Deadly Proof

deadly proofAuthor: Rachel Dylan

Series: Atlanta Justice #1

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

When a pharmaceutical company is at the middle of a major lawsuit, Kate Sullivan knows she has her work cut out for her in order to prove they are covering up the dangers of their new drug. Kate will have to do all she can to get justice for her client and keep herself from harm as the company comes after her.

When writing a legal thriller, it is the author’s job to find a fine balance between telling the legal aspects of the case without losing the reader in terminology many will have a hard time understanding while keeping the tension tight. Rachel Dylan has done a great job finding the balance between the tension of the case without going too deep into the legal aspect. I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters, especially that between Kate and Bonnie. The tension between the two of them helped the story immensely. There was a romance aspect to the story, but I was happy to see it wasn’t pushed as a main plot point. Of course Kate and Landon are going to find an attraction to each other with what they are going through, it’s inevitable.  Dylan did a nice job of keeping that thought in the background until just the right moment for the romance to develop further and be a natural flow of events. I felt that toward the ending the tension could have been played out a little longer and harder when Kate was in such a tough spot, but that is also personal preference.

It is nice to see a broader selection in the Christian market for readers. Most people may not realize you can get a great legal thriller with good Christian writing that isn’t preachy and still get a really great story. It is hard to know who to read and who might just be a waste of time. Of the almost 100 books I have read this year, I must say that Deadly Proof is not a waste of time and readers will find it an enjoyable work of fiction.  Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to readers that are looking for a tight, tension filled story that will keep them guessing until the very end who to trust.

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

All She Left Behind

All She Left BehindAuthor: Jane Kirkpatrick

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

As always, great historical fiction based on factual events!

Jennie Pickett’s life has taught her how to become a healer using natural herbs. She loves to help people with their ailments and longs to become a doctor.  But in the Oregon Frontier of the 1870s, professional life for a woman has not yet become a reality.  So, when she has the opportunity to take care of an elderly woman, she takes it.  But after her patient dies, Jennie discovers that she has developed a romantic interest in the widowed husband, who is several years older than her.  However, he may be able to open doors to where she could become a professional healer.

The prologue of this book had me hooked. I was ready to find out what happened immediately after reading that only to find that I had to fill in a few gaps first.  Kirkpatrick is a master of historical fiction based on actual events and it appears that she is a fan of the Oregon frontier as well.  Having read her previous novel The Road We Traveled, I knew some of what to expect on her research, which also makes me research.  For historical fiction lovers, pick up a copy of this one!

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

Pigeon Blood Red

Pigeon Blood RedAuthor: Ed Duncan

Publisher: Smashwords Editions

Release Date: February 25, 2016

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Different. Interesting.  Reminds me of Tarantino.

Rico and Jerry are enforcers for a crime boss in Chicago’s underworld. They take care of things, tie up loose ends, and when needed, make people disappear.  So when a debt ridden cheat steals the boss’s priceless red ruby necklace, they are tasked with getting it back.  But things are not always as they seem at face value.  He suddenly skips town to go to Hawaii to patch things up with his wife.  She is traveling with a friend and ready to pull the plug on her marriage.  And Rico?  He just wants to get the necklace back and teach the guy a lesson that he won’t need to remember.  But in Hawaii things go horribly wrong and the necklace disappears.  Can Rico find it?  Or will it be his skin on the line if he comes back empty handed?

So, this little story reminded me of Pulp Fiction in many different ways.  John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson open the story as Jerry and Rico.  Uma Thurman shows up as Jean.  And Ving Rames makes an appearance as Litvak.  So, the characters pretty much all fell into place.  However, there were some other stories that make this one a little more interesting.  Don’t think you know the story until you’ve read it, because it will surprise you.

There is some strong language throughout and some implied sex in several scenes, but nothing graphic. Even so, I still recommend this book for mature audiences.

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

Blind Spot

Blind SpotAuthor: Dani Pettrey

Series: Chesapeake Valor #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

When reading a Dani Pettrey book ,you know what you are going to get: a thrilling suspense story with a romance that is destined to take place. Blind Spot is spot in keeping with the formula that Pettrey’s fans have come to love.

When FBI Agent Declan Gray is caught up in a case that has him hunting terrorists, he isn’t sure what his next step should be. He knows something horrible is about to come. His investigation leads him to Tanner Shaw and the immigrant community she has been working with.  Tanner is now with the FBI as a crisis counselor and knows she is bound to butt heads with Declan.  Even though they fight and have trouble getting along, there is a spark between the two of them that can’t be denied.  They have to set their personal feelings aside and focus on the looming terrorist attack and try and save the thousands of lives that could be affected by what is to come.

