A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter – Book Review

A Defense of Honor by Kristi Ann Hunter

Published by Bethany House Publishers June 05, 2018

Genre: Drama, Christian, Romance

Pages: 246

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

When Katherine “Kit” FitzGilbert turned her back on London society more than a decade ago, she determined never to set foot in a ballroom again. But when business takes her to London and she’s forced to run for her life, she stumbles upon not only a glamorous ballroom but also Graham, Lord Wharton. What should have been a chance encounter becomes much more as Graham embarks on a search for his friend’s missing sister and is convinced Kit knows more about the girl than she’s telling.

After meeting Graham, Kit finds herself wishing things could have been different for the first time in her life, but what she wants can’t matter. Long ago, she dedicated herself to helping women escape the same scorn that drove her from London and raising the innocent children caught in the crossfire. And as much as she desperately wishes to tell Graham everything, revealing the truth isn’t worth putting him and everyone she loves in danger.

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Story Notes

Kristi Ann Hunter delivers the first book in her new Recency series Haven Manor with a story filled with witty conversations and a challenge to one’s idea of real trust in God.

When I receive a book by Kristi Ann Hunter I can be assured of two inclusions: that I will laugh a lot and I will find myself pondering her faith challenge even after I finish the last page. It takes a special talent to be able to write humor well into a story that could very easily be dark given the subject matter, and Ms. Hunter proves once again that she absolutely possesses this talent. She begins the story perfectly with a scene taking place in the ballroom of one of London’s Ton. Graham, Lord Wharton, has tired of the never ending balls that fill the typical London season just as he has tired of the same eligible, yet lacking personality, debutantes vying for the richest men. He has almost convinced himself to leave when a strange sight catches his eye, sparking laughter and curiosity. A hand reaches from a gathering of potted plants to snag passing drinks and delicacies, a hand belonging to a woman Graham has never before seen. Kit FitzGilbert is in London to secure the future of a woman and child under her care and has taken a moment before she attends to business to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of a ballroom once again. Never intending to be noticed, she is surprised when a very handsome gentleman speaks to her from the area behind her hiding spot. Lord Wharton is everything Kit used to admire in the peers of the Ton and his unexpected kindness and humorous conversation are a welcome respite from her daily battle to ensure the care of those under her roof. But this pleasant interlude is not to last, given Kit must quickly do as she came to do and leave London before anyone can follow her home. Graham was intrigued by Kit and her straightforward way of speaking and determines to find out more about her. But first he must help his friend locate his “missing” sister, Priscilla, that no one is willing to share information about. As Graham sets out on his mission to bring Priscilla home, he stumbles upon Kit’s hidden residence on the outskirts of the village of Marlborough, Wiltshire. Kit has spent the past decade housing the illegitimate children of London’s society while also seeking to help their mothers find solace and hope through their situation. She views her work as a mercy mission and as a way to pay penance for her past mistakes. When Graham appears at her home after helping two of the children in her care, she is hard pressed not to throw him out immediately, regardless of the pouring rain. But as the rain refuses to quit for several hours, Graham will be trapped at Haven Manor for the next couple days. The forced time together gives both Kit and Graham a chance to get to know each other better, but Kit is unwilling to let herself fall for another man, no matter how honorable or handsome. Graham, meanwhile, learns that Kit may have the information on Priscilla he needs and although he is angry at her unwillingness to help him locate her, he does admire her tenacity and protectiveness. When Graham sets off to follow a lead when the water recedes, he will carry with him his deep admiration of Kit and her work and vows to return soon. But their journey towards love will be put to the test when Graham finds out how Kit is financing the care of the orphans and he will give her an ultimatum if she wants them to have a future. Kit will have to decide if she is going to live the words she teaches the children about trusting God or if she is going to keep doing things her own way. And her decision will have to be made quickly if she is going to salvage both her relationship with Graham and a home for the orphans. Ms. Hunter does a wonderful job of drawing readers into the world she has written and creates a connection with her characters that readers will truly enjoy. While each character epitomizes the phrasing and actions of someone belonging to the Regency era, there is no mistaking the real faith challenges that are just as prevalent in people today. Ms. Hunter describes a world that has little care for those who don’t “fit in” the box of acceptable society and shows the incredible compassion that must be employed to extend help to those deemed “illegitimate” through no fault of their own. She rightly places the blame on those who carelessly created the lives which are now seen as worthless while illustrating that these little ones are of the same worth to God as children born inside a marriage. I was pleased to see as well that Ms. Hunter did not allow Kit to continue in her well-meaning but incorrect approach to the care of the orphans. While making those responsible for their conception pay for their care is an admirable goal, blackmail is not the way to ensure this happens. How good it was to see that Ms. Hunter had her character learn the important lesson of trusting God for our needs rather than seeking sinful ways of meeting them. I was further pleased with the quiet but amusing romance between the main characters. Their conversations often carried such hilarious phrases that I found myself laughing out loud as I read. I’ve no idea which excellent character Ms. Hunter will turn her pen focus to next but I am excited to find out. She has begun her series well and I am certain she will continue will her wonderful writing in the next stories to come. I will certainly be recommending this book to others as I’m sure they will find it as enjoyable as I have. I will also be keeping a close eye out for the next book in the Haven Manor series as I know it will be another engaging story.

I received this E-Book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

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Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh – Book Review

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

Published by Tyndale House Publishers  June 05, 2018

Genre: Drama, Romance, Christian

Pages: 400

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

For Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help.

Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out―and the best way to avoid more negative press.

Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town―and Quinn’s life―possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.

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Story Notes

Let me begin this review by telling everyone how thankful I am that the situations included in this story are not my own. The hurt that is carried by the two main characters is a reality for so many and I sympathize with you if this mirrors your life in any way. I pray this book will either show you that your hurts do not define you or that having moved beyond those hurts is the best move you’ve ever made.

Courtney Walsh brings to her readers a complex and challenging read that looks at the deep hurts that are caused by a parent’s abandonment and another parent’s inability to forgive a terrible mistake.

