Friday, January 19, 2018

Review of Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren


About the Book ~

Billionaire Ian Shaw can have everything he wants--except a happy ending. Or at least that's what it feels like with his fortune recently liquidated, his niece, Esme, still missing, and the woman he loves refusing to speak to him. In fact, he doubts she would date him even if they were stranded on a deserted island.

Despite her love for Ian, Sierra Rose knows he has no room in his life for her as long as the mystery of his missing niece goes unsolved. The only problem is, Sierra has solved it, but a promise to Esme to keep her whereabouts secret has made it impossible to be around Ian.

When the PEAK chopper is damaged and Sierra lacks the funds to repair it, Ian offers a fundraising junket for large donors on his yacht in the Caribbean. But the three-day excursion turns into a nightmare when a rogue wave cripples the yacht and sends the passengers overboard. Shaken up and soaked to the bone, Ian finally has a chance to test his theory when he and Sierra do indeed find themselves washed up on a strange, empty shore.

It will take guts and gumption for the PEAK team to rescue the duo. But it will take a miracle to rescue Ian and Sierra's relationship.

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

My Thoughts ~

If you're like me and have been anxiously awaiting (translation: pacing, binge eating, and counting seconds) the arrival of Ian and Sierra's story, then you will not be disappointed.

If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, then get thee to a bookstore! ;-)

Susan May Warren drops you into mystery and action on the first page, and it doesn't let up until the end. And I don't know if this is important to you or not, but I am never getting on a boat ever again! This edge-of-your-seat story is told mostly from Ian and Sierra's perspectives, but you will get some glimpses from a couple other people on the PEAK team.

But I can't tell you who. ;-)

Did someone say romance? Was that me? Well, since someone asked, the romance is sweet and clean, yet steamy and real in the way that only Susan May Warren can do it, and the end - OHMYGOODNES!!! Welcome to Swoon City, my friends! <3 <3 <3

Ian is one of my favorite dudes in the Montana Rescue Series, second only to Deputy Sam Brooks (#allthehearts). He's hardworking and charming and makes mistakes that make you want to slap him. And when he makes the choice to love, forgive, and trust, you will do a happy dance. Well, at least I did. :-) And Sierra's struggles are so relatable! Who among us hasn't felt like they have had to earn love, respect, or their place in life? Fear of being left behind... Fear of not being able to control the world around you... Forgiveness... Truly these beautifully flawed people, er, characters will reflect your heart in an alarming way.

Five Stars ~ Another thrilling installment in the Montana Rescue Series! Troubled Waters is book four. While you could probably read Troubled Waters by itself, you may be confused by some of the character dynamics and a building mystery if you read the series out of order. I recommend reading Wild Montana Skies, Rescue Me (#allthehearts), and A Matter of Trust respectively before you dive into (minor pun intended) Troubled Waters.

I received a copy of Troubled Waters by Susan May Warren 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


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and 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, January 13, 2018

Review of The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz


About the Book ~

It is the eve of a new age of freedom in the colonies.
But can a proper English lady dare hope for her own independence?


Lady Elisabeth "Liberty" Lawson has nearly everything a lady of her position could want. Daughter of the British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony and a darling of fine society in a rugged land, she is anticipating an advantageous marriage. That her betrothed is a rake and love is lacking is of little consequence--or so she tells herself.

Though her own life seems in order, colonial Williamsburg is a powder keg on the verge of exploding, and her fiancé's cousin Noble Rynallt carries the flame of revolution in his heart. Those with connections to the British nobility are suspected as spies, and Liberty soon finds herself left with a terrible choice. Will she stay true to her English roots? Or side with Noble and the radical revolutionaries?

For more information about Laura Frantz and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

This was my first novel by Laura Frantz...

Please, don't aim for the face. ;-)

If I've shocked you, then you will at least be pleased to know that I found The Lacemaker to be thoroughly enchanting!

Set at the start of the American Revolutionary War, this story was filled with all kinds of historical details that would make you honestly believe that it was penned by someone who had lived through this tumultuous period if it wasn't for the copyright date. For me, The Lacemaker was the kind of story that started slowly, but built and built, until I realized that I was very much enamored with it. <3

Noble is, because he's very much REAL, honorable, brave, and worthy of a hearty swoon! He represents so many brave men who fought for their home and family. And Lady Elisabeth/Liberty proved to be made of sturdy stuff ( <--- understatement of the year)! Laura Frantz did a wonderful job describing the plight of a young woman from a notoriously British family trying to survive on American soil. The transformation of these beloved - anwylyd - characters blesses the heart in only the dearest of ways. <3

Four Stars ~ The Lacemaker proved to be a beautiful, delightful surprise! The Lacemaker is a standalone novel, but one you wish would go on and on. Lovely! You can be sure that I will be reading more stories by Laura Frantz. <3

I received a copy of The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz 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


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and 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, January 8, 2018

Review of The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright

 


About the Book ~

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart. Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives--including her own--are lost?

