Friday, April 21, 2017

Review of Pursued by Lisa Harris



From the Back Cover:

Nikki Boyd's flight into Nashville was routine -- until the crash landing at the airport.

When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing--and no one will admit she was ever there. When she learns that Erika Hamilton had been
flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial, Nikki wonders if her disappearance from the crash site means she's running from trouble--or straight into it.
Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Harris has planted danger around every turn in this can't-put-it-down thrill ride that will leave you stunned.

For more information about Lisa Harris and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

Lisa Harris gives us a story with more twists than O. Henry! Don't bother trying to guess. Just allow yourself to be swept up in this thrilling ride!

I do just want to note that there are some hard deaths in this story. Nothing extremely graphic, but that doesn't make it any less difficult.

The story starts with an airplane crash that makes me seriously reconsider ever flying again! Once Nikki is pulled into the missing person case for her fellow passenger, her life is put on the line again and again. This case is personal is so many ways. Even though Nikki is a seasoned agent, she's a human being, so seeing her struggle with her near death and the hard-hitting angles of the case proved to be realistic. In the midst of Nikki's desperate search, she learns to let go of the plans she has for the future with Tyler...and trust God. In case I've worried anyone, Nikki and Tyler sitting in a tree... ; )

Four Stars! Action packed!! This might be my favorite book in the series. If you like a suspenseful story with a little romance, then you must read this story. Each story is its own separate mystery, however, since there are elements in the backstory and romance that build in each book, I recommend reading Vendetta and Missing first. To my knowledge, this is the last novel in The Nikki Boyd Files. HOWEVER, Vanishing Point: A Nikki Boyd Novel, releases November 7th, 2017. The story is told from a different perspective. Also, rumor has it that we will finally learn what happened to Nikki's sister, Sarah.

I. Can't. Wait.

I received a copy of Pursued by Lisa Harris from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

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

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Monday, April 10, 2017

Review of Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy



From the Back Cover:

Someone will stop at nothing to claim the Boden homestead!

The Boden clan thought their problems had ended with the death of a dangerous enemy, but have they truly uncovered the real plot to take their New Mexico ranch? Rancher Justin Boden is now in charge. He is normally an unshakable and rugged man, but with his brother, Cole, shot and in mortal danger, even a tough man faces doubts. And it doesn't help that Angie DuPree, the assistant to the doctor trying to save Cole, is as distracting a woman as Justin ever laid eyes on.

With her and the doc's timely skills, Cole looks to be on the mend, and Justin and the rest of the Bodens can turn their attention back to the dangers facing them. It's clear now that everything that's occurred is part of a much bigger plot that could date back to a decades-old secret. Can they uncover all the pieces before danger closes in on them, or is the threat to the ranch even bigger than any of the Bodens could imagine?

For more information about Mary Connealy and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

I've become quite found of the crazy Boden family! They bicker and fight, but they love fiercely.

Justin is bit rough, arrogant, and he likes to be in control. Angie is a mild and meek, having come from an abusive background. While Justin learns to give God the things he can't control, she's trying to learn to stand on her own, thinking that's what God wants for her life. The title, Long Time Gone, proves to be a beautiful theme for this story since God loves to stop us on our life journeys and bless us with things we thought we had passed a long time ago.

And don't think I forgot the mystery surrounding the Cimarron Ranch! There's a B.I.G. reveal towards the end of the book that seemingly answers all our questions...or does it?  ; )

Four Stars - a fun story! If you like westerns, cowboys, spitfire characters, romance, and mystery, then you need to read this series! I would recommend you read the first book, No Way Up, due to the ongoing mystery. I can't wait to read Cole and Melanie's story in Too Far Down because #teamcole!!!

I received a copy of Long Time Gone by Mary Connealy from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

 Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Friday, April 7, 2017

Review of Life After by Katie Ganshert



From the Back Cover:

It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest.

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake. 

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

For more information about Katie Ganshert and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

Life After, oh, Life After...

