One Little Lie

One little lieAuthor: Colleen Coble

Series: Pelican Harbor #1

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: March 3, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

By far the best Colleen Coble book I have read yet! With engaging characters and a story line that will draw readers in from the very beginning, Pelican Harbor promises to be an amazing new series!

After her father’s sudden retirement as police chief of Pelican Harbor, Jane Hardy is appointed chief to follow in his footsteps. She has no time to adjust to the position before her father is arrested and accused of a recent murder. For the last fifteen years, it has just been Jane and her father after they escaped from a cult. Since that time, Jane has been searching for her mother and answers to her past, like what happened to the baby she had that her father said died the day they left? As she is appointed chief, Reid Bechtol arrives in town for a documentary he is doing about Jane becoming chief. Reid follows her around town as she tries to solve the crimes plaguing their town. His calm demeanor helps her in the most stressful situations she has faced in a long time. Coming for the documentary isn’t Reid’s only reason for arriving in Pelican Harbor; he has his own secrets and once everyone’s secrets collide none of them will ever be the same.

Colleen Coble is quickly climbing her way up the ladder as one of my favorite Romantic Suspense authors. One Little Lie is her best book yet! I loved Jane as the protagonist. She is a strong character from the very beginning when readers meet her as a young girl going through a trying time and continue to see her grow into a strong capable woman. She doesn’t try to ignore the hard things she went through, which still come back to haunt her, but she uses that to help deal with what she faces each day. I loved the mystery of what happened and how it was written. I do still have a lot of questions that weren’t answered and am hoping they will come in the next book. Reid was an interesting character to say the least. If readers pay close enough attention, they might be able to figure him out before it is revealed. I was not the biggest fan of Jane’s dad as he is gruff, tough, and not very paternal, but I really think that is how the author wants readers to feel towards him. If you have never read anything by Colleen Coble, this would be a perfect time to grab the first in this new series and get drawn in by a great author. I recommend this book to fans of Romantic Suspense that are looking for a story with little fluff and a whole lot of heart, drama and an overall great story.

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

The Happy Camper

The Happy CamperAuthor: Melody Carlson

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 4, 2020

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

This book is a real Christian Hallmark movie!

Dillon Michaels breaks up with her boyfriend of two years and quits her job leaving her feeling lost. On a whim, she loads up her car and moves home to Oregon to help her aging grandfather. On the way, she stops at a cute trailer park and rests for the first time in a long time. When she arrives home, she finds that her mother has moved in with her grandfather, leaving her nowhere to sleep but the old couch. Her living situation is starting to wear on her when her grandfather gives her an old trailer to fix up and live in. This is a dream come true for Dillon. She has independence, a trailer she loves, and is interested in the local hardware store owner. A wrench is thrown in her plans when her ex shows up to win her back. Dillon must fight for her new life and the new joy she has found.

This book was a light and easy read. Dillon felt like a real person. I felt at times the book got a little bogged down on some plot points, but I really enjoyed it and wasn’t ready for it to end. Carlson always finds a way to draw me into an easy read that I find enjoyable. It’s nice to throw in a story that is not always so tense and suspenseful to balance out the reading stack! A true feel good book!

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

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company

Supper clubAuthor: Carla Laureano

Series: Supper Club Novel #3

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: February 4, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Another terrific installment to the Saturday Night Supper Club series!

Bryan Shaw is one of the best rock climbers in the world. After a climbing incident in Colombia involving his past flame, Bryan loses his sponsor, turning him into an unemployed hobbyist. The night before he plans to return to the States, Bryan is approached by a man who is in need on an interpreter to help with a ministry that converts farms used to grow drug products into coffee beans. This chance encounter leads to Bryan purchasing the coffee farm to see if he can put that BA degree he has to good use.

Ana Sanchez is a high-profile public relations specialist in Denver. She makes her living cleaning up other people’s messes and she is one of the best. When a high maintenance client puts her in the position of trying to cover up the drug overdose of an underage girl, Ana makes a judgement call, which saves the girls life but lands Ana on a paid suspension. Now with loads of time on her hands, she is not sure what to focus her time on.

When Bryan returns to Denver to start up a roastery business, he visits and old group of friends who run the Bittersweet Café. Ana is there too and while the two are polar opposites, Bryan offers Ana a business proposition to help get the roastery off the ground. She accepts the challenge and the two begin to work closely together. While neither is looking for a relationship, they become closer. Could this match bring fulfillment to their lives?

This series is such fun to read. Each installment has become like a member of the family or at least of the supper club on family and friends night. Even though this is the third in the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. I loved the story between Bryan and Ana. They both had to overcome their demons, Bryan in the early stages of the book and Ana in the later part, but they were still able to do it. Ana’s story spoke volumes to me. She had been through so much and always took failure as a personal blame and built walls up around herself so that even her most personal friends could not get through. Once those walls finally came down, she was a different person. I feel as though she could easily be one of my closest friends.

I’m not a coffee drinker, but I learned a lot about the process. It was very interesting to see what all goes into making a cup of coffee. Laureano did a lot of research into this process and if you love cover art, there is a story behind it that you can read about. If you haven’t picked up a supper club novel yet, then you need to grab a copy of one today!