For more information about Jamie Jo Wright and her books, check out her website!

My Thoughts ~

Warning: The House on Foster Hill is sure to steal your breath!

The House on Foster Hill is a timeslip novel. Part of the story is told through Ivy's perspective in 1906, while the other half takes place during present day with Kaine. Their mysterious stories weave together with such excellent pacing that you will need to be sure that you can devote the entire day to reading! Answers. You will NEED answers. ;-)

But do you get all of them?

I'll never tell... ;-)

Ivy's side of the story almost felt like a gothic novel, while Kaine's side had all the terror and angst of a girl-on-the-run movie. Ivy's journey proved especially intriguing to me. Even though I always have a hard time with widow/widower angles, I try not to let this stop me from reading excellent stories. So while this angle is difficult for me, it was understandably a huge part of Kaine's story and character development. Rest assured, when you close the cover on this chilling, twisting tale, you will find that the message of hope and living life despite, through, and in triumph over darkness resounds in your heart. I also appreciate and admire the author for tackling difficult topics like death and sex trafficking in such a candid way.

Four Stars ~ The House on Foster Hill is a thrilling romantic suspense rarely seen in Christian Fiction. I look forward to reading whatever Jamie Jo Wright pens - er, types - next!

I received a copy of The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright from Bethany House Publishers, 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


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and 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, January 4, 2018

Review of Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews



About the Book ~

In this epic Biblical narrative, ideal for fans of The Bible miniseries, a young woman taken into the prophet Isaiah's household rises to capture the heart of the future king.

Isaiah adopts Ishma, giving her a new name--Zibah, delight of the Lord--thereby ensuring her royal pedigree. Ishma came to the prophet's home, devastated after watching her family destroyed and living as a captive. But as the years pass, Zibah's lively spirit wins Prince Hezekiah's favor, a boy determined to rebuild the kingdom his father has nearly destroyed. But loving this man will awake in her all the fears and pain of her past and she must turn to the only One who can give life, calm her fears, and deliver a nation.

For more information about Mesu Andrews and her books, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

If you love stories that open the Bible to you in a whole new way, then Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews needs to be added to your mountainous - I'm assuming - TBR pile! ;-)

Do NOT miss this story!

Isaiah's Daughter starts while Ishma/Zibah and Hezekiah are young, giving us backstory and young love, and it ends in the last fifteen years of Hezekiah's life. These pages are filled with triumph, devastation, sickening sin, and beautiful revelations. The characters, their hearts, and God's loving truth will stay with you long after you shut the cover.

One of the things I loved most about this book was the prophecies and seeing how the characters applied them to their everyday lives, while also looking to the future. Isn't that what we do? We look at a verse that was written or prophesied to someone long ago a hundred different times, then BAM! Meaning and life flow from it like a spring. It is the Living Word of God, after all! <3

Bookish friends, remember that this story is Biblical Fiction. In her Author's Note, Mesu Andrews shares with readers some of her research, timeline frustrations, and areas where she took artistic license. She has stayed true to the Bible, but has pieced the information together in a way that we may not have considered before now. And it is truly breathtaking!

Five Stars ~ Isaiah's Daughter does not disappoint! While it's not necessary to read Love in a Broken Vessel first, I thoroughly enjoyed being reunited with beloved characters from that story! However, Isaiah's Daughter is an excellent stand-alone story!

I received a copy of Isaiah's Daughter by Mesu Andrews from WaterBrook & Multnomah. 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 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, December 13, 2017

Review of Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano



From the Back Cover ~

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader's eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can't help coming to his friend's defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

My Thoughts ~

I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt on a dreadfully cloudy day, that this particular novel by one Jen Turano is my favorite thus far.

It's hard not to talk with a little extra flair after reading one of Jen Turano's novels. ;-)

My friends, this novel was so much fun! Hilarious misunderstandings that had me laughing out loud, witty dialogue, poignant faith, and tender romance - what's not to love?!

You will adore Mr. Harrison Sinclair's bumbling efforts at wooing Miss. Gertrude Cadwalader. You will relate to Miss. Gertrude Cadwalader's struggle with forgiving not only others, but herself. The mystery surround the "respectable" Mrs. Davenport will be revealed. Unexpected tears may fall as you also realize that God has not called you to muddle through life, but to live an extraordinary life with Him, especially by giving and receiving love. Indubitably, your heart will soar much like a delightful yacht cuts through the ocean blue on a windy day, which it so happens to be as I write this review. Windy, that is. Although, I suppose there is some soaring.

