Monday, May 2, 2016

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson (Review)




  • Series: Prince Edward Island Dreams (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (March 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800724023

  • Marie Carrington is running from a host of bad memories. Broke and desperate, she's hoping to find safety and sanctuary on Prince Edward Island, where she reluctantly agrees to help decorate a renovated bed-and-breakfast before it opens for prime tourist season.

    Seth Sloane didn't move three thousand miles to work on his uncle's B&B so he could babysit a woman with a taste for expensive antiques and a bewildering habit of jumping every time he brushes past her. He came to help restore the old Victorian--and to forget about the fiancée who broke his heart.

    The only thing Marie and Seth agree on is that getting the Red Door Inn ready to open in just three months will take everything they've got. Can these two wounded souls find hope, healing, and perhaps a bit of romance on this beautiful island?

    Step into the Red Door Inn, a lovely home away from home tucked along the north shore of fabled Prince Edward Island. It's a place where the wounded come to heal, the broken find forgiveness, and the lonely find a family. Won't you stay for the season?

    My Review:

    I am a huge Anne of Green Gables and Lucy Maud Montgomery fan. I was really excited to see a Christian fiction book set on Prince Edward Island. It was a good contemporary Christian romance book. The main characters were Marie and Seth. They each have plenty of issues they are dealing with and are wary of each other. I loved the author's descriptions of the setting. The romance part was clean and sweet. Even Seth's widowed uncle may have found a second chance at love. The conclusion was satisfying. This book one in the Prince Edward Island Dreams series and I look forward to reading book two.



    Liz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she's not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as a full-time marketing manager. She is the author of nine novels, a New York Times bestselling novella, and a handful of short stories. She makes her home in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa (Review)



  • Series: Coffey & Hill (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (March 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800726447


  • Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. That secret's name is Annabel Lee Truckson, and even she doesn't know why her mysterious uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He's left her with a few German words, a barely-controlled guard dog, and a single command: "Don't open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me."

    Above ground, a former Army sniper called The Mute and an enigmatic "Dr. Smith" know about the girl. As the race begins to find her, the tension builds. Who wants to set her free? Why does the other want to keep her captive forever? Who will reach her first?

    Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill need to piece together the clues and stay alive long enough to retrieve the girl--before it's too late.

    With its stunning writing and relentless pace, Annabel Lee will captivate readers from the first page.

    My Review:

    This was a great mystery/suspense book. I enjoyed reading it even with the violence factor. I was able to skim over those parts. The premise is interesting and different. It is gritty and fast paced. It is not a cookie cutter book by any means. The characters and plot were well developed and well written. This is the first book in the Coffey and Hill series. Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill are ex spouses and used to have a detective agency together. Trudi still works there while she has no idea where her ex husband is most of the time. It was not a nice divorce. Their relationship is in the background as a secondary plot line. The main plot line involves a little girl named Annabel Lee. She has an unusual life with the man she knows as Uncle Truck. One day he puts her in an underground bunker with a guard dog and tells her to not open the door unless it is him with the code words. After Truck and most of his men are murdered, the killers led by a mysterious Dr. Smith burn down the house. Luckily Truck planned for something like this. Sam worked undercover in the military with him and he entrusted a key to him in case this happened. The Mute is one of Truck's men that is left and he contacts Sam to get the key to free the girl. We wonder about the real identity of Dr. Smith for most of the book. I never imagined why the little girl would be so important. It will blow your mind. The ending fit the book. The only draw back was the Christian aspect was slim mainly in the form of Trudi's faith. I still can't wait to read the next book in the series. Recommended.





    Mike Nappa is an entertainment journalist at PopFam.com, as well as a bestselling and award-winning author with more than one million books sold worldwide.

    Learn more about Mike at: http://nappaland.com


    Review book provided by publishers in exchange for an honest review.

    A Dream of Miracles by Ruth Reid (Review)




  • Series: The Amish Wonders Series
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 12, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401688318


  • Amish widow Mattie vows never to love again . . . until a suspicious outsider with a shadowy past comes crashing into her fragile world.

    Mattie Diener can barely keep it together. A young Amish widow and mother of two young children, she faces the lingering heartbreak of lost love, her son’s mysterious illness, and a torrent of accusations that threaten to undo her.

    Bo Lambright is a fast-rising social services investigator whose high-society mother won’t rest until she finds his Mrs. Right. Despite Bo’s worldly success, the raw ache of a shadowy past and a series of unsettling dreams have left him reeling.

    When Mattie and Bo cross paths, all signs point to disaster. Yet as they face a crucible of trials and tragedies together, longings begin to stir that seem destined only to end in more heartbreak. Is a miracle possible—not only of healing but of forbidden love? What secrets lie in Bo’s dreams? And will Mattie find the courage to face her uncertain future . . . or will she simply run away?


    My Review:

    This is book three in the Amish Wonders Series. It can stand alone. I have mixed feelings about it. I did not like Mattie's character but I loved Bo. The book held my attention from beginning to end even though I got frustrated with Mattie a lot. Even though she is Amish there is no way she could have been that ignorant of the English world and how it works. I wanted to shake her many times. She is a widow with two young children. Her son is sickly from birth and her daughter was a preemie. Her son gets sick enough that she takes him to the doctor. The regular doctor is out on vacation and the doctor filling in for him does not know the ways of the Amish. She suspects child abuse and after it takes Mattie three hours to get her son to the hospital, she reports it to CPS. Bo is an investigator for CPS and he draws the case. He thinks it is an open and shut. He knows the Amish ways and can tell Mattie is not an abuser. Unfortunately the case is reopened by his office and one of his coworkers who does not understand the Amish goes after Mattie ruthlessly. Bo has his own storyline. He is adopted and is having some weird dreams. His adopted mother is a big time retired judge and wants him to marry well. He also has a teenager that he has taken under his wing. It was interesting to see his plot concluded at the end of the book. I enjoyed reading his story the most. The overall ending was satisfying and fit the book.





