind and I don't have to say goodbye just yet. This series focuses on 3 brothers who are transitioning to life outside of the military. They each get pulled into a mystery and meet a woman who intrigues them, but you will have to read to find out if they get a happy ending. Each story is very different from the others and can be read in any order.

Today's book is: Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon
3 Tangled Webs

"It was a terrible night to die."

That line definitely hooks you right from the beginning. I just finished this book and my review will be posted Monday (Aug. 28).

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Garden of Her Heart by Shanna Hatfield

Series: Hearts of the War #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Released: Dec. 7, 2016
439 pages
About the Book:

Can forbidden love blossom amid the constraints of war?


The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive.


After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life. A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.


My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (5 stars)

“Tall, lithe, graceful, and confident, she didn’t need a hero. In his opinion, she was one.”

This story immerses the reader into WWII times and the plight of how Japanese-American’s were treated after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It was unsettling to learn how they were being treated but the story was not depressing. Ms. Hatfield gave me hope that Miko would be okay. The descriptions of the various settings were so well done that I felt like I was able to fully picture everything as if I was right there. I was hooked on the story from the beginning and easily connected with the characters of Miko and Rock. I could understand the fear that Miko was feeling and had to know what was going to happen to her. I fell for Rock more and more as the story progressed, the way he treated and protected Miko, the way he put aside his feelings and didn’t push Miko but waits for her to be ready, I just loved him so much by the end. The romance between these two included many sweet moments and was very enjoyable to watch bloom.

The secondary characters of Miko’s family, Pastor Clark, little Petey and even Norman Ness added so much to the story. Norman added elements of terror while little Petey was so entertaining that he added many laughable moments. I enjoyed this story so much I did not want it to end. I loved these characters and look forward to reading the next in the series.

“Life has a way of tossing storms and challenges at us when we least expect it. How we weather those storms makes all the difference.”

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed in this review
are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Other Books in the Series:
2 Home of Her Heart

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

Series: Men of Valor #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: January 5, 2016
394 pages
About the Book:
After losing her parents in a car accident and her sister to a house fire, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Life is finally starting to feel normal again when an envelope arrives in the mail--addressed in her sister's handwriting. And the note inside claims she is still alive.
FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case, but he's coming up with more questions than answers. If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave? Where is Ginny? And is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As he digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: whoever is behind the bizarre ruse has a deadly agenda.
My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (4 stars)
“There were two types of fear – the kind that immobilized and victimized and the kind that empowered and spurred into action.” 

Christy has been through quite a bit of trauma over the past few months and just when life is beginning to return to normal a villain starts playing with her. In desperation she turns to the FBI and is hooked up with Special Agent Lance McGregor. Because the villain has told her not to involve the cops they create a ruse to keep the real reason for their relationship a secret, but what was a facade at first leads to feelings evolving. I enjoyed following this relationship building. Christy has been amazingly strong during her trauma and she is able to show Lance that God has always been there for him through his painful experiences and is able to help lead him back to trusting God.

This book did take me a little while to get into as I just didn’t connect with caring about the case as fast as I did in the previous book. However about half way through I was into the story, caring about the characters and really felt for what Christy was going through. The villain needed to be brought to justice! I was bothered by the fact that most of the way through I knew who the villain was but I didn’t understand their motive. Even when it was revealed I struggled with believing that was what had motivated them. But I was connected with the characters so much by this time that I accepted it and needed to know that everything was going to turn out alright.

In addition to this case Lance is dealing with other cases and a personal situation that have him being pulled in so many directions, I felt for him and don’t know how he was even functioning at certain parts. I enjoyed the scenes that included Special Agent Mark assisting Lance and I really enjoyed catching up with Mac and Lisa from book one. Ms. Hannon weaved in a story with McGregor brother Finn that has left me wanting to know what happens with him that I must read book 3 now.  

“Even if it seems God is ignoring us, he’s listening. And when the time is right – his time, not ours – he offers us the guidance we need.” 