While this is the third book I the Chesapeake Valor series, it can easily be read on its own. It might be helpful if you have read the first two before starting this one for some background on a few of the characters but isn’t fully necessary.  The relationship between Declan and Tanner develops quickly from them butting heads to seeing an obvious attraction.  I like the way they came together but felt at times a few things were forced, Declan tended to call her “Honey” far too often and far too soon in the relationship.   I have seen that in a lot of books recently. If a relationship is going to develop it needs to happen naturally and without terms of endearment when they aren’t warranted.  That is one of my only issues I had while reading.  The writing is tight with the tension at the right places and the story leaving the ending open just enough to leave the readers thirsting for more with the next book to come.  I recommend this book for readers that enjoy a good Christian romance with just the right amount of suspense sprinkled in throughout to keep the story flowing at nice pace.

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

Justice Buried

Justice Buried.jpgAuthor: Patricia Bradley

Series: Memphis Cold Case #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A fast-paced romantic suspense with a tough female lead and a mystery brought back from the grave makes for a combination that can’t be missed!

Kelsey Allen has decided to start her own security business. In an effort to prove herself, she has been scaling buildings and entering through windows to show local businesses the vulnerabilities they have and how she can improve their security.  When the Pink Palace Museum calls asking her to test their security after they have several important artifacts disappear, she poses as a conservator and sets to work.  Her investigation quickly turns from looking into the disappearances of artifacts to finding a murderer.  Kelsey suddenly finds herself in more danger and knows she needs help. Brad Hollister is a detective she has known for years and when he is put in her path Kelsey finds that she herself is vulnerable of falling for Brad, hard and fast.

With the second book in the Memphis cold case series, Patricia Bradley has crafted a tight fast paced story that will leave readers guessing as to who the killer is and what their possible motive could be. The relationships that developed were very natural and played out well.  Kelsey is shown to be fearless and on top of everything she faces, even when she finds herself in a bad spot without any foreseeable way out. The only issue I had was at the very ending, I don’t want to give away anything but the last few pages and the way the relationship between two characters progressed was not at all reasonable for me. I enjoy books with a strong female lead and Kelsey was a great one to add to my list of favorite female characters. The relationship between her and Brad was enjoyable to watch play out. I liked how there was another woman in his life and he had to decide what to do, which wasn’t made out to be an easy decision either. Other than the one problem at the very end the book, it was very enjoyable and I will recommend it to readers that enjoy a good clean suspense read with a mystery that is deep and not will keep them guessing until the very end.

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

The Day the Angels Fell

The Day the Angels FellAuthor: Shawn Smucker

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Unique, supernatural, and a twist on a tale we have all heard!

The summer that Sam was twelve years old changed him forever. His mother was killed in a terrible accident that left him without knowing how to grieve and a father who didn’t know how to either.  But then the strangers showed up.  First was Mr. Jinn, a neighbor who he had never seen, comes to his house to discuss what happened and if Sam would do anything to bring her back.  Then Mr. Tennin shows up asking Sam’s dad about work and suddenly is living with them.  Mr. Tennin tells a very interesting story about the tree of life that dates back to the Garden of Eden and the two cherubim who were put in place to guard the tree.  The tree of life has the power to bring someone back to life, but the power should not be used as death is a gift.  Sam becomes consumed with bringing his mother back no matter what it cost.

This book was definitely unlike anything I have ever read before. It centers around Sam and is inability to grieve for his mother’s death and how he feels responsible for it.  His father is no help to him and he begins to cut himself off from his only friend.  This book may be difficult for people who have lost someone close to them to understand that death is a gift to leaving this world and the pain that comes with it.  Those that are left still have the pain and it is hard to see through what it will become.

The story bounces between present day elderly Sam and twelve year old Sam. We see that he develops several habits based on the events of this summer; habits that aren’t good to keep.  Ultimately, the supernatural story within this book is what really keeps it moving.  Bringing the story of the Garden of Eden and intertwining it with present day is a fresh way to look at this aspect.  Be sure to grab a copy of this one!

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

The Return

The ReturnAuthor: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Series: Amish Beginnings #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Faith, struggle, and history set the tone for this series!

Several years have passed since Bairn and Anna were wed and they now have a fifteen year old daughter, Tessa. Tessa is smitten with Bairn’s adopted brother Hans, but he is taken by lovely Betsy Zook.  Things drastically change when colony that Betsy’s family lives in is massacred by the local Indians.  Betsy’s parents are murdered and she is taken captive to an Indian family who lost a daughter the same age as her.  As she struggles to adjust to her captive lifestyle, she meets a half blood Indian named Caleb who inspires her to look beyond her struggles and make the most of her life.  Meanwhile, Hans burns with revenge to destroy those who took Betsy, but must subside his anger due to his church’s passiveness.  He finds comfort in Tessa, who helps him through this tough time.  But what would happen if Betsy were returned to their colony?

There was plenty of conflict throughout this book sprinkled with historical characters. This is what has made this series so interesting.  Set in Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War, notable characters from history continue to make their appearance including Benjamin Franklin and John Elder.  It is like living through a history lesson through an Amish looking glass.  And to throw in the development of the Conestoga wagon made it even more fun to read.  The author did a great job on her research in both this book and the series.  If you are interested in this time period, this is a must read!

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