Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Admit to Mayhem by DJ Adamson

Admit to MayhemBook Description:
With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control. 

Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery.

My Thoughts:
This was an intriguing book.  Lillian hasn't been perfect in life but she is still human.  When she thinks she hears someone trapped in a fire, she tries to help.  Then she is the only witness to arson and everything in her life changes.
The author does a good job with the mystery portion of this book.  It is orchestrated so that it flows well and goes through the book.  I liked that Lillian wasn't a perfect person.  She had a past, she had personal issues, and she dealt with both.  She tries to be better, and knows she has issues but has a sense of right and wrong.  I will absolutely be reading more from this author.
It was a 4/5 for me.  Good writing of a mystery.

Thank you to the author 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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stand by Becky Johnson

Stand (Charlotte Marshall Mysteries, # 2)Book Description:
Charlotte Marshall survived a nightmare. But moving forward past the trauma is a daily battle. Self-defense training, a high security home, and a trusted circle of family and friends help her improve. But fear still lives. Charlotte can’t lean on ritual and routine forever. She must stand on her own. 
Desperate to move on Charlotte finds hope in volunteering with FindMe, an organization dedicated to finding people who are missing and helping their families. Her first case ends up being more than she bargained for and Charlotte soon learns that a little hope can be a dangerous thing. 
She is strong. She is smart. But new threats come. A new danger lurks. Someone evil wants to destroy her.
The FBI has no answers.
A man is missing. His family deserves the truth.
But Charlotte is not alone in this new quest. Her sparring partner, Skeet, is far more complicated than he appears. Together they search for a missing man and discover that death is never far away. Death haunts, the truth taunts, and answers are just out of reach.
Charlotte will have to choose to stand and fight or to give in to the fear that waits for her.

My Thoughts:
Great continuation of the series!  This book picks up a few months after the first book in the series 'Run'.  Char hasn't gotten over what she went through but wants to move past it.  New home, self-defense, and surrounded by family/friends, this is how she is coping.  Then she starts volunteering, looking into missing persons cases and her first one pulls her in.
I loved how realistic the author made the main character in Run and she just continued that in this book.  The story was great, there was plenty of mystery and suspense throughout.  The author made you feel for the families of the missing and see how hope is a good and bad thing.  Add to it, the past coming back to haunt you!  I will absolutely read more from this author.
This is a 5/5 for me.  I loved reading more about Char.
Thank you to the author 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, March 9, 2015

Run by Becky Johnson

Run (Charlotte Marshall Mysteries, #1)Book Description:
A decades old mystery and a deadly game of cat and mouse will change Charlotte Marshall forever.
Charlotte has a good life: friends, family, a successful career. Her perfect life is destroyed when research for a book and a connection from her past plunges her into the middle of her worst nightmare. 
On the run, with no one to trust, Charlotte begins to unravel the work of a sadistic murderer. Afraid and alone, she will learn the meaning of trust and just when to run.

My Thoughts:
Good book. Charlotte is a writer. She is under a deadline and has zero ideas when she remembers a news story she heard when she was young. A young girl found dead where she lived. Research leads to her conclusion that there is/was a serial killer. With this information, she is in his sights and she must run.
I really liked how the author wrote Charlotte. She wasn't an always have it together female. She wasn't scatterbrained either. She had honest to goodness reactions to events. The story flows well and is really good. There were enough questions left unanswered that you will want to read the next book to find the answers.
This was a 5/5. It is a quick, suspense read that I really enjoyed!

Thank you to the author 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.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Breaker's Reef by Terri Blackstock

Book Description

A Cape Refuge teenager is dead . . .
Then another body is found . . .
Will Sadie Caruso be the next to die?
When a famous mystery writer moves to Cape Refuge, ex-con Sheila Caruso-mother to Sadie and Caleb-is thrilled to get a job working for him. But when a teenage girl is found murdered, Sheila discovers that a scene in one of the eccentric writer's novels matches the crime scene. Exactly.
Then a second dead girl is discovered by Police Chief Cade and Blair Owens. And when this murder mirrors a scene in another of the writer's books, Cade is drawn into a web of trickery and deceit. Shockingly, evidence turns up in Cade's truck-evidence that points to Cade himself as the number one suspect!
Cade tries to clear his name, but when eighteen-year-old Sadie Caruso disappears, tensions mount to a fever pitch. Can Cade find the real killer before Sadie winds up dead? Is the author a demented killer or a hapless victim? And what does Sadie's own mother have to do with the crimes? Secrets are uncovered while lessons are learned about the sins of the fathers being visited upon their children. Will the consequences of Sheila's poor choice in life be fatal, or is there redemption and mercy for her and her children?

