Saturday, April 29, 2023

Review: Relative Justice by Robert Whitlow

Genre: Legal Thriller
Publisher: Thomas Nelson 
Released: April 12, 2022
447 pages
About the Book:

For the attorneys at Cobb and Cobb, the pursuit of justice is about more than legal expertise; it’s a family matter. David Cobb is not a typical lawyer—he’s more interested in dispensing God’s wisdom than pertinent legal advice. High-stakes litigation is way outside his comfort zone. For many years Zeke Caldwell has been concocting home remedies made from natural ingredients found in the coastal marshes near Wilmington, North Carolina. One of his remedies proved so effective that he patented it with the help of David’s father. Now he suspects a big drug company has stolen his formula. What he doesn’t know is that the theft has deeper, more evil roots. When Zeke asks David to help fight the drug company, David knows the suit is beyond his expertise and experience. But his sister-in-law, Katelyn Cobb, is a rising star attorney in a prestigious Washington, DC, law firm. The courtroom is her second home. Could she help? Would she even consider it? Life’s circumstances compel the lawyers to face, not only patent piracy, but personal obstacles and struggles that threaten to rip apart the fabric of the family. The fight for Zeke requires all the relatives to unite for justice. Praise for Relative Justice : “Robert Whitlow’s legal expertise shines in Relative Justice , a story of patent infringement and illegal gains, but it’s his characters who will steal the readers’ hearts. Katelyn Martin-Cobbs, her husband Robbie, and his family face trials that allow them to heal old wounds and forge new bonds. 

My Rating & Thoughts:    ⭐⭐

We meet the Cobb family. Carter and his son, David run a law firm together and are approached by a family friend Zeke Caldwell who suspects that a drug company has copied his formula for some medication even though he has the patent for it. So they start looking it and deciding what to do, meanwhile Carter has an emergency happen and his other son, Robbie and his wife Caitlyn, come to town. Caitlyn is a lawyer as well but working at a major law firm in Washington and Robbie is an outdoor guide who working for a non-profit. They come to be with the family and as events transpire Caitlyn comes on board at the family law firm to help for temporarily. I found this story very character driven which I absolutely loved. There was not a lot of legal scientific stuff with the patent and the medication and did not override the character storyline. I was able to follow exactly what was going on. Caitlyn was my favorite character, I loved following her and getting to know what she's experienced and how she makes a decision. She is starting find faith through her husband and his family and I really enjoyed the way it was told. I loved this story and I think it was because I loved the characters so much. It was definitely a family driven story because we have David, his wife and his two kids, then we have Caitlin and her husband Robbie, and the father/grandfather and then the really good friend Zeke. Who not only comes to them for help, but also helps the family during their emergency situation. They all rally around Carter and work together to assist one another. The ending even had me wishing the best for the bad guy, which shocked me because this guy has obviously copied Zeke’s patent and was trying to make money off it. But the bit at the end make want the best for him. I absolutely loved the characters and the family dynamic and the scientific side of it did not take me out of the story. I would highly recommend reading this story. 

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

Check out my reviews of other books by this author: 


Friday, April 28, 2023

Review: The Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green

Genre: Historical Fiction 
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: Nov. 15, 2022
371 pages
About the Book:

An impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European Front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn't be more different--a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they share more in common with each other than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost.

My Rating & Thoughts:    

This was a new to me author and I will be reading more by her. It is a historical fiction set at the beginning of World War II in a small fictional town of Derby, Maine. It follows four main female characters and switches between their points of view, but you get a little glimpse of other characters throughout. It is not a romance in particular however there is a little bit of a romance in it. It does start a little slow but as I got further into, it the more I grew to love the characters and didn’t want to put the book down.

One of the main characters is Avis who made an impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European front that puts her in a position as head librarian of the Small Town Maine. She has never been much of a reader but promises to do her best for her brother (who was the librarian). When wartime needs threaten to close the library she starts a book club to keep the doors open. We follow the initial four book club members and see how the club grows, what they are reading and can they convince the owner to keep the library open. There are quite a few different storylines happening, but I found it easy to follow and flowed together nicely. Friendships are formed between these characters and people who felt like they were alone discover new friends who will be there for them, even when they don’t ask for help. It just warned my heart.

I learned some stuff about life during the war that I had never really considered, like some of the restrictions people had to follow like don't leave lights on after a certain time because of them being on the coastline.

Every few chapters there are experts from the club notebook written from the perspective of the writer, along with collecting the groups thoughts on certain books it also provides inside thoughts of the writer that isn’t meant to be shared with everyone, these notes were some of my favourite parts of the book.

It's a book that revolves around friendships and books, perfect for readers. I loved this book and can’t wait to read more by this author. 

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

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Review: Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureano

Series: MacDonald Family Trilogy #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: March 11, 2021
384 pages

About the Book:

Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it's a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending . . . and incredibly attractive.

