Monday, October 7, 2019

Review of One Final Breath by Lynn H. Blackburn


About the Book ~

Revenge has no statute of limitations.

When investigator Gabe Chavez had his cover blown by an aggressive reporter, the silver lining was being able to rejoin the dive team. The downside? Dive team captain Anissa Bell, a woman who both fascinates and frustrates him.

Anissa grew up as a missionary kid on the Micronesian island of Yap and always planned to return after college. But she remained stateside, determined to solve the case that haunts her -- the murder of her best friend and the disappearance of a three-year-old child.

When Anissa's fractured past collides with Gabe's investigation into the tragic shooting death of a teenage boy in Lake Porter, they'll have to put aside their complicated history with each other in order to uncover the killer's identity.

For more information about Lynn H. Blackburn and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Warning: you might find yourself holding your breath as you read One Final Breath by Lynn H. Blackburn! Remember to breathe!

If you are a fan of traditional romantic suspense, then you will love One Final Breath by Lynn H. Blackburn! The plot was layered, well-paced, and suspenseful, causing me to mentally ping-pong from one thread to the next! Each of these threads was substantial enough to be it's own story, so I was impressed by the way the author was able to bring each of these storylines to a satisfying conclusion.

My favorite part of the story was the characters! I loved the natural humor that radiated from Gabe, Anissa, and the others! Whether it was a sarcastic comment or Gabe worrying about his bad breath, I found myself smiling a lot! And the way this group of friends related, joked, prayed, cautioned, and stood by one another made me want to climb into the pages and become part of their group! I also liked that Gabe and Anissa had a history of conflict and bickering because it made their budding romance all the more swoony and fluttery!

While Gabe and Anissa both grappled with the guilt and regret of their respective pasts, Anissa's revelation (with the loving help of Mr. Cook) about her calling being just as wonderful and God-given as her family's calling to the mission field is what really touched my heart! But there are many other wonderful spiritual insights in One Final Breath; I can't begin to touch on all of them!

Three Stars ~ One Final Breath by Lynn H. Blackburn is a solid romantic suspense filled with humor and lots of Godly truth! One Final Breath is the author's third book in the Dive Team Investigations Series from Revell. The mystery/suspense can be read as a standalone, but I think readers will love these wonderful characters even more if they read the series as a whole.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Review of The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden


About the Book ~

Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building an acclaimed global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Resolved to salvage his family before they spiral out of control, he returns to his ancestral home for good after years of traveling the world.

As a junior botanist for the Smithsonian, Annabelle Larkin has been charged with the impossible task of gaining access to the notoriously private Delacroix plant collection. If she fails, she will be out of a job and the family farm in Kansas will go under. She has no idea that in gaining entrance to the Delacroix world, she will unwittingly step into a web of dangerous political intrigue far beyond her experience.

Unable to deny her attraction to the reclusive business tycoon, Annabelle will be forced to choose between her heart and loyalty to her country. Can Gray and Annabelle find a way through the storm of scandal without destroying the family Gray is trying to save?

For more information about Elizabeth Camden and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden wasn't at all what I expected, but what I found between these pages fascinated me!

The Spice King is rich in history and science, and I absolutely loved that about it! This is one of those gorgeous fictional stories that I could see being used in school curriculum to engage students in history and science! I loved seeing the political landscape through the eyes of Gray and Annabelle in Washington, DC during the Gilded Age. I loved learning more about the different departments of the government in this timeframe. I loved the science -- both past and present -- of botany. The details about adulterated foods in the twentieth century horrified me! All of these components were fascinating by themselves, but the addition of a political thriller/mystery that is sure to come out during the rest of the series made it even better!

Gray and Annabelle were an interesting couple! While not soulmate characters for me, I found them to be well-written and likeable. And Gray channeled some serious Mr. Darcy vibes, so he's obviously pretty awesome! Gray and Annabelle's relationship really explored the range of emotions from betrayal to forgiveness after Annabelle is pushed into a moral corner. The exploration of that fallout is an angsty trial that I could relate to -- one I'm sure many other readers will also understand. Another thing that I appreciated is that Gray's journey to not only forgiving but also understanding Annabelle's decision wasn't rushed. I also liked how the author used these things to highlight our God-given purposes in life.

Four Stars ~ The Spice King by Elizabeth Camden is a fascinating story! The Spice King is the first book in the author's new Hope and Glory Series from Bethany House! I'm looking forward to continuing the underlying mystery in the next book!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Review of You Belong With Me by Tari Faris


About the Book ~

Realtor Hannah Thornton has many talents.
Unfortunately, selling houses isn't one of them.

When a business tycoon determines to raze historic homes in the small town of Heritage, Michigan, and replace them with a strip mall, Hannah resolves to stop him. She sets about helping Heritage win a restoration grant that will put the town back on the map -- and hopefully restore her disgraced family name. But she'll need help to do it.

As a foster kid, Luke Johnson never truly felt he belonged. Now he has a chance to earn his place in his hometown. But he doesn't anticipate how his relationship with Hannah will set into motion events that reveal the truth about who he is -- and who he was.