This book was a wonderful faith challenge for me as I stepped into the world of Quinn Collins and Grady Benson. Ms. Walsh begins her story with professional skier Grady Benson’s stop in the town of Harbor Pointe for lunch. He is on a cross-country drive to clear his mind before the next set of ski competitions that will decide if he will qualify for the next winter Olympics. A year ago he was the top competitor but lately he has become the bottom, due to several blatant mistakes and falls. Grady is still smarting from his latest failure that has his Twitter feed blowing up with discouraging comments. Enter a smart-mouthed kid and his friends and Grady’s quiet lunch turns into a fight and subsequent night in jail. Hoping to pay his fine and get back on the road, Grady is shocked when the judge demands restitution in the form of community service rather than monetary compensation. Fuming at his continued misfortune Grady calls every person he knows to get him out of this mess; unfortunately for him no one is willing to bail him out after all his past mistakes have cost so much. But this stint of community service will bring more for Grady than he ever imagined and just might help him face the past that has kept him from living a life of true freedom. Quinn Collins is a Harbor Pointe native who wants nothing to do with this arrogant intruder into her town. She has finally purchased the flower shop in town and her long-held dreams are finally within reach. Now if she can only get her entry ready for the Michigan Floral Expo and pull off a first place win she might just have all she ever wanted. But there is a lot of work to do before Quinn can prepare for that competition and the first item on her list is a complete revamp of her new purchase. The problems is, Judge Harrison has assigned Grady Benson community service which includes helping out with renovations in her shop. Thinking she knows exactly what kind of man Grady is, Quinn resolves to stay away from him as much as possible. But Quinn’s nephew Jaden has other plans as he’s been trying to find someone local to coach him in his skiing. Having a top skier in town provides just what Jaden is looking for and Grady convinces Quinn to go along for the first day to “loosen up”. Taking the day for fun starts out as a good idea but soon reality comes crashing in as Quinn notices the Media that begins to accumulate at the ski area the longer they are there. Still not comfortable with the idea of befriending a celebrity, Quinn pulls back and puts more distance between her and Grady after that day. But she will have to let go of her preconceptions and fears if she ever plans to open herself up to the idea of real love. She will also have to work out her problems with her mother’s abandonment of their family when she was a child, which is where her deepest fears are coming from. Grady too, will have to find a way to let go of his mistakes in the past if he is to become the great skier everyone always thought he could be. As he finds new friends in Harbor Pointe and gets to know Quinn better, he will see that there is much to be gained by turning the reins over to God and His omnipotence. Grady will get the chance to find real freedom and joy in the sport he has loved forever and he just might get a chance at real love he didn’t know he wanted. Ms. Walsh’s ability to get the the heart of what is really wrong is exemplified here in this story as she tackles the idea of abandonment. Her female protagonist Quinn is insecure with much in her life as the result of her mother’s abandonment of her as a child. She views the world through jaded eyes and is wary of allowing anyone too close in case they decide to leave her too. Her exceptions seem to be her father, sister and nephew but even they are held at a bit of a distance. Quinn personifies what happens when we let others tell us how worthy we are of time, love and attention. And her hidden resentment is what happens when we don’t let God have what is hurting us and redeem it for His glory. How interesting that Ms. Walsh used the non-Christian Grady to point out these issues in Quinn’s life – that was a well done passage. With Grady, Ms. Walsh takes on the idea that the mistakes of our past, even the most tragic of them, do not define who we are and who we could be. Grady has spent his time trying to make up for the dreams he believes he stole from his brother because of a serious accident and has yet to find any contentment. Hurting deeply over the fact that his father blames him for everything that happened, Grady is trying to be the best to prove he’s got what it takes to win for his brother. Ms. Walsh uses him to show how freeing it can be to let go of the resentment and blame that we don’t need to carry and find ourselves becoming even better at our accomplishments than we ever dreamed possible. There was so much about this book to challenge my faith and my heart that I was sad to come to the last pages. I will be highly recommending this book to others as an excellent read that is not to be missed. I am hopeful Ms. Walsh will be putting out another Harbor Pointe book very soon as I know she will create a wonderful story for either of Quinn’s friends Hailey or Lucy. Harbor Pointe is a town you will want to come back and visit very soon!!

 

I received this book free of charge from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from Tyndale House Publishers for this review and the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado by Rebecca Jepson – Book Review

My Heart Belongs in Glenwood Springs, Colorado by Rebecca Jepson

Published by Barbour Books/Barbour Publishing May 01, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Christian

Pages: 256

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Where the past and present collide and a woman is on the precipice of unexpected love.

Millie Cooper, fisherman’s-daughter-turned-nurse, flees a painful entanglement with the wealthy Drexel family who summered near her childhood home in Nantucket, only to encounter them again six years later in Glenwood Springs. The serenity of her mountain hideaway in a town with healing springs is disrupted when she faces caring for the elderly mother and the expectant wife of Stephen Drexel, the man she’d once loved—at the request of his brother John, the man who’d kept them apart. Will Millie forgive the wrongs she feels were done to her, or will she come to see them as a blessing in disguise that leads her to greater joys?

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Story Notes

Rebecca Jepson delivers a quiet story of healing and forgiveness in the picturesque town of Glenwood Springs that readers will find delightful.