My Thoughts:
Good suspense.  When a teenager is murdered, it looks suspiciously like the story of the new mystery writer in town.  Still, Cade isn't convinced and since it is his investigation, he looks further.  Another teenager is found and evidence then points to Cade as the murderer!  A teen girl he knows goes missing and Cade has to find the real killer to save the girl and clear his name.
There was plenty of mystery and suspense through this story.  Cade is still a great character.  I enjoyed revisiting all the characters already from the series and meeting the new ones.  I did figure everything out before the end of the book, but it was still enjoyable to read.  If you have read the series to this point, you have to read this book.  If you haven't, I say start with the first book!
4/5.  This was a good addition to the series.

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via BookLook).  I received this book in exchange for a review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Countryside The Book of the Wise by J.T. Cope IV

Countryside: The Book of the WiseBook Description:
"You have a power within you, one that is within everyone...It's the same power that fills that building, that keeps that tree alive...and the same power that has attracted your attention...I know it's all a bit strange to you, but I assure you it is quite real..." Eleven-year-old Luke Rayburn has never seen a skyline without skyscrapers or fallen asleep to anything but the sound of traffic. But his life is about to change in ways he never imagined. When his father leaves for a year of military service, Luke and the rest of his family move into their grandparents' home in the remote town of Countryside, a place like no other. Reachable only by a mysterious traveling tunnel and horse-drawn carriage, centaurs roam the landscape and shadowy wraiths slip among the trees. There, Luke will be drawn into a centuries-old quest for an almost-forgotten book whose secrets will determine the fate of the world. He will have to reach deep to discover the power within him as he battles the forces of darkness and an alliance of sinister men who seek to destroy any who get in their way. Luke's only hope is to find the book before they do, but to do so he'll need help from someone he never expected as the forces of evil come to bear on the magical world of Countryside.

My Thoughts:
Good young adult book.  Luke's life is normal, he isn't anything special...and yet he is.  Luke doesn't know it, but his father isn't from this land, but from one that he's tried to shield his family from.  As it becomes apparent that Luke is special, his father makes plans for the family.  His father goes to work off and the rest of the family goes to live with his grandparents in a strange new land.  This magical land is always in turmoil and Luke, it turns out, is the key to find a book that could change everything.
I really liked Luke.  He wasn't as active as I'd expected, but he was still a good character.  He is just a kid that thinks he is as normal as anyone, but then when strange things start happening his life forever changes.  The family interaction adds an extra layer to the dynamic of the story and I enjoyed it.  I would have liked some more description of the new world but I did like that there was always something going on, there really wasn't a lag in the story at all.
This was a 4/5 for me.  I think young boys (especially) will really enjoy this.

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.

Monday, February 2, 2015

To Save Her Child by Margaret Daley

Book Description:

In Search of Her Son

When a young boy goes missing from wilderness day camp, Alaskan search and rescue worker Josiah Witherspoon is on the case. The brooding ex-marine promises to find the child and return him to his worried mother. But he doesn't know that Ella Jackson has a secret past. One that could put them all in danger. When tensions mount, Ella needs to tell Josiah the truth—but she can't set aside her fears enough to trust him. Ella and Josiah are ready to risk their lives to save her son, but will they risk their hearts, as well?

Alaskan Search and Rescue: Risking their lives to save the day

My Thoughts:
This was a pretty good book.  Ella is the organizer of the Alaskan search and rescue.  She is integral in the operation, but when she gets a call that it is HER son that is missing, things change.  She and Josiah have never been friends but he doesn't hesitate to help when she tells him what is going on.  He and his search dog go to find her son.  As they investigate exactly what happened to her son and his friends, things get twisted and more convoluted.  The two of them grow closer and closer as they investigate and both try to move beyond their past.
I completely adored Ella's son!  He was the highlight of the book for me.  The relationship between Ella and Josiah was entertaining.  With each having their own past and issues that come from it, you knew there would be problems to work through.  The secondary characters were good, I especially enjoyed Josiah's sister and want to read a story about her hopefully in the future.  The k-9 elements will steal your heart and it makes me want to know how her son grows up and what he does.  Overall the story line was good.  It did get predictable at the end, but that didn't take away from the message of the book.
It was a 3/5 for me.  I would have liked less predictability but it was a good story.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adventure Bible Miracles of Jesus

Book Description

Miracles of Jesus is a level three I Can Read! based on the NIV Adventure Bible, the number one Bible for kids. Through engaging illustrations and age-appropriate vocabulary, young readers will follow Jesus on his travels as he heals the sick and spreads the Good News of his Father’s love. Written for the newly independent reader, this series is appropriate for children almost ready for their first chapter books.
My Thoughts:
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.

My Thoughts:
We completely enjoyed this book.  My 6 year old read this book to me.  He was thrilled to be learning about the miracles that Jesus performed.  Add to that, he could understand these so much easier than when we read a story directly from the Bible.  He thought the loaves and fish was cool because of it being a young boy that had them and that there was so much left.  Now we've read and discussed that story at length before but today it just popped with him and in his words 'was awesome'.
I think this is a great book for young kids to learn to read on and to learn more about Jesus.  This was a 5/5 for us!

