Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Series: To Catch A Thief #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Multnomah
Released: Aug. 15, 2006 
345 pages
About the Book:

Surrounded by no good options, much less safe ones, Desiree Jacobs knows that no matter what she must protect her father's reputation and his legacy.

If Desiree Jacobs knows anything, it's art. Her father, whose security company is internationally renowned, taught her everything he knew. Most of all, he taught her about honor. Integrity. Faith. So surely God will forgive her for despising the one man--Special Agent Tony Lucano, who's determined to destroy her father's good name?

Agent Lucano knows that Hiram Jacobs is an art thief. But what he can't figure out is Desiree. Is she an innocent victim...or a clever accomplice?

When Hiram is murdered, along with his company, he leaves Desiree a hidden container full of stolen paintings. But she can't believe that her father was a thief! If it were true, it would destroy their business, cost people their jobs, and embarrass international museums that have been displaying clever forgeries. No, she must figure out why her honest father would turn criminal herself. Even if it means facing down a ring of cutthroat art thieves...or accepting help from the man she most distrusts. With danger at every turn, can Desiree trust God to guide her down the right path? 

My Rating & Thoughts:    

Desi runs an internationally known security firm, specializing in art protection, with her father. Desi’s father is murdered. The FBI is sure that her father was involved in an art theft ring and that this association contributed to her father’s death. Desi knows her father is innocent and enlists her best friend to help investigate her father’s death, but as clues are discovered Desi begins to suspect people she trusts are involved. Desi doesn’t know who to trust. I found the beginning started slow and at times I struggled with following exactly what was happening at times. As we got further in it picked up and I began to feel like I was right there with Desi trying to figure out what was going on, who could she trust and then on the edge of my seat needing to know she would make it out of the dangerous situation she was in. I liked that Desi eventually stopped trying to do everything on her and own and takes the risk to trust an FBI agent. I enjoyed their secret meetings and was glad she decided to take a chance and trust this person. I enjoyed the way they were able to work together and figure out who they could trust and bring down the correct people. There was a certain character I was unsure if we could trust, and I hoped they were innocent because I liked them. There is also a romance that develops for Desi, and I look forward to seeing it progress in the next book. 

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

Other books from this author that I have reviewed:   



Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Review: Targeted by Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, Natalie Walters

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Revell
Released: Nov. 1, 2022
368 pages
About the Book:

Three women. Three men. Three unsuspecting targets.

Get ready for triple the thrills with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors!

On the Run, IT Specialist Daria Nevsky is a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead--and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

Deadly Objective, physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper are committed to keeping their relationship professional. But when the vice president's son enters the crosshairs of a killer, some lines will have to be crossed in order to keep him safe.

Caught in the Crosshairs, there is no love lost between former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman and CIA officer Claudia Gallegos after Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. But to prevent a coup that would put America at risk, they'll have to learn to trust each other--before it's too late.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

This is a 3 book novella collection. Each individual story includes characters from other books by these authors.

On the Run – Lynette Eason

Daria is an FBI analyst who is injured when someone attacks her at her home, she ends up at Rykers hospital for treatment. While there someone tries to kidnap her. She goes on the run and Ryker insists on going with her to help her. There was a lot of action and gripping moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the reappearance of characters from previous books.

Favourite Quote: 
“What someone meant for evil, God took and turned it into something good.”

Deadly Objective – Lynn H. Blackburn

Emily is a physical therapist to the vice president’s 16 year old son, Mason. Liam is a secret service agent assigned to Mason. We quickly learn that Emily and Liam have become friends somewhat over various encounters due to their mutual work with Mason. When an attack happens at the VP’s house everyone is taken to a safe house. It is then decided that Mason would be best protected by going on the camping trip previously planned with Liam, Emily gets roped into going along. I did not know any of these characters prior reading this story but really enjoyed getting to know Liam and Emily. Both Liam and Emily are readers and they have a very entertaining conversation with Mason that left me laughing and agreeing with Emily’s perspective. I enjoyed following the budding romance as it felt realistic. This was my favourite of the collection.

Caught in the Crosshairs – Natalie Walters

CIA officer Claudia gets summoned to a house, upon arriving she walks into a crime scene and quickly becomes a suspect. CIA officer Ari is brought in to investigate and quickly determines that Claudia is the target. Neither trust each other, but can they work together to figure out what is happening and why. I had trouble following who all the individuals were and what the connection was. The romance developed way too quickly for my liking (within 48 hours of meeting.) I haven’t read anything by Ms. Walters before so I had not connection to any of these characters.

