Range

Author: Ronie Kendig

Series: Metcalfes #3

Publisher: Task Force Press

Release Date: September 30, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This series has far surpassed my expectations and I am in love with the whole Metcalfe family!

Range Metcalfe set out on his own after a fight with his brother over a girl and hasn’t been back in over 10 years. He’s spent his time and energy tacking down bad guys and now he has his eyes set on taking down Kasra Jazani, the Madam of Kandahar, a human trafficker. As Range and his team capture Kasra Jazani, he quickly learns that not everything is as it seems. It has been ten years since Kasra was abducted and after years of abuse, she worked her way up to overseeing the compound and using her position to help others. When Range and his team take her captive, they quickly become the hunted and dark secrets come to light along with danger to them and everyone around them.

I didn’t think it was possible for Ronie Kendig to make me like a book in this series more than I did Willow, but she just might have done it with Range. These stories are tough, gritty, and sometimes hard to read with the storyline but so well written they are also hard to put down. I picked this one up when I was in a slump of not wanting to read and having a hard time enjoying something I love. This story was so well crafted that it pulled me right out of that slump and had me turning the pages well into the night. This is the kind of book that if enough time allowed, could be finished in a single sitting. There is so much tension that the story flies by making it easy to get lost in the wonderful world of fiction. This series is very different from the others I have read by Ronie Kendig and I have loved seeing this different side of her writing. Fans of Romantic Suspense will love this new edition to the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Man of the World

Author: Gilbert M. Grosvenor

Publisher: National Geographic

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Very interesting and informative!  Fun read overall!

At some point, you’ve likely interacted with the Grosvenor family legacy.  Through a book, network series, or just by picking up a yellow bordered magazine, you’ve probably had some experience with National Geographic.  But what about the editor of the magazine?  You likely have no idea about him or the adventures that he has been on with the magazine.  From artic diving to mountain climbing, he’s not only published about it, but he has also experienced it.  With generations of experience before him, he truly is a man of the world.

I love reading memoirs and this was no different.  Learning about the man and the family that has been at the helm of National Geographic for generations was eye opening and entertaining.  From learning about family experiences to seeing what goes on behind the camera and the printing press.  I think my favorite parts may have been the decisions behind the cover photos that have built legacies for the magazine.  If you have been a fan of National Geographic, I highly recommend this book for you!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

What She Found

Author: Robert Dugoni

Series: Tracy Crosswhite #9

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: August 23, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The next installment in the Tracy Crosswhite is another great read that fans of the series will love.

Now that she oversees the cold case division, Tracy Crosswhite just solved a major case and is looking to solve another. She is asked to investigate the disappearance of investigative reporter Lisa Childress who went missing almost 25 years ago. Lisa’s daughter, Anita, has asked Tracy to help find the truth no matter where it leads. As soon as Tracy starts digging into the past with this case, she finds evidence that proves there is much more to the case than anyone could have imagined. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Tracy is going to be pushed to her limit and her loyalties.

The Tracy Crosswhite series has been one of my favorites since the very first book. This newest edition was a fun look at Tracy in her new role overseeing the cold cases which brings her all the way back to the disappearance of her sister. Each of the characters in this series are great to see grow and develop. Traci is one of my all-time favorite female leads to read about. This book had a good premise, good characters, and an overall good flow, until the end, which felt a little rushed. It was the ending that should have played out but for this kind of novel it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. Dugoni is a fantastic writer but this addition to the series fell a little flat. I still give it at least 4 stars but it is hard for anything to stack up to My Sister’s Grave. I will for sure be reading the next in the series and recommend this to fans of the series and those that enjoy suspense thrillers.

The Clutter Fix

Author: Shannon Acheson

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A super quick and easy guide to getting rid of excess and living by the mindset of “less is more.”

We live in a world of stuff; everywhere we look there is more and better stuff to have in our lives and in our homes. But does that stuff really make us happy? The short answer is no; we think it will make us happy but if we have too much we end up with chaos and disorganized clutter all around that can leave us feeling anxious and depressed.