Having not read Ms. Jepson’s earlier short story works I was interested to see how this new author would develop this well used plot in a new way. I’m pleased to say she did well although I would have put more page time into the evolution of the romance between the two main characters. Ms. Jepson begins her story with a young nurse named Millie Cooper who is enjoying her work alongside Dr. Murphy and his daughter Ann in the healing waters town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She has had no time for romance and is loath to think of it given her heartbreak from six years earlier. But when the man who destroyed her dreams of marriage comes suddenly into her life again to beg her help with his mother, Millie will have to set aside her hurt and bitterness to be the nurse that God has called her to be. John Drexel has taken care of his family for years, doing whatever necessary to ensure they are provided with everything they need. It nearly broke him to tell Millie that his brother, Stephen, couldn’t possibly marry her but as his reasons for doing so involved others’ secrets he couldn’t tell her the truth of why they couldn’t be together. And as God has a way of doing, John is face to face with Millie once again, hoping she will agree to help his mother deal with the sudden onset of asthma. Millie still has not forgiven John for keeping her and Stephen apart in the past and is hard pressed to agree to work with the Drexel family, possibly coming in contact with Stephen daily. But as she begins her work, she will find small comforts in the care of her unexpected second patient, Stephen’s wife Florence, who is due to have a baby in a few months. Millie will need every kind word that Florence has to offer as she faces Katherine Drexel, her asthmatic and extremely critical main patient but will eventually find a way to love Katherine to a semi-friendship. But she is still carrying a bitterness and resentment in her heart that will have to be released if she is to have a chance at real, lasting love with another. John has admired Millie for years and would love to have a chance to show her he is not the cruel snob she believes him to be. As he works to ensure that his family and his business are both flourishing, Millie begins to see a kinder side of John that she was unaware of before now. And when tragedy strikes, it will take all of the strength and kindness they both posses to make it through the toughest days. But each challenge they face brings them closer together and gives the promise of a new love in the coming days. That is, until a former love threatens to tear them apart. Millie will have to make a tough decision of whether to embrace an old love that was safe or a new love that promises to bring her all her hearts deepest desires. I gave this story a lower rating that I usually would because I found the story to be good but not overly excellent. The lesson of letting go of bitterness and anger were well written and the pacing of the story was effective but I just felt a little shorted on the romance between John and Millie. As they had so much to work through I would have like to have seen more interactions between them to show how their love actually grew. And at the end when they finally got together I wish that had been more drawn out rather than rushed onto 5 pages. I would have also liked to have seen a bit more about Ann and Stephen’s romance after John and Millie got together. It would have made a very good next story for Ms. Jepson to write – although I know this book was part of a larger, over-arching series. So I will be recommending this book for others as a nice read for a vacation or weekend-at-home type of story. It was a pretty good first novel and I hope Ms. Jepson will continue to hone her craft and put out more stories soon.

I received this E-Book free of charge from Barbour Books/Barbour Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review and all opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.

The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere – Book Review

The Heart’s Appeal by Jennifer Delamere

Published by Bethany House Publishers March 06, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, Romance, Christian

Pages: 385

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Strong-minded and independent Julia Bernay comes to London to study medicine and become a doctor–a profession that has only just opened up to women. She witnesses a serious accident, and through her quick actions saves the life of an ambitious young barrister named Michael Stephenson.

Coming from a family that long ago lost its money and its respectability, Michael Stephenson has achieved what many would have thought was impossible. Hard work and an aptitude for the law have enabled him to rise above his family’s stigma and set him on the path to wealth and recognition. But his well-laid plans are upended when the accident brings Julia into his life.

Michael soon discovers he’s met a woman every bit as stubborn and determined to make her mark on the world as he is. Sparks fly–but will they find common ground?

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Story Notes

Jennifer Delamere brings her readers her second story in the London Beginnings series and it is one that contains good challenges to ideas of living out faith and letting God lead you to love and contentment. However, its the rest of the book that will be a whole other challenge with which readers must contend.

I’m going to go on record as I begin this review with saying that this book was very difficult for me to read. Not because it was particularly challenging in its material covered but between losing the book for a full week (it fell behind my “to read” stack of books), and all that was going on with the rest of my life, this poor book was quite neglected for a time. But I will not say that once I began it I wish I had read it earlier. Rather, when I finally started the book and was reading the first few chapters, my mind quickly began saying “Oh no, this book is not going to be a keeper.” And while the pace of the story did pick up and the plot became better developed, this will not be one of the books that I will re-read multiple times. Mainly, it was the overly drawn out happenings and conversations that made this book plod along. I don’t necessarily need a book to be packed with action, but I do require the conversations and actions that are taking place to be witty and commanding. Ms. Delamere begins her story right where she left off in The Captain’s Daughter with nurse Julia Bernay in the middle of her studies at Queens College for the physician entrance exam to the London School of Medicine for Women. As she is making her way to a medical lecture one afternoon on the London Underground, the train derails, causing mayhem as well as injury to many on board. Knowing time is of the essence, Julia quickly begins to assess those in her car for possible injuries. A well dressed man she had noticed earlier is lying on the floor bleeding profusely from his neck while his female companions shriek for help. As she works to slow the bleeding and keep the man alive, Julia prays her current knowledge will be enough. Rescuers soon come, and the man is taken quickly from the broken train car to the nearest hospital. Julia remains behind to help others and finds the business card of the man she helped lying on the floor  – Michael Stephenson, Barrister-at-Law. From this dramatic introduction, Julia and Michael’s lives will be forever changed. Michael is the second attorney on a lawsuit that could affect the closing of the London School of Medicine for Women. Doing only what he is told on such a case as this has never been a problem before, but after his accident and subsequent meeting of Julia, Michael begins to look deeper at what is the real reason for the lawsuit at hand. He is also hoping to repay Julia for her kindness and offers to help her in any way he can. Her first thought when she hears his offer is whether or not he was good at Latin while at his Law studies. When Michael responds positively, Julia praises God for having gifted her with such a solution to her most challenging subject of the medical exam. Still unsure of whether his tutoring her could become a conflict for the lawsuit, Michael agrees to help, believing her goal of becoming a doctor is laudable. As the weeks pass and the two discuss all Latin phrases and declination Michael can recall or find, they also begin discussing their personal lives. Discovering that they are both orphans brings them a commonality that produces a close friendship. But Julia brings a challenge to Michael he did not foresee – one of living out one’s faith. Michael has never seen the use of letting an un-attentive God have any say over his life, while Julia believes He is the one who orchestrates all that happens in life for her good. Skeptical of what he hears, Michael brushes her words aside at first but will soon come to see God in a new light because of Julia’s faithful witness. But there will be much to challenge them further in the weeks to come as the lawsuit comes about, bringing with it more problems. And they both will have to decide if they are going to let the love that is growing between them thrive or die, and that will depend on whether they let God lead them to the best life possible. As simplified as I have just made the plot sound it is not too far off what the essentials of the story are. I just wish that Ms. Delamere has supported the story with more witty dialogue and forward moving action. Random inserts of what happened at a party or event that had no bearing on the plot were uselessly added in what I guess was a way to make the book longer. This was disappointing as the first book was really well done and very interesting. Here’s hoping the third book the series will be much better written and developed. I will be recommending this book to others only because it will probably be necessary to the plot of the third book, I will not recommend it as one to purchase as I think it would be a poor buy. Please write a better third book, Ms Delamere, I really wanted to like this one!