Life after having the pleasure of reading you is bittersweet. There were times I had to put you down and weep, so overcome with sorrow. Other times you gut punched me with such poignant truths. And other times my heart felt like it would burst from joy and smiles.

Autumn feels like she's drowning from guilt. Oh, so much guilt. But she's not afraid to ask questions. BUT once she's willing to listen, then God answers. They're just not the answers she's been expecting. And Paul, he's struggling with guilt, too. I really loved his resolution. I don't want to give away any spoilers... ; ) Suffice it to say that he experiences a dump of God's sacrificial love.

As you may have guessed, this is not a light read. This is one of those books that does not avoid the hard, the hurt, and the pain that life gives you. It tackles those questions head on, kind of like an angry bull attacking the man in red. What you're left with is a deeply moving, beautiful story with stellar writing.

Four and a Half Stars. A fabulous novel! I'm looking forward to whatever Katie writes next!

I received Life After by Katie Ganshert from WaterBrook & Multnomah. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!
~V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Review of For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund



Description:

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?

Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?

As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

For more information about Jody Hedlund and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

I should inform you that Lady Sabine happens to be my long lost ancestor. Don't be intimidated. ; )

Ok, while I'm regretfully not really related to Lady Sabine, I found her to be a lot of fun! She's witty and has a bit of a smart mouth. Also, I found her to be genuine. Sabine has this terrible, purple birth mark on her arm, one that she has struggled with all her life. People have feared her, rejected her, and treated her with disdain - all for something God used to make her unique! I liked the back and forth battle Sabine endured as she learned to accept herself.

And Sir Bennet is such a knight. "Honor" is his middle name. (I mean, I assume it is. I don't think we actually learn his middle name, so it must be "Honor." That's logical.) However, this handsome knight still has a lot to learn when it comes to God, mercy, and yes, honor.

It still had its fluffy moments, but a bit of fluff never hurt anyone. It can be rather nice. All things considered, this was such an enjoyable story and an easy read! Anyone who loves knights and fairytales should definitely read this book. Right. Now. This may be my favorite story in the series!!

Five Stars. I very much enjoyed the conclusion to this sweet series! For Love and Honor is the third and final book in Jody Hedlund's young adult, medieval series. If you enjoyed An Uncertain Choice and A Daring Sacrifice, then you will want to meet Sir Bennet and Lady Sabine. Fans of Melanie Dickerson would probably enjoy these books, also!

I received For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund published by Zondervan from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


Friday, March 24, 2017

Review of When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin



From the Back Cover:

In a time of war, sometimes battles take place in the heart.

Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. Eager to do her part for the war effort, she joins the Navy's newly established WAVES program for women. Perhaps there she can convince people that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Lt. Dan Avery has been using his skills in the fight against German U-boats and hoping to make admiral. The last thing he wants to see on his radar is a girl like Tess. Convinced that romance will interfere with his goals, Dan is determined to stay the course, no matter how intriguing a distraction Tess is.

But love, like war, is unpredictable. When Dan is shipped out at the peak of the Battle of the Atlantic, he finds himself torn between his lifelong career goals and his desire to help the beguiling Tess root out a possible spy on shore. Could this fun-loving glamour girl really be the one?

For more about Sarah Sundin and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

When the tides of your heart turn, where will they take you?

Lt. Dan Avery desperately wants to further his Naval career. He's determined to stay the course - no matter what. But God has different plans. (Doesn't He always? LOL!) Dan has to learn to allow color, rest, and the distractions God wants for him. Tess Beaumont decides she wants more out of life. She wants purpose and meaning, not beauty. Watching them overcome their struggles and personal lies, seeing them clash, reconciling, and falling in love proved to be rather enjoyable. Plus, there's a little mystery thrown in for good measure!

The author put a ton - and I mean a ton - of historic detail into this book! It left me quite impressed! The story closely follows with what was happening in World War 2. This blast from the past and seeing how life worked during the war was interesting and informative.