Shannon Acheson uses the tools throughout this book to help readers learn to get rid of what they don’t need and how to organize what they do keep. Step by step instructions along with helpful checklists will give readers the tools they need to start down the path of having less so they can enjoy what they do have more. One of the nicest things about the book is it doesn’t just deal with the physical stuff, it also talks about emotional clutter and cleaning out email inboxes and such that can get over run and overlooked. I always enjoy a good cleanout and purge and using the checklists throughout this book will make for a great tool to make it so much easier. I recommend this book to everyone, even if you feel like you don’t have much to get rid of this list will show you there is more to declutter than you would think.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Unleashed

Author: Cai Emmons

Publisher: Dutton Publishers

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A very strange and unusual book that just didn’t hit home with me.

After they drop their only daughter, Pippa, off at college, Lu and George Barnes must figure out how to have a life with just the two of them. Over the years they have grown apart and now have very little to talk about. George spends most of his time at the local winery he owns while Lu would rather be outside in nature. College life is not what Pippa expected, she has trouble connecting to anyone except her zoology professor. As their relationship grows closer, Lu and George grow farther apart. Across the country women have been disappearing with no explanation and it is soon to approach the Barnes family changing things for them forever.

This book started out as an ordinary tale of families and how things change over time. But about halfway through it got weird, and not in a good way that kept me glued to the page. More of a “this is just plain weird and I’m losing my interest kind of way.” I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters and caring about what they were going through. The relationship and dynamic between Pippa and her parents was annoying, I can see the separation of her going off to college and wanting some space but the way she treated her mom turned me off and made me like her even less. I would have liked to see her grow as a character in different ways. This is the kind of novel that readers who enjoy a mystery of unearthly proportions will devour, but if that is not your type of read pass this one up.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

To Win a Prince

Author: Toni Shiloh

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Another charming romance for anyone that is a fan of The Princess Diaries movies, not to be missed.

After her best friend became Queen of an African nation, Iris Blakely decides to stay and help the citizens of the country by starting a sustainable clothing company. Iris has been asked to bring on Ekon Diallo, the man who betrayed her best friend, to work with her at her company. Ekon has been stripped of his title as prince after trying to overthrow Brie before she could become Queen. Tensions are high as Ekon and Iris struggle to work together; they realize they are completely different people from different worlds but their hearts might just be wanting the same thing.

After reading the first book in this series, In Search of a Prince, I couldn’t wait for more from this world. The story of Brie reminded me of The Princess Diaries, which I loved and was eager to see how the story of Iris held up. I may have had my expectations set a little too high with this one because I felt a little let down. My biggest problem was the immediate attraction between the characters. I enjoy a fun rom-com but the romance here was just too quick after he had tried to betray her best friend. Toni Shiloh is a great writer and I enjoy her stories, just with less eye-rolling at such early attractions. If that hadn’t turned me off so early, I would have loved every part of the book. If that is something you can look past, then this will be a thoroughly enjoyable book. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy contemporary romance with characters that are instantly attracted to each other.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Brain Washed

Author: Manny Arango

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great book that will help readers take back control of their mind in a world where our minds are constantly being attacked.

Our world bombards us with so many distractions and things that can take our minds and thoughts captive, and we have a choice, let it take us captive or take the thoughts captive. Throughout the pages of this book, readers see how important it is to look to scripture in order to transform our minds and overcome what the world wants and expects of us. Many times throughout my life, I have heard that the Bible is the instructional manual for our lives. That can be hard to believe but it really is true. The Bible gives us instructions to deal with whatever may come our way, and I’ve had several hard things come my way lately. Learning to truly rely on God and his word is a hard thing but when we do find that faith it will change lives.