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed in this review
are my honest opinion and completely my own.)
My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (4 stars)

I enjoyed Thin Ice.  It was a storyline that held my attention and was suspenseful through to the end of the book.  While the true identity of the villain was not fully revealed earlier on, it did become obvious who the villain was.  The villain was very sinister... almost too creepy.  I really enjoyed the skating aspect of Christy’s character, and enjoyed the progress and she and Lance get to know each other.  Something that I always enjoy about Irene Hannon’s books is the look into the character’s personal lives and issues as they are developing a relationship.  This book did not disappoint there.  I enjoyed the look into Lance’s past and seeing him deal with things in his personal life as the romantic relationship is progressing.   Now I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed in this review
are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Other Books in the Series:
1 Buried Secrets  3 Tangled Webs

Friday, August 18, 2017

First Line Friday - Week 15

Happy Friday!!!
I was in the mood for a historical story this week and Shanna Hatfield's series Hearts of the War was on my tbr list. With book two releasing earlier this month I decided it was time to break open book one. I have read and enjoyed quite a few books by Ms. Hatfield before so I was looking forward to this one. I am only a few chapters in right now but so far I am enjoying the characters and story. Review to come.
Today's book is: Garden of Her Heart by Shanna Hatfield
Garden of Her Heart
May 4, 1942
Near Portland, Oregon
"Hushed whispers started softly, intermittently, before rising in a steady crescendo that peaked at a deafening roar."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

Series: Men of Valor # 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: March 31, 2015
386 pages
About the Book:

After seven years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant has hit a wall. Ready for a kinder, gentler life, she takes a job as a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes the resources of her department. A call for assistance brings detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL, to her doorstep. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales--and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.
Master storyteller Irene Hannon is back with an exciting new series featuring former special forces operatives now in the thick of the action in civilian life. Hannon is at the top of her game in this can't-put-it-down thriller that will have readers up until the wee hours devouring every page.

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (5 stars)

“Mental preparedness was as important as physical readiness for any challenge.”  

Unlike most suspense novels we meet the villain early on in this story. We may know who this person is but the police don’t and even when they do suspect the correct person trying to prove it may be difficult. The two main characters are Mac McGregor, a St. Louis County Police Detective and Lisa Grant, Police Chief of the town of Carson. These two meet on the job, when some bones are uncovered and the attraction between them is obvious, however they choose not to act on it until their mutual case is closed and they are no longer working together. This gives them a second motivation to solve it quickly in addition to the first motivation - bringing the guilty to justice and providing answers for the victim’s family? Mac and Lisa worked well together and I really enjoyed the moments of flirting between them. They are both strong characters and if anyone is going to solve this case and bring the guilty to justice it will be these two with their determination. The villain is intense and will stop at nothing. Ms. Hannon had me hooked right from the prologue I was drawn in and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I loved that the villain’s POV was spread throughout; this added some creepiness to the story and allowed the reader to get inside their head. This villain definitely was one scary character.

We briefly meet Mac’s brothers, Lance and Finn, who are entertaining (especially when picking on Mac) and I wanted to get to know them more. Thankfully these two will return in their own books as this series continues. I can’t wait to start the next book.

“As for being along, maybe he wouldn’t be taking in his fireworks solo next Fourth of July. In fact, if a certain dark-haired, hazel-eyed police chief was in the picture, they might be sharing a whole different kind of fireworks.” 

(I purchased my copy of this book; opinions expressed in this review
are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Other Books in the Series:

2 Thin Ice  3 Tangled Webs

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Family for the Farmer by Liz Isaacson

Series: Brush Creek Brides # 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: AEJ Creative Works
Released: August 15, 2017
125 pages
About the Book:

Blake Gibbons knows farming like the back of his hand. He knows when to plant, what to do if an early frost comes, and how to deal with pests. He also knows how to fix old buildings into something new, and he does several odd jobs around the town of Brush Creek. When his construction work takes him to the bakery, he meets Erin Shields, the niece of the bakery owner. She's beautiful, she's hard-working, and she has three children under the age of eight.
Erin has recently moved to Brush Creek to help her aunt and uncle with the pie-making side of the bakery. It's been a good, if difficult, change for her and her kids. Divorced a year ago, Erin's been living with her parents until she moves to Brush Creek, and she's determined to find a way to support herself and her kids. The bakery is the ticket and she works hard to figure out how much flour to put in pie crust to make it oh-so-flaky.
But now Blake's caught her eye, and as they start a relationship, Erin's worries increase. How will her children handle Blake in their lives? Is she ready for another husband? Where will they all live? In the end, both Blake and Erin will have to search their souls -- and rely on God -- to find their path through farming and pie filling to a happily-ever-after.

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (4 stars)

This was a fun quick read. I enjoyed these two characters and I smiled most of the way through. There were definitely some swoon worthy moments throughout. Blake is attracted to Erin from the moment he meets her, but when he finds out she is a single mother to three children he is overwhelmed. What does a single cowboy know about children? However with her kids spending 6 weeks at their father’s and Blake working at the Erin’s workplace these two can’t help but be around each other and get to really know one another. The relationship that builds is tested when the kids return home. When Erin confronted Blake about his feelings and stated that her happiness mattered too I was so proud of her. This was an enjoyable read that revolves around overcoming the past to move forward and accepting that God's plan for your life may look different than you think.

