Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Bones will Speak by Carrie Stuart Parks

Book Description

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey has become the target of a serial killer who believes he's been appointed God's executioner.
In Copper Creek, Montana, Gwen Marcey is struggling to put together her life after cancer and divorce. When her dog retrieves a skull of a murder victim and leads her to the victim's grave, Gwen uses her forensic art ability to identify a serial killer. She is horrified to discover all the victims look like her fourteen-year-old daughter.
The murderer is a "lone wolf," a member of the terrorist group Phineas Priesthood-and he has a score to settle with Gwen. Unraveling the tangled Christian Identity movement, where race-not grace-provides salvation, Gwen is in a frantic rush against time. She must use all her skills to uncover the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her and everyone she loves.
My Thoughts:
I completely enjoyed this book.  Gwen's dog brings up a skull and that leads to a race against time.  She realizes that the victim looks a lot like her daughter and that there is a link to a past case.  Everything starts making a terrifying kind of sense and Gwen realizes it isn't just her in danger.
Wow.  I am going to try not to give away any spoilers at all because this is a book you will really get into.  There is plenty of suspense.  As a mother, this book had an added element for me.  I really liked Gwen and how she uses her abilities to 'get the bad guy'.  This book was fast paced and didn't slow down from beginning to end!
This is going on my keeper shelf with a 5/5 rating!
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via BookLook).   I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I, Mary by Mike Hartner

I, Mary (The Eternity Series Book Three)Book Description:
Mary Crofter's first trip on the water was just after her first birthday, when her parents came from her birthplace in Kilwa to Portsmouth. She's been on several trips from Portsmouth to London and other places since. She loves the water and the water seems to love her. Can she survive on the water? Will people ever take seriously a GIRL as a sailor? Will she ever come off the water? If she does, will the lure of the ocean draw her back? 
She was born to privilege.. but does she even know? And, more importantly, in a time of English Civil War, is it better that she doesn't know? 

This is the third book in The Eternity Series.

My Thoughts:
This was a good historical fiction book.  Mary has always been drawn to the water.  Since she was little, the water called to her in a way that not many understood.  She has taken several trips, but is finally allowed her chance she does have her doubts.  She doesn't think anyone will take a female sailor seriously...especially one so young.  
Mary was a wonderfully strong character.  She is from  privilege but it doesn't matter if her family owns the boat or not, she is going to earn her place.  I'm sure history buffs will understand more of the time period and goings on than I did, but I still enjoyed this.  There is a Civil War going on and it complicates matters.  The author writes in a unique style that I had to get used to but I did enjoy it.  Overall, I enjoyed the book.This was a 4/5 for me.  I enjoyed the characters.
Thank you to the publisher/author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Path by Tawdra Kandle

The Path (Crystal Cove Romance #3)Book Description:
Abby Donavan came to the small beach community of Crystal Cove to start over. After a painful affair broke her heart and derailed her burgeoning career, taking over management for the just-opened bed-and-breakfast was the safe choice. In this sleepy town, Abby figured she could bury her memories and forget the pain. 

When the chance to have her own hotel falls into her lap, though, she can’t resist the temptation. Making the old Riverside Inn into the showplace she’s always dreamed of running offers the second chance she never expected. 

Abby didn’t expect another kind of second chance to land on her doorstep at the same time. Ryland Kent wants to help her bring the Riverside back to life, and his passion for restoration is irresistible. But as much as she wants to ignore it, she can’t help seeing another spark in his eyes . . . one that offers to reignite her own flame. 

Sometimes the path to a happily-ever-after is anything but smooth.

My Thoughts:
Good book! Abby has had some problems, but she has come to Crystal Cove for a fresh start.  She is hiding out and not expecting anything good to happen when she gets the opportunity to own her hotel.  She works with Ryland to restore it and sparks fly.  The two of them start out on the wrong foot, but could be just perfect for each other.Abby was a good character.  She knows and understands who she is and I liked that.  She and Ryland don't start off great and both have issues.  I like how they don't just get over their issues but they do talk.  I wish I had read the first two in the series first but the author does a good job with the characters and giving you enough information to make you feel like you aren't really missing anything.  The author also does really well with descriptions, making you 'see' what is going on as you read.
It was a 4/5 for me.  I now want to read the first two in this series.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Reluctant Assassin by JC Morrows

A Reluctant Assassin (Order of the MoonStone, #1)Book Description:
Her mission was simple — get close to the Prince, and kill him. . .