 

I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from Bethany House Publishers for this review and the opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – Book Review

The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep

Published by Barbour Books/Barbour Publishing, Inc. June 01, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Drama, Romance

Pages: 257

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Mercy Lytton, a scout with keen eyesight raised among the Mohawks, and Elias Dubois, a condemned traitor working both sides of the conflict, must join together to get a shipment of gold safely into British hands.
A brand new series for fans of all things related to history, romance, adventure, faith, and family trees. 

A War-Torn Countryside Is No Place for a Lady
Mercy Lytton is a lady like none other. Raised amongst the Mohawks, she straddles two cultures, yet each are united in one cause. . .to defeat the French. Born with a rare gift of unusually keen eyesight, she is chosen as a scout to accompany a team of men on a dangerous mission. Yet it is not her life that is threatened. It is her heart.  Condemned as a traitor, Elias Dubois faces the gallows. At the last minute, he is offered his freedom if he consents to accompany a stolen shipment of French gold to a nearby fort—but he is the one they stole it from in the first place. It turns out that the real thief is the beguiling woman, Mercy Lytton, for she steals his every waking thought.   Can love survive divided loyalties in a backcountry wilderness?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep.

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Story Notes

Michelle Griep presents the third installment of the Daughters of the Mayflower series – a story that had a lot of potential and plot twists but fell a little flat in the action/adventure/danger department.

I had a lot of expectations for this story, not just because Michelle Griep wrote it, but because it is part of a series that, thus far, has been well done by all the authors creating the stories. And while I felt that there was adequate attention given to the spiritual and romantic sides of the story, the historical and adventure/danger sections seemed more of an afterthought. I realize this is in the genre of “Christian fiction” but there is a way to convey a great sense of danger and fear without being gory or gross. However, I will also share what I liked about the story as well. Ms. Griep begins her story with the arrival of Mercy Lytton at Fort Wilderness after a long journey scouting for the English/colonial army. Weary from her work and ready for a little time off, Mercy brings her reports to General Bragg, only to discover she is to be sent out right away as a scout with a captured shipment of French gold to Fort Edward. Mercy is glad to hear she will be traveling once again with her friend and mentor, Matthew Prinn but her gladness turns to anger when she hears she is to travel as a “married woman” – and her husband is to be the English traitor Elias Dubois. Determined to do her duty no matter what is asked of her, Mercy tells the General she will give the mission her very best effort, even if it makes her extremely uncomfortable to ride alongside a notorious prisoner. Elias Dubois is a “French agent” who was in command of a small group of French soldiers charged with delivering a shipment of gold to a New York fort. He and his men were captured and he is scheduled to hang for his crimes against the British crown at sunrise. However, a stay of execution has been sent for him, dependent on his cooperation to deliver the gold shipment to Fort Edward alongside Mercy, Matthew and the General’s son, Rufus. Elias agrees, and is soon ready to leave with the others. But what should be a relatively easy two week journey turns into much more as they pick their way through difficult terrain, hoping against hope they will avoid the warring Mohawks and Wyandot warriors hiding in all areas of the woods. They will face numerous problems including a broken wagon wheel,  helping a settler family whose wilderness guide isn’t worthy of the title, and capture by the Wyandot tribe. As they face the unending challenges that come upon them, both Mercy and Elias will have to find a way to trust each other or they will never make it through this journey alive. Mercy has been on her own for so long she is not used to having someone, besides Matthew, to depend on for anything. And she certainly doesn’t want to trust this traitor she believes will run at the first opportunity. But there is much more to Elias Dubois and his mission that meets the eye. Elias carries a secret that he cannot tell anyone or his life is forfeit, a fact that pains him greatly as he gets to know Mercy. She is the exact kind of woman he has always prayed for but has almost given up hope of finding. But her strong will and determination to do her job have pushed her away from her Biblical upbringing and Elias sees helping her conquer these traits as a challenge he has been given by God. As they make both the physical and spiritual journey together, they will come to find a love that they can both believe in – and one they can trust completely. And they will need all their faith and love to make it through to the end as each hour brings a new problem and danger to face. As I said before, this story had great potential. I was very pleased with the plot and the context of the story. And the handling of spiritual matters was well done, with no truth being withheld in order to be pleasant. The romance as well was very nice and clean with more than enough conversations and situations together to make it believably real. But when it came to the adventure/danger it was a bit lackluster. While the capture of Mercy by the Wyandots was a bit suspenseful, there seemed to be a lack of viciousness that was to be expected from the warriors. I know that it is prejudicial to portray the American Indian as a savage type of person, but Ms. Griep previously alluded to the fact that this particular tribe were a very vicious and vengeful people. Not of course that they didn’t have just cause but that they exacted their revenge in a brutal way. I did like that Ms. Griep showed how arguments were often settled by challenges to the death by the Wyandots – as was true to history. They considered it a matter of honor that when someone, or their family, was offended, the offended party would challenge the offender to a fight of choice to the death. But the way in which they simply let Elias spend time with Mercy after he mostly won without placing a guard over their prisoner was a little hard to believe. Native Americans were not know for letting their captives go easily and would often tie them to others to ensure they remained in camp. The chief even said she was not going to be allowed to leave and yet not one warrior was assigned to guard her. My other issue was the fast resolution at the end of the story. It seemed to me that more information was needed to explain Elias’s job and the reason for his long held secret. And if you are going to tell of a specialized weapon, more research and page time needs to be included to make it at all believable for this time period. But overall, I did find the story enjoyable and would recommend it to others for a good read. Not everyone cares to be as particular in the details about a story as I am and therefore I’m sure many will read this story and say it was very well done in its entirety. I’m hopeful that Ms. Griep’s next book will return to the excellence I have come to expect from her in her other works – perhaps this was a one off because she is trying to fit her story into a multi-author series and lacked page space to really delve down into the details. On to the next book!

I received this E-book free of charge from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review and the opinions given here are entirely my own.