Please note that while you can read this book without reading the rest of the series, I think you'll find the story more enjoyable if you read the first two books, Through Waters Deep and Anchor in the Storm respectively.

Three and a Half Stars - an enjoyable story. When Tides Turn is the third and final book in Sarah Sundin's Waves of Freedom Series. If you're a fan of Sarah's novels and/or have read the first two books in the series, then you will really want to read this lovely conclusion to her latest series!

I received a copy of When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

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

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review of The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron



From the Back Cover:

Not all illusions happen on the stage.

Wren Lockhart, apprentice to master illusionist Harry Houdini, uses life on a vaudeville stage to
escape the pain of her past. She continues her career of illusion after her mentor’s death, intent on burying her true identity.

But when a rival performer’s act goes tragically wrong, the newly formed FBI calls on Wren to speak the truth—and reveal her real name to the world. She transfers her skills for misdirection from the stage to the back halls of vaudeville, as she finds herself the unlikely partner in the FBI’s investigation. All the while Houdini’s words echo in her mind: Whatever occurs, the crowd must believe it’s what you meant to happen. She knows that if anyone digs too deep, secrets long kept hidden may find their way to the surface—and shatter her carefully controlled world.

Set during one of the richest, most vibrant eras in American history, this Jazz Age novel of illusion, suspense, and forgotten pasts is perfect for fans of The Magician’s Lie, challenging all to find the underpinnings of faith on their own life’s stage.

For more information about Kristy Cambron and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

"Truth is the illusion we always chase." - Elliot Matthews, The Illusionist's Apprentice

I should say that I'm a sucker for anything vintage related. And I'm a fool for all 1920's Jazz Age things.

So. Yeah. *foolish grin*

Despite my love of all things vintage, I still found myself enjoying certain aspects of this novel more than I even thought I would. Stunning! Kristy Cambron paints such a vivid picture of vaudeville that I could almost feel the handcuffs and hear the applause of the crowd...

Sorry, got lost there for a moment. ; )

Wren Lockhart is an illusionist who longs to be free, but she lives her life behind illusions. I enjoyed seeing her break free from her chains to find real peace. While we see plenty from the loveable Elliot Matthews, the story revolves mostly around Wren. We don't tread the depths of Elliot's backstory very much, so the glimpses we receive are meaningful. I loved seeing him learn what a hero really was. Sometimes a hero rushes into battle. And sometimes he waits.

Four Stars. A beautiful, stunning portrayal with an equally stunning message. The suspenseful mystery proved to be complex, yet utterly fascinating.  The Illusionist's Apprentice is Kristy Cambron's fourth book, but it is a standalone novel.

I received a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron published by Thomas Nelson from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys, and I'll see you next time!

Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review of Still Life by Dani Pettrey




From the Back Cover:

Someone is out there. Watching her. Waiting.

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright--and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead--and the photographer insists he didn't take the shot. Worse, her friend can't be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

For more about Dani Pettrey and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts:

If you like to watch Criminal Minds, Bones, NCIS, or even Psych, then you will LOVE Still Life by Dani Pettrey!

First things first, I would recommend that you read Cold Shot, the first book in the series, before reading Still Life. Otherwise the dynamics within the group might confuse you.

The first chapter immediately drew me into the story, but the first third of the novel moved at a slower pace. Then it took off like lightning again! Excellent pacing! A certain fellow was supremely creepy. *shudder* Twists and turns plague you on every page. Also, as some of my fellow bloggers have mentioned, this cover is seriously swoon worthy! I loved Parker (and his accent!) and Avery. I enjoyed seeing them grapple with trusting God in ways they hadn't been.

Between 3 1/2 and 4 Stars. A good, enjoyable read. Still Life is the second book in Dani Pettrey's Chesapeake Valor Series. Book three, Blind Spot, releases in October 2017! I found the set up for this upcoming book to be very well done.

I received a copy of Still Life by Dani Pettrey from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.

God bless you guys! See you next time!

 Hugs!

~V. Joy Palmer