Dealing with trauma and pain can make relationships and our journey through life very difficult but using the words throughout Brain Washed will help make things easier. As I read through the pages of this book, I found myself nodding my head and smiling at many of the lessons it taught. With social media and all the outlets available to escape into, it is easier than ever for evil thoughts to get into our head and take us down a path we don’t want to be on. Readers will go throughout these pages and find helpful advice for everyday life and so much more.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Dangerous Beauty

Author: Melissa Koslin

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A story with a lot of depth and tackling hard issues that will put a twist on how we look at marriage and hopefully not take for granted what we have.

Lilliana Vela is determined not to be seen as a victim. She is able to escape the world of human traffickers with the help of Meric Toledan. Lilliana was taken from her Mexican village and brought to the United States. When Meric finds her trying to escape, he knows she can’t return to her village; there is a target on her head, and she will be snatched again. He does the only thing he can think of to do at that moment, he asks her to marry him so she can legally stay in the United States. He is a very wealthy man and has connections to try and fight those trying to get her back.

Melissa Koslin pulled me in quickly with her first book and I was eager to read this one ready for another non-stop adventure. While the premise of this is hard hitting and might be difficult for some readers to handle, it does make for a great romantic suspense read. I loved the way she wrote Lilliana, she has been through a lot but refuses to be a victim through it all. Meric got on my nerves at times but he overall he was a good character that was trying to do his best, even though he was a little over the top with his own guilt for things out of his control. The way they had to figure out how to go through the stages of a relationship in a reverse order made for an interesting story. The action moments made the story fly and kept me engaged with the characters. This is a great story for readers that enjoy suspense with romance sprinkled throughout.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Rise of the Black Quarterback

Author: Jason Reid

Publisher: Andscape

Release Date: August 2, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Good history of black quarterbacks throughout the NFL and the caliber of young quarterbacks currently in the league. 

Throughout the history of the NFL, there have been many players to don a jersey in many different positions.  Some quarterbacks have been great, while others weren’t even the best player on the team.  A far cry from most of the players to start in that position for todays’ games.  However, one trait was very common for the position of quarterback for decades: they were white.  There have been a few black quarterbacks with teams that challenged the status quo, but many of them never saw the Super Bowl.  Flash forward to present day, names like Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, and Lamar Jackson are linked to high talent teams who regularly make playoff and even Super Bowl appearances.  Times have changed and what is in store for the future of football?

It’s easy to forget how difficult change comes to any organization, but one as large as the NFL seems to have major difficultly making any kinds of shift.  Reading this book and looking back in time, it was really startling to see how different the position of quarterback was compared to what it has become today.  It’s just so easy to think of things in the present only.  Reid does a great job chronicling this history and how changes came to be.  He also gives dedicated chapters to several of the players who helped to shape that change as well as the current players who are pushing the envelope even farther. 

Readers who enjoy documentary type reads and sports books will love this one!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

No Matter the Cost

Author: Susan May Warren

Series: The Epic Story of RJ and York #3

Publisher: SDG Publishing

Release Date: August 23, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The final story in the RJ and York series wraps up leaving readers satisfied yet wanting more!

RJ is in disbelief that the worst thing she could imagine has actually happened, York can’t be gone; she refuses to believe it until she sees his body for herself. In order to find out what happened, she is going to have to dive deep into the past that York tried so hard to keep secret. There is more at stake than just finding the truth about York, she is also trying to stop a terrorist and save the lives of many before it is too late.

Of all three books in this series, this is my least favorite for one simple reason, RJ and York are separated for a lot of the book. The stories work so great because of the chemistry between the two of them. Having them separated is part of the story and drives the tension because readers are going to want these characters back together. It was a great story and wrap up to the series with some amazing characters. It is amazing to me that Susan May Warren has taken this series she started with the Marshall brothers and expanded it into so many different novels and characters. I would recommend reading this series in order to get the most out of it and really get to know the characters and connect with them. Fans of romantic suspense and the Marshall family novels will not want to miss this epic conclusion.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.