(I received an ARC of this book from Revell through NetGalley; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)

Monday, November 21, 2022

Review: No Time Like the Future by Michael J. Fox

Genre: Biography/Memoir
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Released: Nov. 17, 2020
231 pages
About the Book:

A moving account of resilience, hope, fear and mortality, and how these things resonate in our lives, by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox.

The entire world knows Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, the teenage sidekick of Doc Brown in Back to the Future; as Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties; as Mike Flaherty in Spin City; and through numerous other movie roles and guest appearances on shows such as The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Diagnosed at age 29, Michael is equally engaged in Parkinson’s advocacy work, raising global awareness of the disease and helping find a cure through The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the world’s leading non-profit funder of PD science. His two previous bestselling memoirs, Lucky Man and Always Looking Up, dealt with how he came to terms with the illness, all the while exhibiting his iconic optimism. His new memoir reassesses this outlook, as events in the past decade presented additional challenges.

In No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality, Michael shares personal stories and observations about illness and health, aging, the strength of family and friends, and how our perceptions about time affect the way we approach mortality. Thoughtful and moving, but with Fox’s trademark sense of humor, his book provides a vehicle for reflection about our lives, our loves, and our losses.

Running through the narrative is the drama of the medical madness Fox recently experienced, that included his daily negotiations with the Parkinson’s disease he’s had since 1991, and a spinal cord issue that necessitated immediate surgery. His challenge to learn how to walk again, only to suffer a devastating fall, nearly caused him to ditch his trademark optimism and “get out of the lemonade business altogether.”

My Rating & Thoughts:    

First off I want into this book only knowing the basics of Michael J. Fox. I knew he was a very popular actor when he was younger and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at a young age and has been living with it for almost 30 years. However as I did not grow up watching the shows he is most known for, most I have never seen, I didn’t have much of connection with him. I was loaned this book to read by a friend who really enjoyed it, but for it fell flat. I struggled with this one.   

The book focus on just a 2-year period of his life, he has back surgery to have a tumor removed and then falls shortly after and breaks his arm. He details his recovery process through both surgeries and how he felt during this time. The subtitle of the book says, ‘An optimist consider mortality’ but I didn’t feel like this I was reading from an optimist’s point of view, he came across as frustrated and depressed rather than optimistic. I was taken a back by the amount of curse words used throughout the book, even if you speak this way in everyday life I don’t feel there is a need to write this way. Parts did not seem to flow naturally and felt disjointed, there were times anecdotes were shared that I didn’t understand why they were added here. Overall, this book did provide an idea of what it is like to live with a movement disorder and having to think and plan through every physical motion and yet still experience a disconnect that leads to spasms and falls. This helped me understand why he came across as frustrated throughout the book. 

Favourite Quote: 
“Good things can come from bad things.”

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

Monday, November 7, 2022

Review: The Hurt & The Healer by Bart Millard & Andrew Farley

Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Baker Books
Released: Aug. 15, 2013
161 pages
About the Book:

We all experience fear, shame, loneliness, broken homes, or broken hearts. We all hurt and need true, lasting healing. The trouble, according to bestselling author Andrew Farley and Bart Millard, lead singer of MercyMe, is that we don't know where to find it.

Inspired by MercyMe's #1 hit song of the same name, The Hurt & The Healer reveals exactly how God can be the gentle healer of all our hurts. Writing from the pain they've experienced in their lives, Millard and Farley reveal how their own struggles caused them to feel they had disappointed God. Through their biblical guidance, readers will see that God wants them to be open and honest about their pain. Only then can they discover how to exchange destructive thinking patterns for God's view of them and watch as God's perfect love casts away all their fears.


My Rating & Thoughts:    

I don’t really know what I was expecting with this book, but when I first started it I was surprised to discover it was set up like a devotional with each chapter ending with questions to consider and a prayer. After reading the first chapter I decided I would read it like a devotional and do one chapter a day. There are some good perspectives provided that gave me quite a bit to think about. There were some spots that really challenged my thoughts and feelings due to how close they hit home with stuff going on in my life that I wasn’t quite ready to deal with at the time of reading. Because of this I had to take multiple days between reading. This book only has 16 chapters, so I should have been able to read it in just over two weeks, however it took me all month. I did highlight quite a bit throughout and I do want to go back and refer to this book later when I am at a different place. 

Favourite Quotes: 
“We all meet difficulty in this life, no matter who we are. The key is how we respond to it.”
“Our sense of identity and worth needs to come from what God says about us, not from what we have accomplished (or not accomplished) and not from what others might say about us, whether good or bad.”

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