Hehe. See! I told you it was hard. ;-)

Four and a Half Stars ~ So. Much. Fun! Out of the Ordinary is the second book in the Apart from the Crowd Series by Jen Turano. While you could read Out of the Ordinary as a standalone story, I believe you'll find a more fulfilling story experience if you first read book one, Behind the Scenes.

Last time. ;-)

I received a copy of Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano from Bethany House Publishers, 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


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and 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 1, 2017

Review of Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris


About the Book ~

Six girls missing . . . and every clue leads to a dead end

During Garrett Addison's first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She's just one in a string of disappearances with one thing in common--a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies, Garrett wonders whether he really has what it takes to be an agent. Maybe he should just walk. But while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him--or Jordan.

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

My Thoughts ~

Looking for a chilling suspense, faith, and a dash of romance? Look. No. Further. than Lisa Harris' latest novel because, wow, guys. Wow.

I was greatly distraught minorly annoyed when The Nikki Boyd Files ended without a satisfying conclusion to the Angel Abductor story arc. Then I was seriously pumped when I found out about Vanishing Point! I am pleased to report that at long last we have the answers to this mystery! But there will be no more on that from me. ;-)

Vanishing Point covers almost fifteen years, and you see Garrett and Jordan experience life changes, struggles, and triumphs. Though it makes my heart ache that it took so long for Garrett and Jordan to find their Happily Ever After, sometimes that's the journey - but it's always a rewarding journey. Lisa Harris also tackles difficult questions over the coarse of this novel, including the age-old question, "Where is God when bad things happen?" She lovingly reminds readers that even though we live in a fallen, broken world without all the answers, Jesus has saved us.

Four Stars ~ Vanishing Point is a must read for anyone who's read The Nikki Boyd Files! Due to the conclusion of the mystery started in those books, I strongly insist with all the self-appointed authority of a bookworm that you read The Nikki Boyd Files, Vendetta, Missing, and Pursued respectively, before reading Vanishing Point. However, if you stumbled on Vanishing Point first, you will find a well crafted, conclusive story within those pages.

I received a copy of Vanishing Point 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


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and 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.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Review of Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano



About the Book ~

Lynhurst Manor is a house built on secrets . . . and the arrival of Aurelie Harcourt might reveal them all.When Aurelie Harcourt's father dies suddenly, he leaves her just two things: his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll, and his wealthy family--who want very little to do with her.

As Aurelie struggles to find a home with her father's family and learn the rules of society, she relishes in his parting gift--the beginning of his last story. The story she always wanted to hear, about her mother's mysterious disappearance from the home where she now lives. To complete the novel, she'll have to extract clues from relatives--and one enigmatic houseguest--who often seem reluctant to give them up.

For more information about Joanna Davidson Politano, check out her website here!

My Thoughts ~

Lady Jayne Disappears is absolutely enchanting, utterly romantic, and deliciously original!

Aurelie proves to be a sweet, loving, genuine character with a touch of endearing naïveté as she navigates this new world filled with rules and secrets. I loved the deep, first person narrative. As she embraces her writing and the world of aristocracy, she struggles to find her voice amongst the negative. We get to see some of Silas' (our hero <3) perspective, too. Each glimpse only makes him more dashing and dear.

I think every author and writer would love this story. It's always so fun and encouraging to see a character who so accurately portrays the insanity that is a writer's life. Haha! And it's a story, within a story, within a story. Who doesn't love that?!

Lady Jayne Disappears twisted and turned every which way, keeping me on my toes. Reveals were fast and shocking, yet I didn't feel confused once we reached the conclusion. The author wasn't afraid to give you imperfect characters and messy situations in addition to characters like Aurelie who, while imperfect, are striving to serve God. Every thread was not tied up with a darling lace bow, however, this only adds to the tantalizing mystery.

And the ending! Oh, the ending! I promise you on my honor as a bookworm, I'm not giving away spoilers. Breathe easy, friends. But I need to tell you the ending is so wonderfully romantic, that it will rival some of the greatest fairytales. AND this delicious story ends with a call for action. To disregard all the scorn and doubts from yourself and others. To go and pursue God's unique call on your life. LOVE IT!

Five Stars ~ I will need to reread Lady Jayne Disappears ASAP in order to fully soak up all the lovely descriptions, wordplays, and witticisms! Once is not enough!

I received a copy of Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano 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


V. Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and 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.