Crown of Souls

Crown of SoulsAuthor: Ronie Kendig

Series: Tox Files #2

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

In less than one ten-thousandth of a second, lives will be changed causing Tox and his crew to face their toughest mission yet and not all will survive.

Having earned some much-needed rest, Cole “Tox” Russell and his crew have hit the beach to relax. When a sniper hits Cole and the shooter is discovered to be one of their past team members, things quickly become more interesting. The shooter, Alec King is one of the only other people that could be considered as good as Tox. He is carrying a grudge from years ago when a mission they were both on didn’t end as he would have liked.  Ever since, he has been enacting his own form of justice. He wants Tox to join him to prove that they can be unstoppable and Alec is willing to stop at nothing to convince Tox to join him. Tox worries that maybe Alec is right and he is more like his old friend than he would like to admit.  Secrets long kept are unearthed along with a mysterious artifact that could lead to the destruction of humanity. Tox and his team must race against the clock and find a way to stop Alec before more death and destruction is unleashed.

If you are a fan of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, or even National Treasure, I would highly recommend Crown of Souls and The Tox Files. Ronie Kendig has become a master of Military Thrillers. This book goes back and forth between Tox and his mission, to the past and why the artifact they are hunting is so important. If you don’t follow both times lines closely, you might miss some important information for the story. The best thing about a Ronie Kendig novel is there is something there for everyone, Romance, Suspense, History, Mystery and so much more. There are intense moments at just the right time and then things mellow out to calm the reader before being thrust right into the next tough and tense situation. It was hard for me at times to follow the past and present parts, but they did enhance the story and made the mystery all the more intense. It is obvious throughout the entire book that Kendig is familiar with the military and isn’t just writing about something she has no clue about. The lingo, the way they team interacts with each other on missions and during down time makes each one believable as a valuable member of the team and an asset to the story. One of my favorite things about reading books by Kendig is I know I’m going to be entertained and enjoy the story along with the characters and how they connect with one another. I recommend Crown of Souls to all readers that enjoy a good thriller with a military background and strong ties to an ancient mystery that could devastate the lives of all it comes in contact with.

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

The Divinity Bureau

Divinity bureauAuthor: Tessa Clare

Publisher: Asset Creative House

Release Date: September 21, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A love story put in danger by a government group set on controlling the population grown out of control by any means necessary.

The Divinity Bureau is a government agency that selects who lives and who dies. The world has become over populated making it unlivable with so many people and too few resources.  Roman Irvine works in the IT department and has always been complacent about his job and what it all means until he sees a name on the list he didn’t expect.  April McIntyre is too young to be selected, but her name winds up on the list anyway and Roman decides he can’t overlook this time.  He wants to know what kind of a person she is like.  After an initial meeting, Roman quickly finds himself falling for April and wants to do anything he can to save her live.  Roman finds the task of saving April’s life more difficult as someone else is determined to see April dead.

The Divinity Bureau reminds me of a cross between The Hunger Games and any number of love stories.  With the danger that Roman and April find themselves in, it is no surprise that their feelings for each other grow.  That part of the book, the romance, was inevitable and played out nicely.  A few of the characters got on my nerves including April’s mother, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as these characters were meant to be written that way.  There were a few instances of language that didn’t work for me, particularly the vulgar language.  The way that the book ends leaves it open for another to follow shows potential for it to continue.  I think there is more story to be told. For a debut novel, I think Clare did a great job with the story and keeping the suspense up throughout. There are a lot of dystopian books on the market out right now but this one has a different spin to it making it stick out.  I recommend this to readers that are fans of the dystopian novels on the market and also enjoy a technical aspect to the story.

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

Bridges

BridgesAuthor: Maria Murnane

Series: Daphne White #2

Publisher: Wink’s Link

Release Date: April 4, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The three musketeers are back with some shocking surprises that may throw readers for a loop!

Daphne has taken control of her life and is using her journalism background to write a novel based on the trip she and her two friends took to the Caribbean. It’s a great book, but all the agents she has sent it off to don’t feel it is within their representation area.  Then on a surprise video chat, Skylar drops a bombshell, she is getting married!  The upcoming 4th or July weekend brings the three of them back together for a bachelorette party.  However, there are more surprises in the work from both KC and Skylar.  Just because they look like they’ve got it together, doesn’t mean they don’t have problems.

I’m so happy that I read the first book in this series because a lot of it builds off what happened there. And it’s always good to come back to loveable characters when you start a new book.  It’s like getting back together with old friends.  That was the case in this book, I was just one of the musketeers along for the ride.  Daphne is back in her insecure mode after she sees how Skylar actually lives.  And it gets the best of her a couple of times.  This book really goes deeper into the problems that Skylar and KC have and brings everyone to a common level more than the first book.  There were definitely a couple of shockers that the author dropped in, but that’s what makes it fun.  You will enjoy this one, I guarantee it.

There is some mild language and some implied sex, but nothing graphic. I recommend this book to those who love a good coming of older age story.

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

Wait for Rain

Wait for RainAuthor: Maria Murnane

Series: Daphne White #1

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Release Date: February 24, 2015

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A refreshing look at turning forty when life hasn’t gone as planned.

