Saturday, January 25, 2020

Review of The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren


About the Book ~

Haunted by the memory of a rescue gone wrong, former pararescue jumper Orion Starr has no desire to join Hamilton Jones's elite rescue team. But he also can't shirk his duty when the call comes in to rescue three lost climbers on Denali in Alaska.

Jenny Calhoun's yearly extreme challenge with her best friends is her only escape from her guilt. The former CIA profiler and psychiatrist green-lighted an operation against the Taliban that ended in ambush and lives lost. When her cathartic climb on Denali turns deadly, she'll be forced to trust her life to the most dangerous of heroes -- the man she nearly killed.

Orion and Jenny will have to put their wounds behind them to save their friends...and their hearts.

For more information about Susan May Warren and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

I recommend reading The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren while buried under a mountain of blankets. You'll still be cold, but you can remind yourself that you're not lost in an avalanche of ice and snow as you burrow deeper into the blankets, LOL!

As a mountain girl, I enjoyed the snowy nature of The Way of the Brave! However, I know nothing about climbing an icy mountain prone to avalanches, so there was a lot of technical information to learn. The author definitely did a lot of research for The Way of the Brave, and the action picked up pretty quickly. I absolutely LOVE a good Man VS Nature story, and the author nailed this! The captivating intensity was everything I hoped to find in such a storyline. Additionally, there's intriguing and emotionally-tugging setup for future books in the series -- something the author also does really well!

Orion and Jenny's relationship was forged in the fires of shared hardships! Their backstory -- though brief -- gave them a strong connection. A connection they both held on to when their worlds were shattered. I enjoyed seeing how that connection deepened when they reconnected -- through even more hardships! I also enjoyed the setup for Jake and Aria's story and getting a glimpse of who they are now.

The hero quality of this series is evident. Like seriously, look at that swoony cover, and have you read the title??? But what makes a hero? Is it a man who never needs help? Is it a woman who has never made mistakes? These questions make up some of the spiritual themes of Orion and Jenny's story as their separately (and together), confront their fears, break free from the past, and bravely give God the broken pieces of their hearts. And the way God's love and grace leaps from the pages might result in a soggy book!

Four Stars ~ The Way of the Brave by Susan May Warren is an exciting story with an important message! This is the first book in the author's new Global Search and Rescue Series from Revell. I'm looking forward to the next book, The Heart of a Hero!

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, December 20, 2019

Review of Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman


About the Book ~

The seconds are ticking down before someone dies.

When cybercriminals hack into the U. S. Marshals' Witness Protection database and auction off witnesses' personal details to the highest bidders, the RED Team, led by FBI Agent Sean Nichols, begins a high-stakes chase to find the hacker. But before he can even get started, the first witness is targeted and barely escapes with her life. Sean believes Phantom, an obsessed hacker who previously outwitted the top minds in the field, is behind the attack, and Sean needs this witness's help, as she's the person who has come closest to discovering Phantom's identity.

Trouble is, she's under the care of U. S. Marshal Taylor Mills, and Sean is reluctant to work with the captivating Marshal who knows his deepest secrets. But Phantom seems to be one step ahead at every turn and will stop at nothing to kill the witness. To stop the hacker, Sean and Taylor must learn to trust each other as danger draws ever closer.

For more information about Susan Sleeman and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If you are a fan of shows like NCIS, then Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman is the book equivalent that you need on your bookshelf!

Readers will be thoroughly pulled into the world of law enforcement in Seconds to Live! I liked how the author showed so many different agencies, their various roles, and even some of the science behind evidence recovery. While this did mean a slower pace at times, the in-depth investigative nature is what makes the story so intriguing. I have always enjoyed learning through a well-crafted story, and it was fun to experience the frustrating red tape, the crushing dead ends, and the triumphant breaks in the case right along with the characters!

Speaking of the characters, I really liked the "internet buddies" angle that the author used to give Sean and Taylor a firm foundation for their romance! It didn't feel rushed or forced at all because they had spent so many months getting to know each other online. I also really liked this angle because it felt so realistic! So many friendships and even romantic relationships are begun and strengthened via the internet now, and it was refreshing to see this angle play out in a safe, healthy way.

The emotional, spiritual, and relationship journey in Seconds to Live comes down to one word: trust. Sean and Taylor really, definitely, absolutely had some painfully-earned trust issues due to their respective pasts. While they weren't bookish soulmates for me, I could relate to their struggles to trust each other and God. The author realistically handled how deeply trust issues can affect an individual, and that made each step forward a victory I could share with them!

Three Stars ~ Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman was a romantic, interesting, and suspenseful read! Seconds to Live is the first book in the author's new Homeland Heroes Series from Bethany House. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and discovering more information for a particular case with the RED Team!

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, November 25, 2019

Review of Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters


About the Book ~

Welcome back to Walton, Georgia, where everyone knows your name -- but no one knows your secret.

Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for one reason -- to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth -- and the next big story -- is small-town law enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the truth becomes. False leads, incriminating emails, and someone called the Watcher force Vivian to fight for answers -- and her life.

For more information about Natalie Walters and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Guys, Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters was sooo good!!!

Hmmm...I wonder how many times I can tell you that Deadly Deceit was "sooo good" before my paltry offering of words looses all meaning...

But really...Deadly Deceit was sooo good!!!

I was really pleased with Deadly Deceit! There was a uniqueness to the entire story, and I don't say that lightly! The small town gave the story a fun setting and allowed me to connect in a genuine way. The people and town events of Walton charmed me, and the overall mystery with its cyber angle felt realistic. I really loved that Vivian was a reporter because I don't see enough reporters in fiction anymore. I also enjoyed how the suspense flowed nicely with the personal struggles Vivian and Ryan were overcoming.

