Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Innocent by Ann Gabhart (Review)

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 7, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723415

  • Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?

    My Review:

    I think this is the first book I have read featuring the Shakers. All I really knew is that they were famous for their plain furniture. This is a Christian fiction book set right after the War between the states. Carlyn does not know if she is a widow since her husband did not come back from or send word.  The government also has no clue. She has no money and owes on her house. Unfortunately her landlord is a horrible evil man and is trying to put her out. Back then unmarried/widow women did not have very many options. She lives by a Shaker settlement and knows they take in almost anybody because it is their way. She meets Sheriff Mitchell Brodie for the first time when the landlord has him come with him to give her warning to vacate her house. He ends having to take her dog because the Shakers allow no pets. He is taken with the lovely widow and wants to help in anyway he can. Mysterious deaths start happening at the Shaker village where she is having trouble fitting in. He comes to investigate and check on her. I know without a shadow of doubt I do not want to be a Shaker now. The author does a great job with descriptions and background without bogging the book down. I loved the relationship between Carlyn and Mitch. The book had a great mysterious/suspense feeling to it too. It was not a completely traditional historical fiction book which I liked. The book held my attention from beginning to end. Recommended.

    Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. She's published over twenty-five books for both adults and young adults. Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as a Top Ten Christian Fiction Book by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine. Ann writes about Kentucky history and small town life. See more about her books at

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

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015

    Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley (Review)

  • Series: Logan Point (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 7, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722821

  • It's been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds's cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts Livy concerning a missing senator's daughter who was last seen in Logan Point, she notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. But with self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of Jennings, Livy is finding this investigation an uphill battle. With her future in law enforcement on the line, can she find a way to work with a man who is her polar opposite?

    My Review:

    This was a good Christian mystery/suspense book. As this is a third book in a series with repeating characters I recommend reading them in order. The main focus of this book is on Livy and Alex. Her cousin Robyn disappeared more than two years ago and Livy is one of the only ones who did not buy she left voluntarily. Livy works as a Memphis Detective and Alex is a PI. Their paths cross when he is hired to find a Senator's daughter whose case has similarities to Robyn. Livy is still struggling with a decision she made in the line of duty and ends up on leave. A new clue appears on Robyn's case and Livy ends up working with Alex reluctantly. The plot and characters were well developed and interesting. I did not guess who the bad guy was until the end. The romance between Alex and Livy was good. I liked the Southern setting. The conclusion was satisfying. I recommend the whole series. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

    Patricia Bradley's manuscript for Shadows of the Past was a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award, winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award (1st place, Inspirational), and winner of a 2012 Touched by Love award (1st place, Contemporary). Also the author of A Promise to Protect, Bradley is a published short story writer and is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at

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

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015

    Hope Harbour by Irene Hannon (Review)

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (July 7, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800724528

  • Tracy Campbell never wanted to leave Hope Harbor, Oregon, or the idyllic three-generation cranberry farm where she grew up. But life--and love--altered her plans. When tragedy strikes and changes her plans yet again, she finds herself back in her hometown with a floundering farm to run and a heartbreaking secret. Romance is not on her agenda. Nor is it on Michael Hunter's. The visitor from Chicago has daunting secrets of his own. But when Tracy recruits him to help save a struggling charitable organization, the winds of change begin to sweep through Hope Harbor, bringing healing, hope, and love to countless lives--including their own.

    Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites readers to come home to Hope Harbor, where love and hope bloom--and hearts heal.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this newest contemporary Christian romance book by Irene Hannon. It held my attention from the beginning even though it is a little slower pace. Michael and Tracy have both loved before and experienced loss. The romance developed between them naturally. There was a secondary plot involving Michael's landlady. She was estranged from her only son and as the book goes on warms up.  The author did a good job on developing the characters and plot. They are unique and interesting. By the end of the book I loved the characters and wanted to visit Hope Harbor, Oregon. The conclusion was satisfying and fit the book. Highly Recommended.

    Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including That Certain Summer, One Perfect Spring, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, three HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, a Booksellers' Best Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at

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

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore (Review)

  • Series: Cold Case Justice (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 21, 2015) 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414396682

  • With a possible serial killer stalking elderly women in Long Beach, California, homicide detective Abby Hart’s best lead is Luke Murphy, an irritating private investigator who saw a suspect flee the scene of the latest homicide. But as she works with the handsome PI to unravel the serial killer case, she must also confront the spark between them. When Abby discovers that the most recent victim is related to the governor, she’s anxious to talk to him about a cold case that’s personal to her, one Luke is interested in as well.

    As she learns more about the restaurant fire that took her parents’ lives years ago, Abby discovers why Luke is so invested in finding the ones responsible. With everyone else telling her to walk away from this case, Abby and Luke search for evidence buried beneath years of deceit . . . and soon realize that someone will do anything to make sure this case remains cold.

    My Review:

    This was a great Christian suspense/mystery book with a little romance. It is the start of a new series called Cold Case Justice. I have read and enjoyed the authors other series too. In this book the main characters are Abby Hart and Luke Murphy. Abby is a police officer and Luke a private investigator. They had good chemistry and became friends even though their professions are sometimes at odds. You can also tell the author was a police officer for a long time. The details in the book ring authentic. The plot and characters were interesting and well developed. The conclusion was good but definitely leaves you wanting to read the next book immediately. Recommended.

    A retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer), Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called "Cop and Christ", and another for the monthly magazine "Today's Christian Woman".

    With retirement Janice began to write longer pieces and several novels were born. Janice is excited and honored to now be a part of the Tyndale Publishing House family. Accused, the first installment in her new suspense offering, The Pacific Coast Justice Series, was released February 1, 2012 and kicked off a brand new chapter in her writing career. In addition to suspense and action, her books feature strong female leads. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep you engrossed and leave you inspired.

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

    Tuesday, July 21, 2015

    Austen in August 2015 Sign Up Post

    The Goal: To read as many of Jane Austen’s works (finished or unfinished) as you want or are able to, during the month of August.  Biographies, audiobooks, spin-offs, and re-reads also count.  I will post throughout the month on different subjects, as well as with my own reviews of the Austen books I finish.  We will be offering giveaways, guest posts, and other shenanigans, all of which are meant to inspire a great, interactive event.

    If you are going to participate, you can read any of Jane Austen’s novels, a biography about her, or any contemporary re-imaginings (such as Austenland or The Jane Austen Book Club, for example).

    Sign up at:

    To Share/Discuss on Twitter and Facebook, Use Hashatag #AustenInAugustRBR (I added the RBR to distinguish our event from a couple of others with the same name which coincidentally popped-up in our first year.

    My List:

    1. Re read Pride and Prejudice

    2. Watch the long British version of the Pride and Prejudice movie

    Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard (Review)

  • Series: Port Aster Secrets (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (June 2, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800722241

  • Kate won't be safe until all of Port Aster's secrets are revealed

    Researcher Kate Adams has finally pinpointed the supposed "miracle plant" that tore apart her family years ago. She's certain that discovering its secrets is her only hope of solving the mystery surrounding her father's disappearance. She's willing to risk anything to find the truth, including her relationship with Detective Tom Parker. But with so many people in pursuit of the plant, going it alone might be a fatal mistake.

    Award-winning author Sandra Orchard pulls out all the stops in this breakneck and breathtaking conclusion to the Port Aster Secrets series.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading the conclusion to the Port Aster Secrets series. I do recommend the series be read in order to make the most sense. This is a Christian romance mystery book with a little suspense.
    Kate Adams is the main character for all the books. Tom is her on/off again boyfriend and a member of local law enforcement. The series centers around a mysterious plant that supposedly has miraculous properties. A  pharmaceutical company would kill to get their hands on it. Somehow Kate's father was involved with them and the plant and has been missing for most of her life. The author did a good job unraveling the rest of the mystery in this book. I had all my questions answered and the conclusion was satisfying.

    Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of several inspirational romantic suspense/mysteries, including Deadly Devotion, winner of the 2014 The Word Award for suspense, 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 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

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

    Classics Club Spin 18

    My Classics Club Spin List for August This is a hodgepodge of books left on my list I made in 2017 for the Classics Club. Tomorrow the clu...