On Love’s Gentle Shore

Loves gentle shoreAuthor: Liz Johnson

Series: Prince Edward Island Dreams #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: July 4, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

You can never escape your past and sometimes you shouldn’t try!

Natalie O’Ryan left home years ago with plans never to return. So, imagine her surprise when her fiancée suggest that they hold their wedding in her hometown in PEI rather than in Nashville.  Natalie feels that he is trying to do it for her benefit, so she agrees, mainly because she doesn’t want to argue about it.  Soon after returning home, people can’t believe she is back.  None more so than her childhood best friend Justin Kane.  Natalie and Justin had a pact that they would always leave the island together.  The night they were to leave was right after Justin’s father died and he had to stay behind to help his mom with his siblings.  Both feel betrayed by the other, Justin because Natalie left and Natalie because Justin never came after her.  But when her fiancée has to go back to Nashville unexpectedly and leaves Justin to help Natalie finish planning out the wedding, will they be able to reconcile their differences?

Another story that could only happen at the Red Door Inn. Throughout the book, I had a really good idea of what the final outcome was going to be, but just not sure how it was going to get there.  Johnson included a few twists to keep the reader moving through the pages and caused a few surprises along the way.  The story centered on personal growth for both Natalie and Justin.  Both had to learn to find how to forgive and when they did, they were able to find grace along the way as well.  More than just a love story, this book really put people in difficult situations and had plenty of conflict.  I couldn’t help feel bad for Justin throughout much of the book.  And then when you learn the truth about Natalie, it really makes her back story that much more real.

If you have loved the series this far, you will not be disappointed. If you haven’t started, get to it!

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

Chasing Secrets

Chasing SecretsAuthor: Lynette Eason

Series: Elite Guardians #4

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: August 1, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The fourth installment in the Elite Guardians series brings the thrills and suspense to a whole new level.

Haley Callaghan has no idea she is part of a twenty-five-year-old cold case from Ireland. She knows there are parts of her past she can’t remember, but has never thought about it too much.  As a member of the Elite Guardians bodyguards, Haley has spent the past few years protecting others and now she finds herself the one in need of protection.  Detective Steven Rothwell is new in town but he has found an immediate connection to Haley when she finds her life threatened and takes it upon himself to keep her safe.  He has no intention to let Haley fight this battle on her own.

The Elite Guardians series is one that fans of Christian suspense have fallen in love with and for good reason. Lynette Eason has found a way to craft a group of characters that are relatable and enjoyable to read about.  Haley’s story is very different from the rest; her connection to Ireland and the mystery of her past makes the story an even more intense read.  There was no major push with the romantic aspect of the story, instead Eason let the suspense carry the story and the romance fell into place naturally.  Haley and her connection to the teen center is one of the aspects of the story that really brought the suspense to a new level for Eason.  We get to see the other members of the Elite Guardians as they work together to keep Haley safe and help her with her newest case that turns out to be more complicated with each passing day.  Together with her friends and new detective Steven Rothwell, Haley must do everything in her power to stay alive and save those she cares most about.  I recommend this book to fans of Lynette Eason and those that enjoy a highly intense suspenseful story.

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

The Writing Desk

The Writing DeskAuthor: Rachel Hauck

Publisher: Zondervan

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A romance that spans the ages, and continents, to bring people together even in the hardest of times.

After her first book became a runaway success, Tenley Roth feels the pressure to bring another hit. However, due to the pressure, she is unable to get any words on the page.  During this time, her estranged mother calls asking for Tenley to help her through chemotherapy in Florida.  Shortly after arriving, she ends up meeting a furniture designer that shows her what real romance is about.  Tenley finds an old desk at her mother’s house that she uses to try and kick-start her new book.  The desk has history to it that ties everything together between the families and past writing.

Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of old money who wants to be her own person and not have her parents make her every decision, especially about who she will marry. Birdie wants to write novels and get her stories out in the world, a difficult feat for an unknown woman in this time.  Her mother is working behind her to get her future set the way she believes it should be, which is not want Birdie wants.  Tied together through time and circumstances, Birdie and Tenley find that even though their circumstances are not what they want, they can make the best of it if they follow their hearts.

This is one of those books that at first I thought I was going to give up on, the back and forth between the timelines and characters was a little confusing and took me out of the story. However, by the end of the book, it worked together so well.  The decisions made by each character and how it brought about the actions and reactions of those around them was done incredibly well.  Rachel Hauck did a fantastic job bringing about the sympathy for Tenley and the hard times she went through with the decisions she made and the consequences she had to face.  The relationship between Jonas and Tenley was a nice slow build up instead of an instant attraction that exploded into a full-blown romance that took over the whole story.  Even though this is an inspirational novel, it never gets preachy in any way that would be a turn off to some.  One of the nicest aspects is this is a story of forgiveness and redemption and how it can soothe the soul.  This book will be great for those that love romance and a story of hope and moving on to make the best of a situation.

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

High as the Heavens

High as the heavensAuthor: Kate Breslin

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: June 6, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Fantastic historical fiction, mystery, and redemption all in one terrific story!

In 1917 German occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche is just trying help the Allies while working as a nurse for the Red Cross. She believed that she had lost many of her family members during the occupation, until she recently learns that her brother and sister were able to escape a work camp train and flee to France.  She also believed herself to be a widow of the war until a plane crashes near her hospital and she finds her husband was a survivor, but also an Allied spy.  Now she must figure out a way to save him without jeopardizing her position.  But being apart three years has changed both of them.  The more they learn about each other, the more secrets between them are uncovered.  Will they be able to be a family again if this war ever stops?

