Becky's Latest Books...

Jul. 2, 2018

***** 5 stars

Enjoyable Series...

This was my second book to read by JR Ripley, although Fowl of the House of Usher is actually the seventh in A Bird Lover’s Mystery series. It is a very tense time for Amy and Kim, who along with a handful of other guests, are snowed in at a mountain retreat, guests of Amy’s ex-boyfriend Craig and his girlfriend. First, they find one guest murdered. After that terrible beginning, the remote location and the weather both collude to cause events to move quickly downhill.

I enjoyed getting to know the recurring characters a little more. Ripley had an ace up his sleeve that he holds onto until the last moment; perfect. Bits of humor are interspersed periodically with good timing. I thought Amy’s carping at her ex is a little over the top, but this is a cozy, so that could be part of the “quirky.” However, someone needs to assure North Carolina folks that 30 degrees F., while cold, is not freezing in the first minute. 

All in all, I really did enjoy this book. Now I have a whole series to catch up on. If you are looking for a cozy without bad language or embarrassing scenes, check out A Bird Lover’s Mystery. I think you’ll like it, too.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. I was not required to leave a positive review, and I am solely responsible for all opinions.

Jun. 30, 2018

****4 stars

This was a Truly Enjoyable Book...

This was truly an enjoyable book detailing the immense amount of subterfuge and danger the Patriots and even the Tories, I think, encountered as they fought for what they held dear. I loved how Faith Lytton Jackson is set up as a friend of George Washington, so we get to see much of this early American hero. I also enjoyed seeing insights into Ben Franklin and the rift in his family, imagining the hardship this would cause as many families were likewise torn asunder.

Faith is indeed a very brave, very strong female protagonist. She has to be, to survive so much heartache and also to be the community leader that she is. It is no wonder that she volunteers for such a dangerous job. Sometimes strong women attract the wrong kind of attention. How I laughed at her encounters with Anthony Jameson and how full of himself he was! And how I hoped that things would work out with Matthew, but Faith has already lost so much, will she be able to trust again? And how can two spies find it to forgive deceptions and to trust when their lives have been all about misleading others?

What a great thing it was to me to see the author forego the lengthy lists of her first book. Gone are the long vocabulary lists and lists of who's who that helped to get the first book of the series off to such a slow start. I did have to laugh; Kimberley Woodhouse just can't help getting as much historical detail in as she can, and she found a sneaky way at the end to include a document!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinions, for which I am solely responsible.

Jun. 25, 2018

**** 4 stars

Unanswered Questions for Me...

As we meet him in Amanda Stevens’s No Less Days, David Galloway is a reclusive bookstore owner in northern Michigan. His life seems quiet until he visits the Grand Canyon to see what happened to the body of teen idol Zachary Wilson. Wilson fell while attempting to cross the Grand Canyon.

David discovers he is not alone in his uniqueness on earth. There are at least four others like him, and they have been looking for David for some time. Instantly, David has a community that he has been lacking many years. 

There is a phrase that is very applicable to this book. “The author needs to be able to cause the reader to suspend disbelief.” I would have had less trouble doing this if this were a secular book. However, since there are strong Christian elements, I had a hard time understanding how David’s group is then unaffected by the Fall.

I liked that David is so generous and kind and also begins to realize his need for others. He treats Tiana’s friend very kindly and goes beyond to be sure she has her needs met. He also realizes his need for physical love, and Tiana herself is very convincing as she tells David he needs the church again.

I finished the book with many unanswered questions. Maybe that’s just me. Or maybe we’re being set up for a sequel. No Less Days is worth checking out. It might be your next favorite book, especially if you love speculative fiction.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. This in no way affected my opinion, which is freely given, and for which I am solely responsible.

 

 
 
Jun. 14, 2018

***** 5 stars

Deep Water Thrills...

On a routine diving drill, a decapitated and dismembered body is found in a quiet lake. Homicide investigator Ryan Parker, Gabe Chavez, and dive captain Anissa Bell are suddenly thrust into a murder investigation. Worse yet, Leigh Weston, whom Ryan is coming to care for, has become an object of several no-holds-barred murder attempts.

I loved getting in on the ground level of this new series. It was also fun to see other relationships, besides Leigh and Ryan’s, develop just enough that we can reasonably be assured they will get their own story. Also, Blackburn develops all her characters to the point I care about somewhere between 6-10 characters and would be proud to call any of them “friend.”

I just loved Mr. Cook. He may be old, but he’s God’s prayer warrior, and His people know it.
“If Mr. Cook decided to pray for you, you could be sure the Almighty was going to get involved.” My parents’ prayers are like that, and I pray that mine will become as effective... not for fame, but to help others realize the greatness of our God. That is the kind of character Mr. Cook is.

To be honest, Leigh struggles with juxtaposing God’s greatness and all-powerfulness with His allowing sin and atrocities to occur.
“If God had protected her, that was awesome. But why allow any of it?”
This is a great question that many of us have, and it is well-answered.

I read this on my kindle. At first, I thought I had smudges on the screen. I finally figured out there were light “fingerprints” between chapters. How perfect.

With plenty of suspense, some romance, and a few great twists, Lynn H. Blackburn is a romantic suspense author to add to your must-read pile.
I will definitely be back for book two with my wetsuit on.

I gratefully received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way influenced my opinions, freely given, for which I am solely responsible.

Jun. 14, 2018

Unfortunately, this book was released in late Feb. I reviewed it on Amazon, but forgot to post it here on my blog!!

***** 5 stars

Why You Should Read the Innkeeper's Daughter...

First, Michelle Griep is the author. She can be a very versatile voice, writing colonial fiction, cozies, Dickens-type mysteries, or in this case, Regency Romance. Whatever she puts her writing pen to, she's good at producing.

Secondly, this novel has at least one swoon-worthy hero and the accompanying entourage of characters, yet it is a clean, inspirational read. Gamblers, pretty maidens, traveling musicians, high stakes players in a dangerous race to sell or secure a nation's safety: all combine at full throttle back and forth searching for the one ultimate traitor. Meanwhile, the romantic tension between Johanna and Alexander is sweet, taut, and ready to spring like a bungee cord.

Thirdly, one singularly outstanding but straightforward character is quite notable. I loved the portrayal of Mr. Lucius Nutbrown, a man of slower mental abilities who talks only through his hand puppet.

Quotable:
"Everyone has faith, Miss Coburn. The question is, faith in what?"
Many people today don't get this truth. They claim no faith but have faith in themselves, humankind, science, etc., while refusing faith in God.

While Brentwood, a friend from Brentwood's Ward, is mentioned, the connection is loose. This is easily a standalone novel.

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. I also purchased my copy. This book is just that good. All opinions in this review are my own, and no positive review was required.