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan – Book Review

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan

Published by Bethany House Publishers May 01, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Drama, Christian

Pages: 186

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

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Story Notes
Rachel Dylan brings her second story in the Atlanta Justice series to her readers with a plot that is filled with twists and turns that will keep you reading to the very last page.
Rachel Dylan has been a favorite suspense writer of mine for some time. She creates her books with such realism by using the proper legal terms required without overwhelming readers with too many of them. This time around she is focusing her story on a young prosecutor who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or rather, the right place at the right time, at least according to her. Sophie Dawson is headed home after a long day at the office and spontaneously decides to indulge in junk food to celebrate the closing of a case. But her easy stop at the convenience store turns into so much more when she witnesses a double homicide. Unfamiliar with the many roots of gang families of Atlanta, Sophie will positively identify the younger brother of a Atlanta gang lord and lands herself in the middle of a face-off between the gang and the ADA office of a neighboring county. Sophie has also just been handed a new case of her own in which a bank manager has been accused of siphoning funds from numerous accounts. She is hopeful as the bank is local that she will receive support from the CEO and turn up all the evidence needed to put this man in jail for a long time. Further, she would like to ensure that the rest of the bank’s customers are not adversely affected by the theft – a task that may prove hard to do as there is more than meets the eye when it comes to this banking institution. When covert and then overt attacks begin happening, Sophie is sure that the gang is behind it all, but as she uncovers more and more about her bank case, she just may find herself in deeper than she’s ever been before – and playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with people who don’t play fair. Cooper Knight is a private investigator/bodyguard that was hired by Sophie’s father to keep an eye on her after the double homicide. At first his job is to remain in the background and ensure she can go about her life as usual with no interference. But when someone begins taking more direct action, Cooper must tell Sophie why he’s there and help keep her safe. Sophie is not willing to give up either her witness testimony  or her case she’s working on as she knows both are important and not just to her. However, she has too much information to sort through before her days in court so she enlists the help of Cooper and his boss, Landon, to help her figure out what is important and what is just generic bank paperwork. As they dive deeper into the bank and the accounts that have been affected, a pattern begins to emerge – one that they all realize someone would be willing to kill to keep hidden. Rachel and Cooper will be in a race to discover who is behind it all before all the major players are eliminated permanently. There was so much of this story to love I had a hard time deciding which was most important to share. With her excellent writing, Ms. Dylan crafted a complete story with just enough action and suspense to make this a book I will certainly be adding to my shelves to re-read. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse “behind the curtain” as it were, of the legal side of court cases. Most books and shows about crime focus more on the police investigation that it was nice to read a different perspective. Sophie is a character to cheer for as she pulls no punches in her fight for justice. She is more concerned with doing the right thing rather than favoring the right people but is still careful to speak with respect and humility when needed. That is a rarity in this age, sadly, as more people are concerned with getting ahead, no matter their compromises on the right way. It is my prayer that there are those in our justice system who are like minded and seek only after truth. Cooper is another character I was impressed with as he did his job without frills and the need for constant acclamation. He made it his mission in life to be the opposite of his abusive father and help people feel both safe and supported when they need it most. He will be what Sophie needs most, beyond her faith, when the world comes crashing in on her. Sophie as well, will be a source of help for Cooper when everything turns on its end. Her quiet assurance and faith in him will be the breakthrough Cooper needs to move beyond his long held beliefs of inadequacy to a life and love in which to thrive. The real and firm moments of faith throughout the story were very well done and not “preachy”. The truth was shared in a way that gave both the character and the reader a chance to contemplate what was said and decide what to do with that truth. This made the story feel whole and finished while leaving some things open for the next book to explore. I’m really looking forward to the next book the series to find out what trouble Mia will find herself in. She is an interesting character that has made several appearances in this and the previous book and has had some pretty insightful things to say. Here’s hoping that story comes out very soon!
I received this E-book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review, and the opinions expressed here are my own.

Falling for You by Becky Wade – Book Review

Falling for You by Becky Wade

Published by Bethany House Publishers May 01, 2018

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance

Pages: 238

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Famously beautiful model Willow Bradford is taking a temporary break from her hectic schedule to work as the innkeeper at her family’s small-town bed-and-breakfast. She was enjoying the peace of her hometown, Merryweather, Washington, right up until she came face-to-face with Corbin Stewart, the man she loves to hate. A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to Corbin–and suffered the consequences when it all fell apart.

Former NFL quarterback Corbin is forceful, charming, and accustomed to getting what he wants . . . except where Willow Bradford is concerned. Unable to forget her, he’s never stopped regretting what happened between them. When their paths unexpectedly cross again, he’s determined to make her give him a second chance.

When a decades-old missing persons case finds Corbin and Willow working together, they’re forced to confront their past and who they’ve become–and whether they can risk falling for one another all over again.

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Story Notes

The second installment of the Bradford Sisters Romance series brings a quiet story of reconciliation with a mystery thrown in to keep things interesting.