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 are 100% mine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Private Affair by Rebecca York

Book Description:
Does everyone have something to hide?
Olivia Winters and Max Lyon knew each other way back when, but she was one of the cool kids, and he was a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Olivia's a successful model now, and Max a PI much in demand.
When Olivia's old high school friend is murdered-and a raft of "accidental" deaths may be murders, too-Max is the only man Olivia can trust to help her investigate.
As they team up, Max is blown away by Olivia's courage under fire, and Olivia finds that the bad boy she remembers from the fringes of her social circle might just be the best man she's ever met...

My Thoughts:
This was a good mystery book.  Olivia has hired Max's firm to investigate her best friend's murder.  She is convinced that this murder is only one of several that have happened to members of her graduating class, though the others were ruled accidents.  Max is the perfect choice to pose as Olivia's fiance because he went to the same school, a couple years ahead of her, and he is the only on in the firm not attached....yet.
I loved that Olivia moved away from the small town and made a big name for herself in the modeling industry.  She wasn't flashy about it and didn't seek out attention when coming back to plan the 10 year reunion, but instead she came back to find out who murdered her friend.  Max was the bad boy that all the girls thought was hot back in school days and not much has changed.  Though he grew up and outgrew the bad boy issues with some mentoring.  The 'who done it' part of the book was good.  I liked that it could be a few different people and slowly got narrowed down.
This was a 3/5 for me.  I liked the mystery that surrounded the book but the romance just didn't ring true to me, especially toward the end.

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler

Book Description

They’re tight
They’re on target
They’re as alpha as men can get

The Dallas SWAT team is hiding one helluva secret…they’re a pack of wolf shifters.

The team of elite sharpshooters is ultra-secretive—and also the darlings of Dallas. This doesn’t sit well with investigative journalist Mackenzie Stone. They must be hiding something…and she’s determined to find out what.

Keeping Mac at a distance proves impossible for SWAT team commander Gage Dixon. She’s smart, sexy, and makes him feel alive for the first time in years. But she’s getting dangerously close to the truth—and perilously close to his heart... 

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this shifter romance.  The Dallas SWAT team is top notch.  They are absolutely the best and everyone looks up to them.  Mackenzie Stone is determined there is more to this team than everyone thinks.  There is no way they can be THIS perfect.  Gage is the leader of SWAT and the pack.  He decides the best way to keep Mac out of his hair is to bring her in and let her look around.  The problem with that is, she winds her way into his heart and gets awfully close to the truth about who and what the team really is.
The characters in this one pulled me in.  I love how close Mac and her camera-man are.  Brother and sister type bond.  I also love the interaction  the pack had.  There were problems throughout, fights even, but they were going to protect each other at any cost.  The descriptions of these guys...mercy!  I would LOVE to watch one of their workout sessions.  Overall, the romance and relationship were a central part of the story but there really was a lot more going on here too.  Good story line.  
It was a 4/5 for me.  I love how the pack interacted and each member was 
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy of this book (via netgalley).  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Trouble with Texas Cowboys by Carolyn Brown

Book Description:
Can a girl ever have too many cowboys?
No sooner does pint-sized spitfire Jill Cleary set foot on Fiddle Creek Ranch than she finds herself in the middle of a hundred-year-old feud. Quaid Brennan and Tyrell Gallagher are both tall, handsome, and rich...and both are courting Jill to within an inch of her life. She's doing her best to give these feuding ranchers equal time-too bad it's dark-eyed Sawyer O'Donnell who makes her blood boil and her hormones hum...

My Thoughts:
This was an enjoyable romance read.  Jill Cleary has come back home and landed smack dab in the middle of a feud.  Sawyer O'Donnell has taken a job at the ranch the two families are feuding over.  Jill and Sawyer are caught in the middle of an old power struggle and the two families are determined to use their 'prime stock' (aka hotties)to lure them into relationships and land.  Quaid and Tyrell are after Jill and she decides to give each a chance.  The problem is, neither of their kisses make her feel what her bunk-mate, Sawyer's, do. I absolutely loved the way Sawyer and Jill met.  Add to that meeting that both were asked out by members of the feuding families within minutes of each other and the story is off.  The fact that neither was the other's type and they were supposed to be sharing a bunk house, you knew it wasn't going to be that simple!  The author does a good job with stringing you along with the romance side of it.  The pushier the hotties from the feuding families got, the more entrenched Jill and Sawyer became in not letting them get their way.  Some of the things that went on in the feud were crazy, some ridiculous and others just plain weird.
It was  a 3/5 for me.  I liked the quick romantic read, but some of it got to be a little much.

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