Kayden entered the palace under a lie, one designed to get her close to the Prince. On the outside, she may look like a princess but beneath the mask, a killer lays in wait — for the perfect moment.

Dvarius was not ready to take the crown, nor was he ready for a wife . . . but due to his father’s unexpected death and an archaic law — he must find a bride before he is allowed to take his rightful place on the throne.

And the one woman he wants — just might be the one who is there to kill him...

My Thoughts:
This is a great start to a new series.  Kayden is on a mission.  This is a different mission than she is used to.  She must convince the Prince that she is the girl for him and then kill him.  Dvarius is the prince she is to kill and is immediately attracted to her.  He must choose a bride from the twenty-five ladies his advisers have chosen but they would like him to choose any of them but Kayden.  What neither of them knows is there is someone else with a mission all their own and Kayden's heart may become compromised in the process.
I absolutely loved Dvarius.  He is a strong young man, but he isn't certain how to handle Kayden.  Kayden is a good person who has done plenty wrong to survive.  Still she is good at what she does and doesn't always follow orders.  I think under all the tough exterior she has to show the world is a good heart.  I loved Dvarius' best friend and Catherine as well.  The ending has me wanting the next book in this series now!
5/5 for me.  I cannot wait to read more and find out what happens next to these characters.

Thank you to the author for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

At Water's Edge by S. McPhearson

At Water's Edge (The Water Rushes, #1)Book Description:
At Water's Edge tells the tale of a seventeen year old girl in England who falls in love with an eighteen year old boy from another world. A case of mistaken identity, lost portals and battling empires leads to an adventure between worlds, centered around love, loss and magic. 

Here is the back cover blurb:

I suppose my life began the night it almost ended. The night I fled down Cuckilbury Mountain and his outstretched hand pulled me through a portal and into his world of magic and empires.

But my journey to his side will end in one of two ways; with my return or with my demise. There are rumours of a gem; a way for us to exist in the same realm but no one knows if these rumours are true or just things of legend.

Now that I’ve found him though, it seems unbearable to exist in a world where he does not.

They say love can cross oceans but can it cross worlds?

My Thoughts:
Intriguing and enjoyable book.  Dezaray's life is not an enjoyable one.  Her bother is horrid and while running from him, she is pulled into a magical world.  In this world, there are all sorts of paranormal/magical creatures, but her 'twin' Lex is left in Dezaray's world and the portal will not open upon command.  She also meets Milo in this world and he is destined to be hers, but how can they  be together when they are from two separate worlds?
I really felt terrible for Dezaray and how her life was going.  Still, it would be great if one day all your troubles were taken away and you went to a new land....except that comes with a whole new set of issues.  I was rooting for Lex as she had to deal with Dezaray's brother.  I don't want to say much about the plot for fear of spoilers, but I enjoyed the magical world.  The characters were great.  Overall, I loved the story line.
This was a 4/5 for me.  I completely enjoyed it and I hope for more from this author.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Peach of a Pair by Kim Boykin

A Peach of a PairBook Description:
April, 1953. Nettie Gilbert has cherished her time studying to be a music teacher at Columbia College in South Carolina, but as graduation approaches, she can’t wait to return to her family — and her childhood sweetheart, Brooks — in Alabama. But just days before her senior recital, she gets a letter from her mama telling her that Brooks is getting married . . . to her own sister.<

Devastated, Nettie drops out of school and takes a job as live-in help for two old-maid sisters, Emily and Lurleen Eldridge. Emily is fiercely protective of the ailing Lurleen, but their sisterhood has weathered many storms. And as Nettie learns more about their lives on a trip to see a faith healer halfway across the country, she’ll discover that love and forgiveness will one day lead her home . . .

My Thoughts:
This was a good one.  Set in 1953, Nettie is set to graduate college and come home.  She has her whole life planned out, including going home and marrying her sweetheart, Brooks.  Then, she receives a letter from her mother telling her Brooks is to marry her sister!  Nettie drops out of school and finds a job as a caregiver for two quirky sisters.
Nettie was a great character.  Her heartbreak over her sister and sweethearts betrayal was so sad!  I really enjoyed the two sisters.  Emily is determined that Lurleen isn't as bad as she has been told and they are going to get her help!  The doctor and how he and Nettie interact had me curious from the start and did not disappoint.  I liked Nettie's strength through the book and the sisters' back story.  
I enjoyed this and it was a 4/5 for me.  I like the author's writing style.
Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Dream Student by J.J. DiBenedetto

Dream Student (Dreams, #1)Book Description:
What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?

Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.

But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.

“Dream Student” is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.

My Thoughts:
This book was ok.  Sara is a typical student whose biggest worry is passing finals.  Then she begins to see other people's dreams.  Sara isn't an 'out there' person and would rather just stay home and chill, but her roommate can talk her into an occasional night out.  In her dreams, Sara meets Brian but she also sees some horrific events unfold!
I liked Sara from the start.  I do wonder why this ability just 'appeared' but I have to say it is an interesting ability.  Brian was a bit quiet for my taste but he fit well with Sara.  Their instant love was somewhat off-putting for me.  The pace is slow and steady but I did skim the overly descriptive parts of the book when it got tedious.  The premise of the book is good and I'm interested enough to continue the series and see where it goes.
This is a 3/5 for me.  I think this was the book to 'set' the series and am hoping the next improves on this.

Thank you to the author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert

A Reason to Stay (Texas Gold, #3)Book Description:
As the host of her own television news show, Faith Marin works to expose the truth for her viewers. But in her personal life, she's anchored her world with firm boundaries in order to hide a family history she'd like to forget. Her pro bass fisherman husband Geary's life is an open book, and unfortunately his busybody family doesn't know the meaning of boundaries. Deception and crippling differences soon derail their tender relationship, leading Faith to believe her only option is to end the marriage. But while divorce papers sit on her desk waiting to be signed, tragedy strikes and her heartrending decision is interrupted. With her life in the balance, Faith finds that the one she has been shutting out may be the very one she cannot bear to lose.

Kellie Coates Gilbert takes readers on an emotional roller coaster as she weaves themes of unexpected trial, self-discovery, and forgiveness in this profoundly honest portrait of the tensions that can break a marriage--and the ultimate healing power of love.

My Thoughts:
This is a good book that will make you think.  Faith is a tv host who hides from the world behind a facade that no one is to get through.  Geary is Faith's knight in shining armor.  He is a family man and his family can be a bit too close for Faith's comfort.  Their differences couldn't be more pronounced and Faith pushes everyone away, but things have a way of changing quickly and in unexpected ways.
I didn't really like Faith in the beginning but I did enjoy how her character grew through the story.  The author did a great job of making the characters flawed and realistic.  Most of the story could truely happen.  It was also an awesome way to show how God can work through any difference you have in a marriage as long as you include Him.
This was a 4/5 for me, and I have enjoyed this series!

Thank you to Revell for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Vendetta by Lisa Harris

Vendetta (The Nikki Boyd Files #1)Book Description:
No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.

With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

My Thoughts:
This was a great book.  Nikki is with her best friend on a tough day when she gets a call from her boss asking a favor.  As events unfold, a missing girl brings the past crashing back over Nikki and she doesn't understand the rules to this twisted game.  She is determined to find the man who abducted the girl both to save her and to possibly put the past to rest.  Still, to do so, she will have to stay alive.
I really, really enjoyed this book.  It started off interesting and then just kind of exploded.  I liked the character interactions and how close she is to her friend.  They are there for each other, even when an already difficult day for both of them becomes even more involved.  I felt her tugs to go and be with her family, but at the same time her intense desire to solve the case.  The story had plenty of twists, and several that I didn't see coming.  I really love this author's writing style and look forward to the next in the series.
This was a 5/5 for me.  It will absolutely stay on my keeper shelf.

Thank you to Revell for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things by Martina McAtee

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead ThingsBook Description:
17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is. 

They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death. 

As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.

My Thoughts:
Wow.  Ember spends her days with the dead instead of the living.  She avoids her father, but everything changes when he dies.  She meets a whole new set of people and her life is turned upside-down! Her family that finds her is only a small portion of the secrets her father was keeping from her.  They know she has a power but no one really knows anything about it. Her power grows and she is a danger to everyone!
Ok, this book has a LOT of supernaturals and that made me oh so happy.  The author does a great job with a steady pace throughout.  It is obvious that this is going to be a good series of books because the overall concept is explained and some questions answered, but there are still so many more to be answered.  I liked Ember.  She handles her transitions pretty well.  I liked the dialogue and the alternating POVs of the story.  It made each of the characters seem more 'real' and I liked seeing it from different angles.  I'm wondering how the author is going to 'fix' some of the things that were left open and cannot wait to see how it is all resolved.
This was a 4/5 for me and I can't wait for book 2 to come out!

Thank you tot he author/publisher for the review copy of this book (via PUYB).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.