For more information about Tari Faris and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

You Belong With Me by Tari Faris stole my heart! Goodness, guys! It is so cute, fun, humorous, and full of God's grace!

I couldn't help but hear the Taylor Swift song with the same title while I was reading -- and it totally fits with this charming story! You will route for girl next door in this friends-to-lovers romance! And you also get to see Hannah's brother -- Thomas -- and his love story. So sweet! Additionally, the town of Heritage was adorable! I want to live there. Thankfully, I can live there vicariously through this sweet story because I automatically adore anything that gives me Gilmore Girls vibes!

There were so many "grace points" and wonderful insights sprinkled throughout the story as the characters navigated their messy lives. I loved how the author worked those truths into the story! And I appreciated that while the author included some things that could have been very triggering, they were handled with loads of -- yup, you guessed it -- grace, so the story still felt light and humorous! Also, I gotta say that I love it when characters overreact in big ways and make big mistakes. Why? Because that's life. It doesn't mean I don't want to shake some sense into those characters, but I can relate to those characters. We all make mistakes. We all break things. But as the Hannah, Luke, and the other characters come to understand, God can use those broken things to make something entirely new and beautiful!

Five Stars ~ You Belong With Me by Tari Faris is full of charm, romance, and the sweet balm of God's truth! You Belong With Me is the first full-length novel in the Restoring Heritage Series by Tari Faris. I'm really looking forward to the next book!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Friday, September 20, 2019

Review of Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano


About the Book ~

Raina's dreams are all about to come true.
But some dreams turn out to be nightmares.

Raina Bretton is a rag woman in London's East End when a handsome stranger appears in a dank alley, offering her a glittering smile and a chance for adventure. Rothburne Abbey has a unique position for her, one that will take her away from her hardscrabble life and give her a chance to be a lady.

Though Raina has traded squalor for silk and satin, something about the abbey is deeply unsettling. As she wrestles with her true identity, the ruin, decay, and secrets she finds at the heart of the old mansion tear at her confidence and threaten to reveal her for who she really is. Only one man stands between her and the danger that lurks within -- and only if he decides to keep her biggest secret hidden.

My Thoughts ~

Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano is a wonderful exemplification of everything I love in a good story! You would be seriously missing out if you don't read this incredible tale!

Guys...Joanna Davidson Politano's previous books have been absolutely amazing, but Finding Lady Enderly is EVEN BETTER! It's like Cinderella meets Downton Abbey meets the author's unique writing style! Everything about the story felt so romantic and mysterious! Even the things you expected had an unexpected twist to them. I also appreciated how this story had some natural, believable consequences that still showed God's amazing grace in the character's lives. Also, Raina and her love interest (a certain man mentioned in the book blurb!) are wonderful and romantic! Their clever method of commnicating was perfect! I will never stop swooning, LOL!

The spiritual theme of Finding Lady Enderly can be described in one word: identity. And like the word itself, this beautiful story has so much meaning, depth, insight, and truth packed into its pages! Raina, her love interest, and the other characters each struggle with their identity in a way that I could personally relate to. While some of it is a subtle grappling with identity and understanding their value to another person, some of it is an intensely beautiful breaking and rebuilding of spiritual identity. If you've ever struggled with who others say you are, with how you view yourself, with how God views you, or with how you view God, then this message is for you. Reader, you will feel strengthened, cherished, and encouraged as Raina's tale opens your own heart to not only the name God has given you but also to the power in HIS name!

Five Stars ~ Finding Lady Enderly by Joanna Davidson Politano is a stunning, romantic, and powerful story! Finding Lady Enderly is a standalone, and I highly recommend the author's other novels! I am looking forward to the author's next intriguing romance!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Friday, August 30, 2019

Spotlight for Brand of Light by Ronie Kendig


About the Book ~

There's a price on her head, and it has everything to do with the brand on her arm.

Tertian Space Coalition has blessed every planet in the quadrants with high technology, save one: Drosero. But in spite of their tenuous treaty with the ruling clans, TSC has plans for the backward planet. And they're not alone.

After a catastrophic explosion, Kersei Dragoumis awakens in a derelict shuttle, alone, injured, and ignorant of the forbidden technology that has swept her into a nightmare. The brand she's borne since childhood burns mysteriously, but the pain is nothing to that when she learns her family is dead and she is accursed of their murders.

Across the quadrants, Marco Dusan responds to the call of a holy order -- not to join them, but to seek a bounty. Gifted -- or cursed -- with abilities that mark him a Kynigos, a tracker sworn to bring interplanetary fugitives to justice, Marco discovers this particular bounty has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with prophecy. One that involves the hunter as much as the hunted.

For more information about Ronie Kendig and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts Based on a Four Chapter Sampler ~

Goodness!

Those first four chapters have left me feeling a little crazed because I have to wait until DECEMBER to finish the story!

Excuse me while I wail...