“Without thinking, without second guessing, without a single word, Blake stepped forward, swept his arm around Erin’s waist, and pressed his lips to hers.”

(I received an ARC of this book from the author; opinions expressed
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)
Other Books in the Series:
1 A Wedding for the Widower 2 A Companion for the Cowboy 3 A Bride for the Bronc Rider

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Clean Getaway by Christy Barritt

Series: Squeaky Clean Mysteries #13
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: River Heights
Released: July 21, 2017
282 pages
About the Book:
Gabby St. Claire Thomas has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: heading up a privately funded Cold Case Squad and handpicking the team members. Persnickety Evie Manson and nerdy Sherman Gilbert join forces with Gabby to bring justice and solace to families who still want answers.
On their first case, the Squad discovers that the murders of Ron and Margie Simmons are more than cold—they’re frozen solid. The couple’s anniversary celebration ended as a double homicide, and ten years later their daughter still longs for answers. But who would kill the loving couple? What kind of secrets hid beneath their cheery, All-American exteriors?
With every new lead, someone tries to sabotage their investigation . . . but the team might just end up being their own worst enemies. As a deadline presses in, can Gabby and her Squad bring the heat? Or will this cold-case killer make a clean getaway?
Goodreads / Amazon

My Rating & Thoughts:    🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟  (4 stars)
“Coffee always made everything better.”
“Sometimes you just don’t realize it until later
how all the pieces are coming together.”
Gabby is back; this time starting her new job working on cold cases. You wouldn’t think a cold case would be too dangerous, but it wouldn’t be Gabby’s life if there wasn’t someone making her life dangerous right? There was quite a bit of danger throughout the book, one part freaked me out so much I wanted to skip that section (warning – snakes involved), but I didn’t want to miss anything so I endured. Thankfully this didn’t last long. Gabby’s team includes to two book smart individuals, but they lack social skills and Gabby has to be on her toes to make sure that this doesn’t cause them more problems on top of the ones they are dealing with because of the case. The case itself kept me on my toes trying to figure out who was behind the events before it was revealed. I did suspect the right person, but I didn’t have the motive. I love the quirkiness and snappy attitude of Gabby, there were many moments where I laughing at some of the things she said. There is one moment involving coffee that made me laugh really hard, pretty sure I would have reacted like Gabby. I enjoyed how Ms. Barritt included the interactions between Gabby and Riley even though Gabby was out of town. I would have missed Riley otherwise; I love how he supports Gabby in everything and am pleased with how the story ended for them. I can’t wait to see what else Ms. Barritt comes up with for these characters.
“Doing the right thing didn’t always feel good,
but that didn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.”
(I received this book free from the Ms. Barritt; opinions expressed
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)
Other Books in Series:
1 Hazardous Duty 2 Suspicious Minds 2_5 It Came Upon a Midnight Crime 3 Organized Grime
4 Dirty Deeds 5 The Scum of All Fears 6 To Love Honor and Perish 7 Mucky Streak
7_5 While You Were Sweeping 8 Foul Play 9 Broom and Gloom 10 Dust and Obey
11 Thrill Squeaker 11_5 Swept Away 12 Cunning Attractions

Friday, August 11, 2017

First Line Friday - Week 14

Happy Friday!!!

It's a week later and I just realized that last week's post had an extra word in it that completely changed what I meant to say oops … that's what I get for posting at the last minute and rushing.

I decided this week to start on working on some older books I have sitting around that have been on my TBR (to be read) list for a while. I love to read series in order, preferably one right after a another. I used to be avid about waiting for all the books to be released before I would even start book 1, but then I just couldn't wait any longer. Now I tend to re-read the earlier books when the next is released, meaning I will re-read book 1 and 2 if am ready to start book 3. This is not a hard and fast rule that I always follow but for those series that have continuing storylines/characters (and if I really enjoyed the first books) I will do this. Today's book is book 1 from one of those a series that I had put off reading until all 3 books were released, because I just knew that I was going to get sucked into the characters and want to keep going (and I was correct). I just finished this book last night (review coming soon) and have already started book two. Ms. Hannon knows how to draw readers in and keep their attention.

Today's book is: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon
Buried Secrets
"It was meant to be a joyride. No one was suppose to die."