Speaking of which, Vivian and Ryan were sooo good! I loved the humor in the whole story, but their banter was the best! All the superhero references made my inner geek grin from ear to ear! Both of them had some daddy issues, and the realistic ways these wounds affected them in their lives was refreshing to read. I cheered all the more as they individually allowed God's love to shine into those dark places, illuminating the lies that said they needed to prove themselves or earn love!

Five Stars ~ Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters is a romantic suspense you don't want to miss! It's -- last time -- sooo good! Deadly Deceit is the second book in the author's Harbored Secrets Series from Revell, but it can be read as a standalone without any issue. I will definitely be reading the third book, Silent Shadows!

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.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Review of The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr


About the Book ~

Centuries before the magi arrived in Bethlehem, a prophecy sets a young magus on his path...

Following his vision of the coming Messiah, the prophet Daniel calls forth a select group of men who will count down the calendar until the arrival of Israel's promised king. Centuries later, as the day draws near, Myrad, a young magi acolyte, flees for his life when his adoptive father and others are slain by a ruthless Parthian queen.

Equipped with very little, in haste Myrad escapes the city and, searching for a way to hide from the soldiers scouring the trade routes, tries to join the caravan of the merchant Walagash. The merchant senses that Myrad is keeping secrets, but when the young man proves himself a valuable asset, an epic journey filled with peril, near captures, and dangerous battles begins.

With every day that passes, the calendar creeps closer to the coming Messiah. And over everything shines the dream of a star that Myrad can't forget, and the promise that the world will never be the same.

For more information about Patrick W. Carr and his books, check out his website here!

My Thoughts ~

The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr is the PERFECT book to read this Christmas season if you're looking for a story that literally doesn't mention mistletoe even once! LOL! So what will you get in The End of the Magi? A perilous journey made by an imperfect, broken man and his unlikely companions as they search for the Most Holy One!

I've been a fan of Patrick W. Carr's fantasy stories for awhile, but when I discovered that he'd written a Biblical Fiction novel (a genre I adore), I was ecstatic! I'm pleased to report that the elements I loved about the author's previous novels fluidly translated into this Biblical Fiction tale. Through Myrad's journey, the author was able to tell a story we know so well in a way that feels like we were experiencing it for the first time as Myrad experienced it for the first time. The wonder and majesty just leapt from the pages!

There were three distinct parts to The End of the Magi: Daniel's prophecy; Myrad's trek and discovery of baby Jesus; Myrad and company's presence at Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem, His death, His resurrection, His ascension, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. While Myrad's trek and discovery of baby Jesus is the bulk of the story, the other parts are impactful and flow smoothly with the main storyline. I also loved learning more about the magi as well as the additional layers of political strife that wreaked havoc on Myrad's journey!

The End of the Magi is a beautiful story that shows how God likes to use the most unlikely people to accomplish His glorious means! Myrad struggled with being different and handicap, causing him to seek God's will for him in a way that will both encourage and convict. His growing faith will nudge, redirect, and reignite readers with a passion to pursue God in their own perilous journeys through life!

Four Stars ~ The End of the Magi by Patrick W. Carr is a wonderful story to read this Christmas season (or even for a little Christmas in July!)! As far as I'm aware, The End of the Magi is a standalone, but the author has a backlist of stories for new readers to discover!

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.


Thursday, November 21, 2019

Review of A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter


About the Book ~

Jessamine Beauchene has spent most of her life in hiding and always on the move in an effort to leave her past far behind her. But when she learns the family she thought long dead just might be alive and in danger, she knows her secrets can only stay buried for so long.

Derek Thornbury loves the past, which has led him to become an expert in history and artifacts. He knows Jess has never liked him, but when she requests his help deciphering an old family diary, he can't resist the urge to help solve the puzzle.

As Jess and Derek race to find the hidden artifact before her family's enemies, they learn as much about each other as they do about the past. But can their search to set history right lead to a future together?

For more information about Kristi Ann Hunter and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~ 

A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter is a masterpiece of romance, adventure, and witty bickering! These vivid brushstrokes of story have guaranteed that A Pursuit of Home will forever and always be one of my favorite Kristi Ann Hunter books!

So in case you didn't catch it from my terminology above, there's a lot of art in this story! Some of the art mentioned is real, and some of it's not. Regardless of it's "realness," I loved the way the author pulled these vivid images into the story in a way that didn't slow down the adventure! And that adventure!! No spoilers, but it was like a fairy tale and a treasure hunt come to life in Regency England! Absolutely amazing!

I've loved Jess since I first met her! She's snarky, loving, and intriguing. And I loved the journey that she took on a personal level while traipsing around England! Watching her finally step out of  the shadows and into the light, finally believing that she was worthy of sacrificial love, will squeeze your heart into a pile of happy goo. And Derek! Derek was quirky, quick-witted, and steadfast. You gotta love a guy that knits! He didn't let Jess' prickly demeanor push him away, but instead remained a steady presence for her, lovingly drawing her away from her chamber of secrets. Their rocky, bickering relationship slowly gave way to perfectly-timed love! I'm still swooning from their romance!

Five Stars ~ A Pursuit of Home by Kristi Ann Hunter is a work of art! A Pursuit of Home is the third book in the author's Haven Manor Series from Bethany House. While some details and setup would make more sense if you've read the previous books in the series and/or A Noble Masquerade (where Jess first appeared on the scene!) from the Hawthorne House Series, A Pursuit of Home can 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.