I discovered Becky Wade just over a year ago when I was offered for review her first book in the Bradford Sisters Romance, True to You. I was pleased with the style of writing she used that drew readers in without having to employ a lot of action or complicated drama. This story is a bit different as the persons involved are a bit more “high maintenance” when it comes to their personalities. Willow Bradford has taken a much needed  break from high profile modeling and is enjoying running the family bed and breakfast as the interim manager. Thrilled with the chance to practice her baking skills as well as her business skills, Willow has jumped in with both feet to make the Inn as welcoming as possible. The added bonus of this time off is a chance to spend time with her sisters and reacquaint herself with her hometown. And everything is going so very well until she runs into the last person she ever wanted to see again: her ex-boyfriend Corbin Stewart. His NFL quarterback career sidelined by a devastating shoulder injury, Corbin has come to Merryweather to recuperate and complete the therapy he needs to function without pain. He has bought a house that will require major renovation before its really livable but it will give him much needed time with his father who has been battling cancer for quite a while. Corbin never expected to run into Willow again after their breakup, given his hurtful words were what drove them apart in the first place. But he has recently become a Christian and is doing his best to right his past wrongs, if only Willow will give him a chance. Willow has always been the rule-following, people pleaser of the Bradford family but when she met Corbin, she decided to move beyond her self-imposed “restrictions” and give herself totally to Corbin and his love. Consequences of that decision had long reaching effects and ultimately led Corbin to lash out in desperation, hurting both Willow and himself with his destructive words and actions. Vowing she will never break her rules again, Willow ran fast and far from Corbin and his betrayal. Fast forward four years and Willow is still holding her hurt and mistakes close to her heart – both to ensure she never compromises herself again or lets anyone get as close as Corbin did. Corbin has never forgotten a single moment of his time with Willow, and he is certain that she is the only one he will ever love that deeply. But breaking down her very thick walls of resentment and hurt will take all he has as well as some help from God. Corbin’s chance comes when his niece Charlotte asks Willow to help her solve the mystery of her great aunt’s disappearance and supposed death. With only a few newspaper articles and photos from family albums to go on, the case seems nearly impossible to begin, much less solve. But with new technology and some help from her librarian sister, Willow begins to piece together what happened to Josephine Blake. The case will take some unexpected twists and turns that will bring a conclusion that is totally unforeseen. But through their work on the case, Willow and Corbin will get the chance to talk through what happened four year ago – and maybe, move on to something even better than they had before. I enjoyed reading this story and getting to know the people of Merryweather better. The characters focused on in this story were well developed in both voice and description. I was able to get a real feel for how each of them thought and it helped me connect with them in their situations. I really identified with Willow as its very much in my own nature to want to please others. And while I know its not always possible or probable, it is a goal I set for myself to do my best on and with everything. This can often create a heavy pressure on yourself to be and do all things for everyone and its hard to find a good balance. I’ve been growing in this with the Lord and it was good to read of another who faces the same problems. Corbin desperately wanted love and, until he found Jesus, he sought it from anyone and any thing. He was also seeking a forgiveness that he couldn’t seem to find and it made him reach out to whatever he found to hide his needs away. The weight that was lifted as he handed it all to God was profound and finally gave him the courage to ask Willow for the forgiveness he knows they both need. Corbin further learned the hard truths of trust and letting go. Control is a hard thing to release and while there is much freedom to be found in that release it still takes strength to say “Okay, you take it because I can’t anymore.” So although this story did not make my heart race with danger or drama, it did reaffirm some wonderful truths and gave me new challenges to my faith. I will most certainly recommend this book and the series to others as its very well done. I’m looking forward to the third book to see what will happen with Britt and Zander.

I received this E-book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

Storm Front by Susan May Warren – Book Review

Storm Front by Susan May Warren

Published by Revell Publishing May 01, 2018

Genre: Drama, Christian

Pages: 200

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community and among the missing are not only a group of students but PEAK Rescue team leader Chet King. Ty Remington will stop at nothing to rescue his mentor, not even when the girl he loved–and lost–walks back into his life. But Brette needs his help more than he knows, despite her stubborn determination to push him away. And when he gets a second chance, loving her just might cost him more than he can imagine.

A blogger for Vortex Storm Chasers, Brette Arnold didn’t expect her adventures to land her in the same place as Ty, the guy who she walked–no, ran–from over a year ago. She had her reasons–good ones. The kind that tell her that falling for him again would only lead to heartache. But Ty isn’t the kind of man to give up–not on the missing students, or on her.

Life and love hang in the balance in Susan May Warren’s breathless story of holding on to hope during a deadly summer of storms.

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Story Notes

Susan May Warren brings to her readers the much anticipated fifth installment in her Montana Rescue series, telling the story of Ty Remington, former helo pilot who has yet to face the demons from his past.

Mary Francis Winters said “We all need a little extra support sometimes” and this story is one of the best illustrations of that quote. Ms. Warren has finally given her readers the back story of Ty Remington, one of the most mysterious members of the PEAK rescue team. A man of few words and even fewer details about his life before joining PEAK, Ty has been running from his past while helping other members of the team move beyond theirs. He’s also nursing a broken heart from his year ago encounter with the indomitable Brette Arnold, a photographic journalist who carries more secrets than Ty ever dreamed. Her sudden disappearance just when Ty was really starting to feel something for her cost Ty both his heart and his confidence in his ability to help. When a huge storm system moves through Minnesota while team leader Chet King is visiting his son Ben on his music tour, the team will find themselves moving out of their comfort zone as they assist in rescues in the wake of a massive tornado. Ty knows that Chet would have taken cover when the weather took a turn for the worse, but Chet’s not the only one missing after the storm. A cross country team is also missing along with the team coaches – and no one seems to know where the team was doing their latest practice. PEAK Rescue arrives with every intention of finding all those who are missing but Ty will be the one who finds more than the others when he comes face to face with the woman who still holds his heart – Brette Arnold. Brette has spent the past year fighting an aggressive form of breast cancer that has ravaged her body and left her with scars inside and out. Knowing that Ty would have wanted to help her in any way possible and wanting to keep him from suffering alongside her, Brette ran from the possibility of a life with him, never considering whether he might be just the help she needs. And just when she has finally accepted that she is fully in remission and back to her photography work, she comes across Ty who is in town to help with the rescues. His shock at the change in her leads him to say unintentionally rude words, that instantly get Brette’s back up and cause her to snap at him for his insensitivity. As they both try to find those who are missing, Ty and Brette will have to determine a way to move past the hurts they’ve caused each other and forgive themselves for past mistakes. Ty is so used to stepping in to help physically or monetarily those he knows need help that he often overlooks his most powerful way to help – prayer. And Brette has depended on herself for so long that she is loath to accept help from others – believing that she is doing what is best for them. But each of them will find that they themselves need others to walk with them through life and sometimes, they just need to let themselves be rescued and cared for by those around them. Ms. Warren fully destroys the notion that many people have that “I can do everything on my own”. God made us with a need to connect to others and that means we sometimes have to let them come in and carry us when life knocks us off our feet. And although we may have good reasons for not letting others in, we both miss out on a blessing and are robbing them of the chance to be a blessing to us. In my life I have seen that while it is truly humbling to ask for help, there is GREAT spiritual healing and comfort that comes in knowing that others care for you deeply. The immense joy and peace that fills me when I reach out to family/friends and they respond with such enthusiasm to my request shows me I am not alone in my troubles. There is no substitute for the kindness of a friend who walks your road with you and sometimes carries you when you are too tired to take another step. These are the concepts that Ms. Warren strives to teach with this story. The only reason I gave this story a lower rating than I usually would is that the series seems to be dragging on a bit. While I have loved getting to know each of the characters, I feel like there has been some unnecessary rehashing of issues that seemed to be resolved in previous books. Case in point – Ben King and Kacey Fairing were the first couple that Ms. Warren created a story for and I thought they had worked through all their trust issues. But apparently they needed to go through another crisis to really decide if they were going to get married. Not that couples don’t often have to work through issues more than once in their relationship but it just seemed like Kacey was being petty and creating a scenario that had no real basis. I am however, excited to see what will become of Pete and Jess in the next story. They both have some serious problems with holding grudges and it will be a great story to read when available. I will both recommend this book and the series to others as I’ve really enjoyed getting to know all the members of the PEAK team. Great series, Ms. Warren, you’ve done very well!!

