Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Behind the ScenesI’ve read books from this author before and enjoyed them, so I was surprised to find myself struggling to get through this one. It started our really slow, with the first 100 pages of the book all taking place in a few hours time. When we finally got through that first scene, the story started picking up, but I had almost given up on it. The beginning of the book seemed overly wordy, but either it improved, or as the action picked up, I didn’t notice it as much. I think if the first 100 pages had been cut to about 25, I’d have really enjoyed this book.

Plot: Permilia Griswold is a wallflower. While this makes her a bit on the outside of society, she’s in the ideal position to pick up on gossip and the goings on of high society. The fact that she’s been writing a gossip column for the papers is something she’d really prefer to keep hidden. When she overhears an evil plot against Asher Rutherford, she knows she must warn him. However, when he doesn’t believe her, Permilia must take action.

Characters: Talk about quirky! The author’s created a group of very unique individuals in this series. I enjoy a little bit of that, if it doesn’t border on ridiculousness. This story toed the line. I really liked Asher and his best friend. They seemed to be the only ‘normal’ characters in the story.

Content: This one is pretty G-rated. I didn’t find anything objectionable. As far as spiritual content goes, this one was pretty light, so it could be a good one for a variety of readers.

Recommendation: I’d only recommend this book to those who are looking for a light hearted read. It’s the first book in the series and I probably won’t bother reading the next ones.

Rating:  2.5/5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House. This review is my honest opinion.

 

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What Hope Remembers by Johnnie Alexander

What Hope RemembersMisty Willow Series, Book 3

This story moved me to tears! With characters that were real and relatable, it completely drew me in. I was so emotionally invested in Amy and Gabe’s futures that it was difficult to stop reading because I had to find out what would happen. I loved how the author took Amy on a journey through the series. It’s always nice when a character that was initially unlikeable gets their chance for redemption. I’m also glad she chose to have Amy deal with an eating disorder. I feel that’s not something that’s written about as often as it should be and hopefully this story can make a difference in someone’s life.

Plot: After living in the city, Amy Somers comes back to her hometown of Misty Willow to get her life back on track. She’s done some things she’s not proud of and needs to make some changes. Newly released from prison, Gabe Kendall goes to stay with his Aunt Tess on her struggling horse farm. Overcoming his past won’t be easy, but reuniting with his first love, Amy, might make things more interesting. But Amy’s former co-worker Logan wants to bring her back to the city, and he’ll do almost anything to win her back.

Characters: Both Amy and Gabe have  been through some really tough times, but they’re trying to overcome the past and move on with their lives. I enjoyed also seeing some scenes through Tess and Logan’s point of view. It made for a nicely rounded story and definitely added to the tension of wondering how anyone would get a happy ending.

Content: This story is definitely safe for any readers. There wasn’t anything I’d consider objectionable. The spiritual content was on the lighter side and was woven into the story. Even those who don’t usually read inspirational can enjoy this book.

Recommendation: I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance. While it’s the third book in the series, it can stand alone. I’m sad to be leaving Misty Willow, but I look forward to reading more books from this author.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Revell. This review is my honest opinion.

Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman- Review & Giveaway!

Fatal MistakeI always get more excited about a new series from a favorite author, and this introduction to the White Knights was a real page turner! I love the amount of research that the author puts into the criminal and investigative sides of her stories to make everything accurate. I felt like I was right in the middle of the action! She does such a great job of explaining the technical parts, too, in a way that’s informative without bogging down the story.

Plot: When she accidentally stumbles on bomb making supplies hidden in her aunt’s shed, Tara Parrish knows she’s in trouble. Her call to the FBI connects her to Agent Cal Riggins, who listens helplessly as the Lone Wolf bomber returns. Tara runs for her life and narrowly escapes, but now that she knows the identity of one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, she’s not out of danger until he’s caught. Not trusting anyone to keep her safe, Tara sets off on her own. Cal is determined to keep Tara safe, but first, he has to find her.

Characters: I loved Tara’s spunk! She’s not the heroine you’d expect from a series that’s centered around a team of ‘Knights’. I love how she doesn’t wait to see what happens, but takes action to protect herself. Cal’s a little bit awkward, in an endearing sort of way. A suit in the woods may not be the best choice, but he’s got a good heart. I loved learning about what made him the way he is.

Content: This is a clean and inspirational romance. There’s a little bit of violence, which is not detailed and given the subject of the book, understandable. I really enjoyed how the author wove faith into the story without making it preachy. This is a good book for all type of readers.