If you only know Ronie Kendig for her military fiction, you won't be disappointed! The author takes that same talent for surging action, layered characters, and realistic blackops and combines it with a story that screams Firefly and Stargate and every medieval movie that you've ever loved! Between the varied action and the skillful combination of space opera and medieval kingdom, those first four chapters have me hooked!

Bottom Line ~ I cannot wait to read the full, epic story! Brand of Light by Ronie Kendig is the first book in the Dorseran Saga! This thrilling story will release on December 3rd, 2019!

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a four chapter sampler of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Review of King's Shadow by Angela Hunt


About the Book ~

Their lives couldn't be more different,
but their goal is the same:
survive King Herod's rule.

Two women occupy a place in Herod's court. The first, Salome, is the king's only sister, a resentful woman who has been told she's from an inferior race, a people whom God will never accept or approve of.

The second woman, Zara, is a lowly handmaid who serves Salome, but where Salome spies conspiracies and treachery, Zara sees hurting people in need of understanding and compassion.

Powerful and powerless, Idumean and Jew, selfish and selfless -- both women struggle to reach their goals and survive each day within Herod the Great's tumultuous court, where no one is trustworthy and no one is safe.

My Thoughts ~

Angela Hunt's Biblical Fiction stories never cease to fascinate me, and King's Shadow is no different! What a spellbinding fictionalization of King Herod's court! Political drama and historical fact are coupled with fictional characters and realistic perceptions of historical figures in King's Shadow. The result is a story that feels fresh while also staying true to history! 

In an author interview that is included in the book, the author explains that she has learned no one is completely good or evil and that perspective changes everything! This shaped the characters -- both fictional and historical -- into some of the most realistic characters that I have ever encountered! Salome felt bound by family duty to protect her brother and his kingdom, so her scheming was born out of love for Herod. But as she encountered God's heart in Zara and other people in her life, Salome had to confront her misconceptions. We meet Zara when she's a little girl and follow her well into adulthood. I really liked seeing how she transformed from someone who followed the rules of the law because that's what was taught to her to someone who loved God with a personal faith! And the end of Zara's story made my soul leap for joy! Even Herod was fascinating and layered! His progression from ambitious man to bloodthirsty killer was intense! There were times my heart broke for Herod because the author aptly showed how his fear and desire to be loved drove his actions. Unfortunately, instead of looking for security and love in God, Herod looked for man's approval. Truly, all the spiritual lesson packed into King's Shadow are too great for one review!

Four Stars ~ King's Shadow by Angela Hunt is full of intrigue, suspense, betrayal, and triumph! King's Shadow is the fourth and final book in The Silent Years Series from Angela Hunt. It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading Egypt's Sister before reading King's Shadow for greater enjoyment and understanding.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.


Friday, August 23, 2019

Review of Vow of Justice by Lynette Eason


About the Book ~

Playing dead might just get her killed.

FBI Special Agent Lincoln St. John is living his own personal nightmare. When the woman he loves, Allison Radcliffe, is killed, he devotes himself to tracking down the killers and making them pay for their crimes. He expected it to be a challenge. What he never expected was to find Allison very much alive shortly after her "murder."

As his anger and hurt mix with relief, Linc isn't sure how he's supposed to feel. One thing he does know for sure: he and Allison will have to work together to stop a killer before she dies a second time -- this time for good.

For more information on Lynette Eason and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Lynette Eason's stories achieve the perfect balance of wholesome romance and jaw-dropping suspense, but I think the author raised her own bar with Vow of Justice! Wow!

The ride Vow of Justice takes you on is nothing short of intense and startling! From the wide array of bad guys to the plethora of complications, I don't think that "twists and turns" even begins to describe the intensity of the storyline. I'd describe it as Indiana Jones running from that boulder that's going to crush him, but then add a Sith Lord about twenty feet ahead of him...While there was a complication I anticipated, the direction this complication went completely shocked me! What a brilliant and well-written angle!

The characters in Vow of Justice were wonderful! I saw Linc as very steadfast. He was steadfast in his faith when he had to forgive Allie for her deception, when he counseled Allie through some difficult moments, and when he was worried for Allie's life -- and that last one happened a lot! He was a rock of support and love for Allie as she opened her heart to him, and a hero like that is most definitely swoony! Additionally, I think Allie's emotional and spiritual journey will impact readers in a powerful way! Not surprising given the title, justice plays an important role in the story. When Allie finally confronted the ghosts of her past, she had to confront the difference between justice and revenge in her heart! And when the circumstances of the present reached a horrific climax, I read in awe as Allie chose to fight back instead of collapsing under the victim mentality that had defined every action of her life for so long! It was -- simply put -- empowering!

Four Stars ~ Vow of Justice by Lynette Eason is a thrilling, romantic ride! Vow of Justice is the fourth book in the author's Blue Justice Series from Revell. While I think readers will get the most enjoyment from reading the previous books in the series, Vow of Justice can definitely be read as a standalone.

Disclaimer ~ In accordance with FTC regulations, I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not compensated, nor was a positive review required. All opinions expressed are my own.

See you next time, and God bless you guys!!!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations, and she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.