I received this E-Book free of charge from Revell Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

Return to Whispering Pines By Scarlett Dunn – Book Review

Return to Whispering Pines by Scarlett Dunn

Published By Zebra/Kensington Books April 24, 2018

Genre: Christian, Romance

Pages: 263

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Scarlett Dunn welcomes readers back to Whispering Pines, Colorado, where three sisters are beginning new lives rich in faith and love . . .

Adelaide Langtry may not be as beautiful as her sisters, but she has determination to spare. She’ll need it if she’s to succeed as a schoolteacher in her old hometown and care for the three abandoned siblings she brought from Boston. In Whispering Pines, Addie hopes to establish an orphanage, but she must also contend with her past, including her outlaw brother, Frank.

Orphaned as a boy, Sheriff Jack Roper understands the turmoil faced by Addie’s young charges. Though he tells himself he has all the responsibility he needs, the handsome lawman is quickly charmed by the children, and by the spirited, generous woman intent on helping them. Still, he has his own duty—to capture Frank Langtry and bring him to justice.

When the children’s safety is endangered, Addie and Jack realize how much they’ve come to care for them, and each other. Keeping their ready-made family together is the greatest challenge they’ve known—but it could also be the greatest blessing . . .

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Story Notes

Scarlett Dunn continues her Colorado saga with the second installment of her Whispering Pines series that will take readers along on a couple’s journey to find acceptance just they way they are and a family to call their own.

Scarlett Dunn is a relatively new author I have been following since I was offered her first Whispering Pines book last year. She is very good at creating a story that you really can become a part of and must know the end of before you put it down. This second story in the series focuses on the ideas of knowing that you have worth because God made you just the way you need to be to do what He has called you to do and that family is not limited to those with whom you share last names. Ms. Dunn begins her story right where she last left off – with the arrival of Adelaide Langtry and three orphaned siblings in her care. Addie has come home to Whispering Pines to become the town school teacher and possibly start a much needed orphanage for the area. She has brought three  siblings with her who have long held her heart’s love in the hopes they will find someone to take in all three and give them the home they’ve been longing for. Addie has long understood she is not the beauty her sisters are and has resigned herself to being the best caregiver and school teacher to those under her care. But God has other ideas for Addie and she will soon come to see that with her reintroduction to Sheriff Jack Roper. Jack Roper has prayed for a wife for many years, knowing he would like to have a home and family he didn’t have growing up. When Addie Langtry steps off the stage, he is immediately struck by both her quiet beauty and kind treatment of her charges. The youngest of the orphans, Claire, becomes instantly attached to Jack, calling him “Papa”, which is most telling to him about how much these children need a family to love them. As Addie and the children begin to settle in and find their place in Whispering Pines, Jack can’t help but find reasons to visit, whether teaching the children a skill for their new lives or just to have a conversation with Addie. But all will not remain peaceful for long. Addie and Rose’s brother Frank is still on the run and holding a serious grudge against Jack and Morgan LeMasters, Rose’s husband. Frank is determined to destroy Morgan’s life as completely as he believes Morgan has destroyed his, and he will use any means necessary to accomplish that end – even pretending to love the daughter of a circuit judge. But as much as Frank tries to make things go his own way, he simply cannot understand that God will not allow evil to prevail over His children. And with so many willing to give witness to the truth of Morgan’s dealings with Frank, it will make Frank’s version of the truth show forth in all its vengeful untruthfulness. In the midst of all this trouble, Addie’s former beau, Prescott Adler makes an appearance to convince her to leave everything and return to Boston to become his wife. Reeling from the suddenness of Prescott’s declaration and unsure of his real motives, Addie turn to her grandmother for advice. Granny tells her to examine her heart and see what or whom she finds there, and whether what Prescott offers will make her happy and fulfill the calling of God she has been following. Finding herself unable to see a life with Prescott, Addie refuses his offer, only to find herself in a quandary as Prescott has threatened to shut down any idea of an orphanage in Whispering Pines and take the children back to the Boston Orphanage. What follows is an ending that will have everyone getting what they deserve but with enough of a cliff-hanger to carry the story into the next book. I so enjoy the honest way in which Ms. Dunn looks at finding acceptance in the eyes of others. She made it very clear that while we may see ourselves as in need of change – and while that change may truly be necessary if its something that is not of God – God made us just exactly the way He intended and has much for us to do if we will let Him work through us. Addie had to learn this truth with her appearance; she had always seen herself as the industrious one who was least likely to find love given she is “too curvy” and lacks the beauty of her sisters. But her caring heart and her unwillingness to give up on a cause will be what brings her hearts desire to pass – the love she always hoped for. Jack also needed this truth in his life. He had grown up without a family and never really believed anyone would want him as a husband and father. Jack prayed for those very things but hadn’t ever felt like God would bless him in such a way. But God will use him to show young Davey that God has plans for everyone – even those who don’t think He has time or cares for them. And with Addie’s love Jack will finally find the family he has always wanted to have, complete with three children who captured his heart. While this book was not the most daring adventure story, it had much to teach that I found to be convicting. I often find myself asking if how I look, talk or dress will be acceptable to others when I should be ensuring that all I do is to honor God. And while I have a wonderfully loving family, it is always a good reminder to me that God has placed others in my life that have become the extended family I need to keep me grounded and surrounded by faith. I am hopeful Ms. Dunn will bring out the next book of the series soon and will be excited to see if I am offered it for review. If not, I will still be purchasing it for myself as I just have to find out what will happen with the third Langtry sister, Emma. I will be recommending both this book and the series to others as I fully believe they will find it as enjoyable as I have.