    Ruth Reid is a CBA and ECPA bestselling author of the Heaven on Earth series. She’s a full-time pharmacist who lives in Florida with her husband and three children. When attending Ferris State University School of Pharmacy in Big Rapids, Michigan, she lived on the outskirts of an Amish community and had several occasions to visit the Amish farms. Her interest grew into love as she saw the beauty in living a simple life. Visit Ruth online at ruthreid.com Facebook: Author-Ruth-Reid Twitter: @authorruthreid

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    A Fool and His Monet by Sandra Orchard (Review)



  • Series: Serena Jones Mysteries (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (March 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800726713




  • Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art--one that's surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She's joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother's pleas to do something safer--like get married--Serena's learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

    When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather's murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

    With spunk, humor, and plenty of heart-stopping moments, Sandra Orchard gives readers an exciting string of cases to crack and a character they'll love to watch solve them.


    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this Christian cozy mystery book. It is the first in the Serena Jones series. The plot and characters were interesting and unique. The book is well written with many funny moments. I loved the interaction between the characters. Serena decided to become an FBI agent after her grandfather's murder. Her mother is not too happy with the job choice and wants her to settle down and give her grandchildren. Her best friend is the head of a local museum and notifies her when a Monet goes missing. It is her to job to investigate it. There are also two cute love interests. The ending was good I can't wait to read the next book in the series.  


    Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries, including Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust. Her Love Inspired Suspense titles have garnered two Canadian Christian Writing Awards and a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award. Sandra has also received a HOLT Medallion, a Word Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra's books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location pics, at http://sandraorchard.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.


    Monday, April 25, 2016

    Sit, Stay, Love by Dana Mentink (Review)



  • Series: Love Unleashed
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736966078




  • Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you're ready for a lesson in love...Tippy style.

    Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother's elderly dog, Tippy, he's quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

    Gina isn't thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can't abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

    As Gina travels through Cal's world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame.

    When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too...

    Discover the charming story of Tippy, the dog who brought a family together.

    My Review:

    This was a cute, sweet, Christian romance book. It was a little over the top but perfect. I love baseball and this book features a professional baseball player. I am not a huge dog fan but Tippy is so endearing it made up for it. This book was a fun, mostly light, and humorous book. The characters and plot were well developed and I enjoyed reading it. I think it would make a great Hallmark movie and hope they do it. Recommended.





    Dana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

    Review copy provided by Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Playing the Part by Jen Turano (Review)



  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764212772



  • Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan's interest turns threatening. Lucetta's widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta's life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson's estate to hide out.

    Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there's much more to him than society knows.

    Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail's matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can't ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it'll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.

    My Review:

    This was a light and somewhat funny historical fiction book. This is book three in a series but can stand alone. The first two books were about Lucetta's friends. This book focuses on her and Bram. The friends do make an appearance so we see how their stories ended. The plot is full of crazy happenings. I turned the page not sure what I was going to read next which was mostly okay. Lucetta's friend and mentor, Abigail, has an eccentric nephew named Bram. When Lucetta's gambling stepfather loses her in a hand and the man comes after her, Lucetta turns to Abigail. Abigail's solution is to seek out her estranged nephew to stay with him. She is estranged because of her daughter. Her daughter did not want her to interfere in her children's lives like she did with her. Abigail is a matchmaker. From the beginning it seems like she planned for Lucetta and Bram to fall for each other. There is not really a overtly spiritual element for it to be a Christian fiction book. Although many events were hard to believe in the book overall I enjoyed reading it.



    Jen Turano is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, will release in the spring of 2016, followed by a new four-book series, The Wallflowers. When she's not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying life as an empty-nester because her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Where She Belongs by Johnnie Alexander (Review)



  • Series: Misty Willow (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (January 5, 2016)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800726409



  • Shelby Kincaid is ready to move on from her grief. With high hopes for the future, she longs to purchase her family's ancestral homestead so she can raise her young daughters in the only place she ever truly belonged. She plans to transform the abandoned house into the perfect home of her memories. But she'll have her work cut out for her.

    AJ Sullivan never wanted the homestead. Inherited as a punishment from his grandfather, it has sat empty for fifteen years and fallen into ruin. He's glad to finally unload it. But a clean break isn't possible when he can't get the young widow Shelby off his mind.

    Welcome to Misty Willow, a place that will have as great a hold over the reader as it does over its inhabitants. With writing that evokes a strong sense of place and personal history, Johnnie Alexander deftly explores the ties that bind us to home--and the irresistible forces that draw us to each other.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this contemporary Christian romance book. It is the first in a new series Misty Willow. This is my first book by this author and I love her writing. I felt like I was in the story. Shelby Kincaid is moving back to Misty Willow to recover from her husband's death. She wants her two girls to grow up in a place she loved. She comes back and the place is trashed. A J's grandfather left it to him as punishment so he did not take care of it. Shelby was really upset at him but they also connected at that first meeting. She does not immediately forgive him. It was a gradual development in the relationship. He is great with her girls and they love him too. There are a few twists to the story that adds some drama. Her grandfather died in the barn and there is a sense of mystery surrounding it for one. A J just might have some competition too. The characters and plot were well developed and unique. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Recommended.





    Johnnie Alexander is the award-winning author of Where Treasure Hides. Johnnie is an accomplished essayist and poet whose work has appeared in the Guideposts anthology A Cup of Christmas Cheer. In addition to writing, she enjoys reading, spending time with her grandchildren, and taking road trips. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.