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.

3.5 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

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review of Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

 

From the Back Cover:

One devoted woman is about to discover the power of love.

When famine visits Bethlehem, some hold out home for rain, while Naomi and her family make a long Journey to Moab in search of greener pastures. The harvest there is plentiful, and for a time it appears the Lord is blessing them. But when calamities strike, one after another, Naomi is left alone in a foreign land with only her widowed daughters-in-law for comfort.

Downhearted and destitute, Naomi is determined to return to Bethlehem alone. But her daughter-in-law Ruth refuses to leave her side. Despite the fact that she and Naomi will almost certainly live out their days in widowhood and poverty, Ruth holds out hope for a better future . . . and maybe even a second chance at love.

My Thoughts:

Oh, friends. Redeeming Grace is such a sweet story. The title so aptly portrays it. <3

Now, if you're looking for a book with a shocking plot twist where everybody dies, then you should know that this is not that kind of story. ; )

Not that there isn't death, loss, struggle, and heartache. There certainly is! But there is also triumph, love, redemption, mercy, beauty, and grace.

Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz are the points of view in the story. I thought they all had such excellent character development! I really understood them, their fears and joys. I knew what hurdles they needed to overcome. I knew what they were fighting for, and I cheered for them. (And maybe cried for them, too...ahem.)

It's always good to remember that Biblical Fiction is just that. It's fiction. It may be based off of real people, and the authors try to remain true to the Bible and historical research, but it's still fiction. Biblical Fiction is a wonderful way to glimpse the truth nuggets God has show other people. I love that. <3 I always recommend reading the Author's Note at the end of the book first.

Four Stars! Beautiful story! Redeeming Grace is the third book in Jill Eileen Smith's Daughter's of the Promised Land Series. The Crimson Cord and The Prophetess are the first two (amazing) books, but you can read them out of order without banging your head into a wall. ; )

I received a copy of Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith 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