I received this E-book free of charge from Zebra/Kensington Books via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman – Book Review

Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman

Published by FaithWords  February 06, 2018

Genre: Mystery/Suspense, Christian

Pages: 311

Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Suspense and romance combine in Susan Sleeman’s thrilling new novel about an FBI agent who must team up with a beautiful therapist to stop a killer with a deadly new weapon.

Some fears haunt you forever….

As the ballistics and weapon’s expert for the FBI’s special task force nicknamed the White Knights, Rick Cannon has known the Department of Defense was developing self-steering bullets. Rick feared these smart bullets–which have one hundred percent accuracy that can turn even a novice into a lethal sniper–would eventually end up in the hands of the wrong people. But since the ammunition was still in the development stage, he figured they had plenty of time before that happened. He was wrong. Dead wrong.

Until they become reality.

When a homeless vet is killed with a smart bullet, it’s clear that the ammunition has been stolen, and the Knights are called in to find the thief and stop the killings. But they aren’t the only ones desperate to find the killer. Therapist Olivia Dobbs is well known for her success in counseling military veterans with PTSD. When she discovers one of her clients moments after he is murdered, she becomes both the FBI’s prime witness, and suspect.

Despite the mutual attraction that immediately sparks between them, Rick can’t–no he won’t–let Olivia interfere with his investigation. But when the sniper trains his rifle on her, Rick must recall all the skills he learned as a Marine sniper to make sure the next bullet fired isn’t a kill shot that takes Olivia out.

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Story Notes

Susan Sleeman’s latest installment of the White Knights series is one that you will lose sleep over as you just have to find out who the killer is and his why.

I have long enjoyed reading the various Susan Sleeman short books, finding her writing style flows well and sparks my imagination with her descriptions. And having read the first book in this series, Fatal Mistake, I was hopeful I would be offered this next book as well – thankfully my hopes came true. The intensity of this special focus FBI team is awesome to see and I love how deeply Ms. Sleeman dives into the personal and spiritual lives of each of them. This story concentrates on Agent Rick Cannon, a former Marine Sniper with plenty of baggage from his past. He comes face to face with his worst fear when the team’s newest case involves a psychologist named Olivia Dobbs. Harboring deep resentment for those of the therapist profession from childhood, Rick will have a hard time letting go of his preconceptions and letting Olivia be seen as she truly is – someone who works hard to help others. Olivia never dreamed that her life could be so turned upside down by a client. The most action she has seen in her work is a frustrated client who shouts or punches a couch cushion. But she is committed to those in her care and when a patient named Ace Griffin requests a session outside her office, she agrees with only slight hesitation. Tragedy will strike quickly, however, and Olivia will be right in the middle of the fray. Having followed Ace after he abruptly leaves her on the park bench during their impromptu session, Olivia is confronted with Ace’s dead body and a knife-wielding man intent on chasing her down. She barely escapes and is soon surrounded by local police and, strangely enough, the FBI. Olivia will find herself faced with a challenge when she meets Agent Rick Cannon though, as he has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide when it comes to her profession. But getting him to tell her why will be a fight she must engage in every day until he is willing to breach his long defended walls of bitterness. Trust does not come easy for Rick – way too many people in his life have abused his trust so anyone new will have to work hard to earn his respect. But there is something about Olivia that he just can’t shake and his instant attraction to her is so unexpected he will have to work hard not to let it show. But as is the case in Ms. Sleeman’s books, both of them will have to make changes if they are to move past their preconceptions and find the love they don’t know they need. And if they are also going to find the killer they will need every bit of knowledge and experience they possess. I loved the way that Ms. Sleeman was so very honest and open through her characters about the struggles that our military members face when they return home. So much of their time oversees is spent just surviving each day that when they come home they are at a loss for how to process what happened to them and where they go from here. PTSD is a very real and devastating problem for those who are responsible for taking many lives and without real help a lot of soldiers cannot deal with what they experienced. I was so glad to see that Ms. Sleeman offered the best solution to all problems, mental and physical, as allowing God to forgive and heal you. War is not a pretty thing and much of what happens is barbaric but necessary. But carrying guilt over the death of one that was called home is the burden that many refuse to release. Ms. Sleeman carefully points out through Olivia that God does not intend for us to carry our past mistakes like a rucksack, we must lay them down, ask for forgiveness, accept that forgiveness, and seek to do the things He calls us to do. Ms. Sleeman also tackled the idea of enabling with Olivia as she had relatives that took advantage of her kindness. She needed to realize that the only way someone can stand on their own is when we let them fall a few times so they can learn. Ms. Sleeman showed the hurtful cycle that can be created by helping someone too much – which sometimes results in them resenting when that help is not given every time they have need. I loved how she kept Olivia from acting rashly but also made her face the problems she had created. I also really enjoyed the way that Ms. Sleeman crafted the romance of the story by allowing her characters to grow beyond their personal beliefs of who and what kind of person they should love. How very much like God to bring us someone we never would have chosen and bring forth a wonderful relationship to challenge us in our faith and daily life. Additionally, I was glad to see that Ms. Sleeman kept a good balance of plot in her story so that nothing was too focused on, allowing for the case to be solved with completeness and for the spiritual/romantic journey of the main characters to be moved along to a satisfactory place. The writing was very well done and the story left enough open in the personal lives of rest of the team to point to the next stories. I am greatly looking forward to whomever Ms. Sleeman will write a story about next as there are several team members who will be excellent main characters in their own story. I will highly recommend this story and the series to others as I truly believe they will enjoy it as well. Hopefully the next story will be released soon – I can hardly wait to see what comes next for the White Knights!

I received this E-book free of charge from FaithWords Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.