Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Trace of Doubt - A Review

 



Trace of Doubt  



by

DiAnn Mills

A Review

Why do I remember

The sins that stalk my soul?

Why can’t I hold on to the

Forgiveness that makes me whole?

Ashes rise to steal my breath.

I choke from downing fear.

Help me, Lord, to cling to You

In never-ending prayer.

When I pick up a new book by DiAnn Mills, I expect to experience the best in Romantic Suspense. Trace of Doubt is no exception. Marissa is the epitome of evil; even the fifteen-year prison sentence had not changed her. Now she would kill her sister and her daughter and break her father’s heart.


Two narrators trade places throughout the book as Shelby Pearce and Denton McClure take turns telling their stories and how those stories interact with Marissa’s malignant behavior. It would not be easy as they each had to deal with lies and misconceptions that wounded their lives and the lives of those around them. They each would need to experience far more of God’s forgiveness and grace than they thought they needed. But He would provide.

The book was intense at places and held my attention. My only concern was the implication that a pastor can provide the level of counseling needed by two of the main characters. Unless the pastor had at least a MS in Counseling, the kind of support needed by Aria and Shelby should normally be done by a professional counselor. Seminary training is not sufficient for the consistent therapy these two women needed. I would suggest that an appropriate warning be added as part of the front matter or immediately following the book’s epilogue. Despite this oversight, the book is worthy of 5-stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.


Thursday, October 14, 2021

Strawberries and Crime - A Review

 



Strawberries
and Crime



by

Elle Brooke White

A Review

A relaxing cozy mystery with a highly intelligent pig. The setting is Little Acorn, a rural town in Southern California among the hills of the Santa Barbara Mountains. Most of the action takes place on the Finn Family Farm or on the local farms owned by the murder victim or the various suspects.

I learned a great deal about farming, particularly organic farming. Assisting the human population in solving the murder/suicide of Linc Pierce are a variety of animals including Horse (a pig who ate like one), Mrs. Robinson (a ladybug), and Fred and Ginger (a pair of nesting barn owls). It was concerning when Charlotte Finn and the Chief of Police took much of the last chapter walking through the evidence to educate their audience and the reader as to how they solved the crime. One would expect a well-written cozy mystery not to require this kind of detail.

The book was a relaxing read and worthy of a four-star review.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.




Saturday, October 2, 2021

Labyrinth of Lies - A Review

 



Labyrinth of Lies




by

Irene Hannon

A Review

Cate Reilly, a detective for the St. Louis MO Police Department, and Zeke Sloan, an agent assigned to the DEA, have both gone undercover at the Ivy Hill Academy, an elite girls’ private high school. She to help locate two missing teens; he to investigate a drug cartel that seems to have connection to the same school.

Two problems immediately present themselves. First, the two cases appear to be interconnected. Second, Cate and Zeke have a years-old relationship that went bonkers eight years ago - a breakup that left both very disturbed. Working at a girls’ high school would seem like a cushy assignment except both Cate and Zeke will find their lives in danger. The story is well-written, though at times gaps appear in the story. For example, at one point Cate is out, lost, on a snowy road. The next time we see her, she is on the phone conversing with her handler. No explanation, no hint from where her help came.

The faith-based story held this reader’s interest and might easily appeal to anyone interested in suspense or romantic-suspense literature. I give the book 4-½ stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

All That Is Secret - A Review









All That Is Secret


by
Patricia Raybon

A Review

“Because our gathering this morning,
my sisters and brothers, isn’t so much
about us —and why we’ve come here
—wearing our nice
clothes and our fancy
hats and our new shoes —”
...

“Instead,” Jack added, “we gather in this place
—this holy place—
to worship and praise our God.
So draw in the wanderings of your minds,
 turning from your concerns and worries,
and let’s turn our attentions solely on him.”

Yes! YEs! YES! Patricia Raybon has created a great piece of historical fiction that leaves the reader primed for more volumes in this series. Maybe not from the first line (as per the back cover) but certainly from the first page “readers will be hooked.” From the moment that Joe Spain finds the baby left on the frozen ground on a ranch outside the city of Denver CO, it is clear that somebody is up to no good.

A year later, in 1923, Joe’s daughter arrives in Denver to discover the truth about her father’s death. The home of the second largest KKK chapter in the USA, Colorado becomes a hotbed of anti-black activity and politics. It is in this environment that Professor Annalee Spain, Joe’s daughter, finds herself looking for his story. With the help of the help of the local AME Pastor, Rev. Jack Robert Blake, an orphaned white lad, Eddie Brown Jr,, and a retired Denver DA, Colonel Sidney Castle, she would seek the answers she sought. The KKK makes its presence known, but they are not the enemy that Annalee is really fighting. Families and politics are far bigger problems - holding secrets that even the best of people do not want revealed.

Intense at times, the book is one the reader will not be able to put down. I spent more than one night staying up to get it read. I give the book five-stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Brutal Justice - A Review

 



A Brutal Justice


by


Jess Corban

A Review


Some books don’t fit every reader. This is one that did not fit this reader. The author has created a dystopian story that leaves a world where women dominate, and men are demasculated at birth when they receive a “vaccine” that will turn them into “Gentles” that are essentially slaves. Not a pretty picture.

Much of the story focuses on saving the male population so they are allowed to grow into “Brutes”, their natural state. I found the story boring and slow moving - determined at several points to put the book down without finishing it. I would pick it up again to give it another try only to give up again. Eventually, I did not finish the book and moved onto my next book. I give “Brutal Justice” 2-½ stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Undercurrent of Secrets - A Review

 



Undercurrent of Secrets



by

Rachel Scott McDaniel

A Review

Two stories, two mysteries, two romances, separated by one hundred years, joined by the love for a paddle-wheeler that had its beginnings in 1914 and that is still plying its trade along the Ohio River serves as the backdrop for this well-told plot.The author weaves the stories together using two narrators, one from the past and one from the present. Together these two narrators allow us to follow the lives of Devyn Asbury and Hattie Louis and their loves and adventures. Bootleggers, kidnappers, arsonists, and murderers all add to this exciting tale.

There are few books that will bring tears to my eyes as I finish them - this one did. I give this piece of faith-based historical fiction five-stars.

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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.  




Wednesday, September 8, 2021

You Can Run - A Review

 



You Can Run



by

Karen Cleveland

A Review


I loved it. I hated it. I suppose that means it was a good book. From the first page to the last sentence, the author provides a compelling story of espionage, revenge, and corruption. The reader will leave the story with a gasp - satisfied and feeling punched in the stomach at the same time. I give the book 5-stars.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.