As usual, Kate Breslin does a great job weaving a story together set in war ravaged Europe. Not much focuses on the Great War itself, but on the internal war within Evelyn.  She has gone through so much in a short period of time that has really challenged her faith, as I have to believe it would have mine as well.  The treatment she received the first night of the occupation as well as losing most of her family members would easily tear up someone’s soul.  Simon’s had to rely on his faith to make it through multiple POW camps just to hope to see his wife again.  Setback after setback, he still managed to make it through and trust in God.  He was a very likable character that we all need to have a friend that resembles him.  If you are going through inner struggles today, I suggest you read Eve’s story.

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

A Name Unknown

A name unknownAuthor: Roseanna M. White

Series: Shadows over England #1

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: July 4, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Are a thief and an author really that much different?

Rosemary Gresham is one of the best thieves in England, even pulling off a museum heist. Now with England on the brink of war with Germany, everybody’s loyalty is being examined. Who better to find documents to exploit someone’s disloyalty than a thief?  That is exactly what Rosemary has been hired to do.  Peter Holtstein has the King’s ear and many believe that he is loyal to Germany given that his German parents left England so that Peter could be born in Germany to maintain citizenship.  But this may be the biggest challenge Rosemary has ever accepted.  Disguised as a librarian hired to help catalogue Peter’s massive library, Rosemary must try to find letters or record archives that prove his is sympathetic to Germany.  But she isn’t allowed in his study where he spends most everyday typing.  What could he be doing that involves typing all day?

This was a fun and well thought out story. I always enjoy literature during the Great War period as it typically provides a lot of conflict throughout the story, but this particular story had mostly inner conflict that occurred within Rosemary.  Her character development was fun to watch.  She grew from being a street rat thief to finally believing in God after seeing someone who chose to do good to help her.  The romance was brief but the growing feelings for each other were a welcome part of the story.  It didn’t center around that, it actually centered around the theme of God’s love and that is what made the story so worthwhile.  I’ll be very interested in the future installments of this series.

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

A Matter of Trust

A matter of trustAuthor: Susan May Warren

Series: Montana Rescue #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: July 4, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The third installment of the Montana Rescue Series proves to be the best by kicking up the action with a perfect romance!

Gage Watson thought his past was behind him, until a young snowboarder goes missing while trying to replicate one of Gage’s most complicated free rides. As a member of the PEAK rescue team, Gage goes out looking for him along with his sister Ella, who he was once romantically involved with before his life was turned upside down.  Together they race not only the dangers of the mountain, but also the danger of quickly falling for each other once again.

With each book in the Montana Rescue series, Susan May Warren has brought the characters to life and kept readers on the edge of their seats. A Matter of Trust brings all that and more.  Of the three books in the series, this has be my favorite.  Gage has a lot in his past he wants to let go of and it just isn’t going to happen for him.  That is so true for so many of us.  We may try to let go of the past but it always comes creeping back at us.  I loved the way Warren used Gage’s past to help him turn into the man he is today.  It goes to show that if we don’t let our mistakes, no matter how bad they may seem, ruin the rest of our lives we can do something great.  Ella has just as many demons that she can’t let go of and it almost brings her to the brink of destruction.  Fans of Warren’s work and the Montana Rescue series will be pleased to see many of the favorite characters back for smaller parts in this installment.  I didn’t expect to enjoy Gage and his story as much as I did but I am pleased to say it hooked me from the beginning and there was no turning back.  I recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense and those who have enjoyed Warren’s writing.

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

One Wrong Turn

one wrong turnAuthor: Deanna Lynn Sletten

Publisher: Lake Union

Release Date: June 20, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

All it takes is one wrong turn to change a life. One moment perfect, the next moment shattered.

When Clay gets a call that is wife Jess has been involved in a vehicular accident, he races from Los Angeles to the Victorian home in northern California that his wife has been converting to a bed and breakfast. Due to the impact of the accident, she is currently in a coma.  Things might go easier when he sees his daughters, Maddie and Jilly, except that he hasn’t talked to them in almost two years.  Clay has been recovering from alcoholism and after rehab for the third time planned to make it stick because he couldn’t lose his family, but in the end, he almost did anyway.  Maddie is twelve and is angry with him and scared.  Jilly is seven and doesn’t remember him enough to be angry.  Can the stress of this situation keep him from turning back to the bottle?  What if Jess never wakes up?  All because of one wrong turn.

Okay, so I was hooked after the first chapter. A few short hours later, I was done.  That’s just how good this book is and how well written it is.  Sletten knows how to garner an emotional response from me that makes me keep reading to find out what is going to happen.  Even when one of the main characters has a debilitating problem that is destroying his or her life, you just have to keep reading.  It’s painful to watch this because you can tell what is about to happen, but you just must keep going.  You can’t help it as a reader.  In this case, it happened twice.  The back story for Clay was necessary, but just so sad to keep continuing.  But Jess always had a ton of love for him.  But the most difficult to watch was Maddie’s transition in present day.  To realize that the story she had made up about her father wasn’t true and to finally she her walls crumble.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure how this was going to play out. I was prepared for a broken heart as a reader at the end, but still had hope for a miracle.  If you want to know what happened, you are just going to have to read it yourself!

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