Malcolm Blake gave up everything--his home, his girlfriend, and his career--to return to Skye and raise his late sister's teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he's soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there's nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there's more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

My Rating & Thoughts:    

This is book number three of the McDonald Family series and focuses on Serena who is the middle sibling between her older brother and her younger brother. Serena is a widowed mother of two, an eight-year-old daughter and a two-year-old son. She is currently living in the city of Nairn but has been asked by her brother to return to the Isle of Skye to oversee the running of the family hotel. She comes thinking is she is only there for a season arriving in February/March and planning to stay until the end of summer before returning to the city. As the time passes, she begins to debate about returning to the city or to stay in Syke. Her brother asked her to oversee the hotel as he feels a family member will have better a deeper investment making it a success than the hotel manager that's currently there. Yes he is doing good job and they don't have a problem with him but feel he doesn't have the same investment into the hotel because it's he's just working for them. When she arrives she meets the hotel manager, Malcolm, and from that the first meeting they butt heads because Malcolm's very suspicious about why she's here wondering what has he done wrong, why all of a sudden is she here when he’s been overseeing the hotel for the last six months on his own. But he also feels immediately attracted to her and wants to get to know her, but Serena tries to keep her distance. She has been hurt by a man before, and for various reason is cautious not wanting her kids to get invested or attached to anybody when she doesn't know what's going to happen but she is also attracted to him. Malcolm is very kind and sweet to her and convinces her give him a chance. I really enjoyed the flirty banter between the two of them, it was fun and entertaining and the kids added to the story. In addition to Serena’s two children, Malcolm’s niece is living with him and is very involved in the story. the conversations especially between the eight-year-old and her mom were really sweet and gave you an insight into Serena and how she's feeling. There is a bit of back and forth on whether or not they will give a relationship a shot, then she makes a decision and ends up with her heart broken due to the timing of events. Through it all we see Serena rediscovers the faith she grew up with and puts her trust in God and learns to rely on Him and trust that He has her best interest at heart. The book ends happily as per most romances do and I really enjoyed it.

I also I really liked seeing the brothers and getting updates on what's going on in their lives now since we last saw them in their respective books. One thing that I didn’t really enjoy about the story is that there is a lot of physical kissing scenes between the two, nothing that really crossed a line for me, just quite a bit of it. I really enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed seeing more of the island, the descriptions made it feel like I was right there with them. 

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


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Review: London Tides by Carla Laureano

Series: MacDonald Family Trilogy #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Tyndale House
Released: Jan. 18, 2015
340 pages
About the Book:

Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and mentor in the field, Grace is shaken.

She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace ... only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together ... or tear them apart for good this time?

My Rating & Thoughts:    

This is book number two of the MacDonald family series and features the older brother Ian. He is currently working for his brother Jamie running the company so that Jamie can focus on his chef duties. Ian is a lawyer and looks after all the business stuff the background, we learn early on that Ian was once engaged to a woman named Grace 10 years ago but one day she just left the ring and walked out on him. He has no idea of what happened and it left him heartbroken. Grace is now back in London and wants to kind of reconcile with Ian and apologize for her actions. She is conflict photographer and has been in a lot of the war zones and has lost a lot of people that she's worked with. She is dealing with post-traumatic stress but she doesn't really acknowledge it but know that’s she made a mistake 10 years ago and wants to rectify that however she is struggling with the thought of giving up her lifestyle a correspondent. We follow Grace through this struggle. Ian immediately forgives Grace and tries to be very supportive and kind to her. I quickly liked him. My issues with this story is that there was quite a few descriptive kissing scenes and not a much mention of God or Faith even though it was suppose to be a Christian romance. I felt for the struggles of the characters and again enjoyed the way the story ended for them. 

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

Monday, April 24, 2023

Review: A Dance in Donegal by Jennifer Deibel

Genre: Historical Romance 
Publisher: Revell
Released: Feb. 21, 2021
349 pages
About the Book:

All of her life, Irish-American Moira Doherty has relished her mother's descriptions of Ireland. When her mother dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1920, Moira decides to fulfill her mother's wish that she become the teacher in Ballymann, her home village in Donegal, Ireland.

After an arduous voyage, Moira arrives to a new home and a new job in an ancient country. Though a few locals offer a warm welcome, others are distanced by superstition and suspicion. Rumors about Moira's mother are unspoken in her presence but threaten to derail everything she's journeyed to Ballymann to do. Moira must rely on the kindness of a handful of friends--and the strength of Sean, an unsettlingly handsome thatcher who keeps popping up unannounced--as she seeks to navigate a life she'd never dreamed of . . . but perhaps was meant to live.


My Rating & Thoughts:    

I liked the setting of Ireland and getting to know the characters, and I like Moria at the beginning and watching her learn to adapt to the new community but then there was an incident that happened where her actions really bothered me. I couldn’t believe she made the decision she did in a certain scene. She does feel remorse and go back the next day to try to correct it and make sure things are okay, but this is after the fact and she was lucky that it didn’t play out differently overnight due to her decision. After this point I struggled with caring about her again, at this point though we meet the characters of Peg and Colm, who I absolutely adored. Their witness, their support and their strength was amazing and then an incident happens involving them and I was like please no, that hurt my heart. I felt like I was grieving with them. While I did not love the main character I did enjoy getting to know the townspeople and following the journey the main character was on. Another thing I struggled with is that the school kids all speak English but they also speak Gaelic and there were times the Irish words are used and I had no idea what they were saying. About a quarter of the way through the book I realized that there was a glossary of terms at the back of that book and that helped so much, but it would have been nice to have that at the beginning so I knew it was there. I really debated about between giving this one three or four stars because I did enjoy it but I didn't love the main character. I did find myself invested in the story and I couldn't put it down as I wanted to know what was going to happen. There is a little bit of romance in there but it's not like in your face and it was sweet and I really liked that. 

(I was gifted this book by a friend; opinions expressed 
in this review are my honest opinion and completely my own.)