Daphne White has not lived the life she planned. She graduated with honors from Northwestern University in journalism and was ready to set the world on fire while winning a Pulitzer in the process.  Then she met Brian, slight sidetrack in plans but she was in love.  A few short months later brought a new daughter, Emma into her life.  Then she made the decision to be a stay at home mom and put her dreams on hold.  Fifteen years later, she and Brian grew apart and are divorced.  He is getting remarried, but she is stuck in a rut.   So when her two college friends suggest a girls getaway to the island of St. Mirika for Daphne’s fortieth birthday, she hopes the trip can help her put some perspective into her life.  But will being around old friends help her or make her feel worse compared to their accomplishments?

I wasn’t sure how this story was going to play out, but it is was really enjoyable. It centers around Daphne turning forty and feeling like a failure in her marriage and missing out professionally.  With the help of her workaholic friend Skylar and her super fit energetic friend KC, Daphne discovers how to move forward with her life.  She even manages to have her first date, maybe even a little more if you want to read to find out.  I’m sure many people feel the way that Daphne does and reading this book may help them put their life in perspective as well.

There is some mild language and some implied sex, but nothing graphic. I recommend this book to those who love a good coming of older age story.

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

Beneath Copper Falls

Beneath Copper FallsAuthor: Colleen Coble

Series: Rock Harbor

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A riveting story that will leave the hairs prickling on the back of your neck to the very last page.

Dana Newell has had a hard time in love. She is trying to escape her abusive fiancé by moving back to her childhood home of Rock Harbor to be a 911 dispatcher.  She is hoping the change will be a peaceful one.  However, the small town has secrets of its own and Dana may be in for more than she bargained for.  One of the first people she meets when she arrives is a man named Boone who has scars both visible and ones that can’t be seen.  While answering calls at her job, she hears the screams of her friend on the other end of the line saying she is about to be killed.  Dana does everything she can but they are too late to save her friend’s life.  The past and present soon collide and Dana realizes the peaceful future she wanted may not exist.

There was something about this story that resonated with me and had me glued to my seat till the very end. The suspense was top notch and it didn’t even have to do with the murders.  The way Coble portrayed Dana and the fear she had and felt jumped off the page and kept my pulse racing.  This is the kind of story I love to read.  There doesn’t have to be a lot of blood and guts to be suspenseful, it is subtle and that is the best.  I haven’t read any others in the series but I don’t feel that made a difference with my enjoyment in Beneath Copper Falls; those that have read all might beg to differ but new readers will still be able to enjoy.  This is also one of those books that hours after finishing, I am reflecting and have found more aspects that I enjoyed.  The writing was crisp and clear without anything that might take the readers out of the story.  The characters were well placed, I liked how Dana reacted to the scars that Boone had but didn’t let it deter her from letting her feelings for him surface and acting on them.  I recommend this to readers that enjoy an edge of their seat story that will make them check the locks on their doors at night and question their instincts.

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

Crisis Shot

Crisis Shot.jpgAuthor: Janice Cantore

Series: Line of Duty #1

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Janice Cantore is back in full force with one of her best novels yet. I’ve been waiting for her to write this book for a long time.

Tess O’Rourke’s dream of becoming the first female police chief in Long Beach, California comes to a screeching halt when an unfortunate shooting leaves a fourteen-year-old boy victim and Tess as the shooter. Tess is cleared of any wrongdoing but, that doesn’t stop the public, especially an obnoxious blogger from trying to crucify her in the court of public opinion.  Tess decides her best option is to move away and start new somewhere else.  She takes a job as police chief of a small town in Oregon. Even though it is a long way from Long Beach, the residents of Rogue Hollow have still heard of what happened and are hesitant to give Tess a chance to prove what she can do.  She is able to make a few close friends, but things take a turn for the worst when her best friend turns up missing and the woman’s cousin is found shot dead.  Tess must rely on the help of sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan who has been an asset since she moved to town and she quickly finds herself becoming attracted to him.  Together, they work together to solve the first murder the town has seen and worry about mixing business with pleasure.

Janice Cantore has been a favorite of mine for a long time, but after the last series I felt a little underwhelmed. It just wasn’t the great work I had come to expect from her.  With Crisis Shot, I am happy to say my faith in her work has been restored.  This was a great read.  The characters were just right in all aspects of the story.  Tess is a strong female lead that even though she is going through a tough situation, she handles it with dignity and is able to be logical and not let her emotions get the best of her.  Steve was brought in but his presence wasn’t overwhelming.  I really liked how the members of the force were very standoffish when Tess arrived, but after seeing how capable she was of handling the situations they were faced with, their attitudes changed quickly. With all the changes that Tess went through, she was still able to handle it well, I think it helped that she didn’t have family holding her in one place so she was able to go somewhere else and start a new life for herself.  The fact that Cantore is a former officer gives credibility and authenticity to the writing that is missing from many police procedurals.  I recommend this book to anyone who has read Cantore as well as to new readers looking for a great romantic suspense that won’t disappoint.

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