Recommendation: I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well-written suspense with a light romance. It’s the first book of the series and ends with everything resolved, so it can stand alone. However, I can’t wait to learn more about the White Knights. They have such an interesting dynamic and I look forward to spending more time with them all.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. This review is my honest opinion.

I enjoyed this book so much, I want to share it with you! I’m giving away two E-book copies of Fatal Mistake to some lucky commenters. Tell me what new series you have recently started reading. Giveaway is open until May 22nd at midnight.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

To the Farthest Shores by Elizabeth Camden

To the farthest shoresThis was a well-written story that took me by surprise. With many of the characters hiding secrets from their pasts, a bit of danger and intrigue, as well as a clean romance, this book was thoroughly enjoyable. I enjoyed the unique storyline, which gives a nice look at the Japanese culture. I liked the late 1800-early 1900 time period, as it’s not commonly used in historical fiction.

Plot: Nurse Jenny and Navel Officer Ryan met when Ryan was recovering from an injury. The couple fell in love, then Ryan was assigned overseas. Jenny promised to wait until Ryan returned, but then she receives a letter ending the relationship and breaking her heart. Six years later, Ryan’s back and he needs Jenny’s help, but she doesn’t know if she can forgive him.

Characters: I really liked Jenny. She’s had a tough life, but she’s tried to make the best of it and become a better person. I didn’t care for Ryan at first, because of what he did to Jenny, but as I learned about the things that happened to him, I started to like him more. Seeing his relationship with his daughter, Lily, really melted me, though. There’s another side character, Finn, that almost steals the story and I’m really hoping he will get his own story!

Recommendation: I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical inspirational fiction. The author did a nice job of balancing the story with the theme of forgiveness. I’d never read anything from this author before and this story has me adding the rest of her books to my to-read list.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. This review is my honest opinion.

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Life After

Wow! Such a powerfully moving story. Life After deals with survivor’s guilt in such a real way. Autumn is a well developed character that jumps off the page. This is the kind of story that really stays with you and makes you think about the people who go through tragedies. I really enjoyed how the author approached the subject, showing how God can take something terrible and still bring some good out of it. You’ll likely need a few tissues to make it through this one!

Plot: As the only survivor of  the ‘Tragedy on the Tracks’, Autumn Manning is dealing with survivor’s guilt. She’s become obsessed with the lives of the other victims, trying to figure out why she lived and they didn’t.  When Reese Elliott reaches out to Autumn as a way to keep her mother’s memory alive, her father Paul makes it clear he doesn’t want to dig up the past. Reese is looking for healing and Autumn may hold the key to helping her, if she can get past the walls that Paul has put up.

Characters: The characters were nicely fleshed out. From the struggles Autumn has moving on from such a difficult experience to Paul trying keep his children from being any more emotionally wounded, everything they go through feels so accurate. Paul’s kids, Reese and Tate, are well-written, coming across as true to their ages, in wisdom and actions. This story was more about the dynamics of all the different relationships as it was a romantic tale.

Content: I didn’t find there to be any content that should be concerning to readers. I thought the author did a nice job of balancing the story with their spiritual journeys. It was never preachy, but got the message across.

Recommendation: I’d strongly recommend reading this book! Katie Ganshert is a master storyteller. Life After is a stand- alone, which is a little disappointing to me, as I’d love to see more of these characters. This one’s going on my keeper shelf!

Rating: 5/5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. This review is my honest opinion.

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin

When Tides Turn

Book #3, Waves of Freedom

This is a relatively new-to-me author and I’m in love with her stories! All three books in the series have a fun blend of romance and a bit of mystery that the main characters try to solve. I read them in just a few days. I loved the amount of historical detail in these books, and they’re unique in that they focus mostly on the Navy’s battles with the German U-boats. It was fascinating to learn about a lesser known part of the war effort. I enjoyed how the author used many real events and people in her stories

Plot: Quintessa Beaumont knows she can be more than just a pretty girl selling clothing in a department store. Determined to be taken more seriously, she starts going by Tess and enlists in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service) to be more useful towards the war. Lt. Dan Avery’s goal is to make Admiral and he’d like to be doing his part Continue reading

Her Baby’s Protector by Margaret Daley and Susan Sleeman

Her Baby's ProtectorThis was a great set of novellas from two of my favorite Love Inspired Suspense authors! Both stories were packed full of danger and the action never stopped. If you haven’t read these authors, this is a great way to test them out. Both stories were developed so they felt complete and natural, not rushed like some novellas can be.

Saved by the Lawman by Margaret Daley:

When off-duty police officer Chase Walker stops an attempted kidnapping of Kate Forster’s son, the two of them are determined to figure out who the culprit is. Someone from Kate’s past wants revenge, but as a family court judge, Continue reading