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

The Land Beneath Us

landAuthor: Sarah Sundin

Series: Sunrise at Normandy #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: February 4, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An ending that brings the series full circle and shows that three brothers can all be prodigal sons.

In 1943, Clay Paxton was betrayed by his two older brothers. After an unfortunate incident that led to all three brothers quarreling, his older brother Wyatt left out of town and took all of money Clay had saved to go to college for medical school. Later that same day, Clay found his other brother and girlfriend together in a more than friendly embrace. Now Clay has joined the Army and is working on becoming a Ranger at Camp Forrest, Tennessee. He has managed to put his past and his faults behind him as he focuses on becoming a Ranger. He knows that the battle ahead will be difficult, but he knows he will be a hero to those around him because he has dreams. In these dreams he dies in battle and he is looking forward to it.

Leah Jones has finally left the orphanage behind and is excited that her love for books has landed her a job as an assistant librarian at Camp Forrest. She hopes to be able to find the original orphanage she was left at with her two baby sisters and find a path to reunite with them. But one night outside the library she is brutally attacked but saved by her friend Private Paxton. When the results of the attack are life altering, Clay proposes a marriage of convenience, which will leave Leah with death benefits after he dies in battle. But the one thing that never of them expected was life without the other.

This was a fantastic conclusion to the Sunrise at Normandy series. Each book told the story of a wayward brother that ended up in a branch of the service at D-Day in Normandy. The final book wraps up all the chaos caused by a single event perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to see each brother grow in character in their respective book. Clay’s maybe the most difficult because he was wronged by both brothers. He was a genuinely nice guy, but he had a lot of personal growth to do and demons to overcome. It was interesting how each book related to the parable of the prodigal son. Both Wyatt and Adler were the brothers that left, but Clay was the brother that stayed and had to overcome the feelings he had developed against his older brothers.

Leah also had a lot of growth occur in this book. She started out as a naïve character, but quickly got hard knock lessons in a hurry. As a reader, you feel protective of her, especially after the ordeal that she goes through. The women in each book are just as unique as the brothers and it is fun to see how that complement each other. I also enjoyed getting to have some dialogue with the Paxton parents and see the family dynamic that occurred.

I love historical fiction during this era and Sundin makes the books very enjoyable. The romance isn’t forced and encouraged to play out. As a reader, I wanted to see these two get together and had a fretful moment at the end when I thought it might fall apart because of false pretenses.

One of the scenes in this book includes a rape. While not graphic, it may make some readers uncomfortable or cause distress for any reader that has been in this situation.

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

Interested in the first two books of this series?  Check out the reviews for The Sky Above Us and The Sea Before Us.

If For Any Reason


If for any reasonAuthor: Courtney Walsh

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: February 3, 2020

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A story about second chances, forgiveness and how loving someone can lead you on a grand adventure!

Emily Ackerman has grown up as a child star. But when fame slips away and she loses her grandfather, Emily returns to Nantucket, a place she spent time as a child. She hasn’t been back since her mother was killed in a car accident. Everywhere she goes, she carries a book of letters with her from her mother. It is as if her mother is right beside her with advice she needs at the hard moments in her life. She has never known her father and never spends long enough in one place to make lasting relationships. As she arrives back in Nantucket, Hollis McGuire is one of the first faces she sees. They knew each other before she left the island and even though she has no intention of staying, it is nice to have a familiar face. Hollis had a career as a baseball player, which ended in injury. He has returned to the island to get to know the daughter he has never had time for. Emily starts to learn secrets about her mother’s death and falls for Hollis, making her plans to keep her time on the island short harder and harder. Emily must decide if her mother’s advice to guard her heart is worth it or if she should take a chance on Hollis.

Emily is a character that has trouble dealing with her past and the failure she has recently experienced. I loved the way she was written with a controlling grandmother but still finds the strength to stand up for what she believes in and find out the truth. Love is hard and can be painful at times, but Walsh has written characters that learn that heartache and difficult times can help them grow into who they are meant to be. Emily and Hollis’s relationship has a great start, but I do think the ending was a little rushed for them. The other members of the family make the relationships come alive, especially Hollis’s daughter. The interactions between her and Emily were some of the most authentic in the whole story. Emily was going through a hard time and I felt for her, more than some of the other characters. She didn’t whine about what she was going through, instead she kept trying to find her spot in life and without realizing it found her instead. If you are looking for a good contemporary love story, I would recommend this one.

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

A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

OutbackAuthor: Jessica Kate

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: January 28, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

This is the novel I have been waiting for from Jessica Kate! Her fun sassy attitude comes through on every page. The way she takes readers across the world to Australia makes me want to pack my bags and head to the outback!

After his business failed and his father died, Samuel Payton decided it was time to leave Australia and try his hand at something new. He makes his way to Virginia and sets out to help others by becoming a youth pastor. He works with Kimberly Foster, a start-up expert that is working through her own personal issue of rejection from her mother who never really wanted her. Sam and Kimberly don’t always get along as their personalities clash, but they can’t help the attraction they feel towards each other. When Sam gets news from home that his family needs help, he decides that even though he loves being a youth pastor the recent troubles they have had and the conflict with Kimberly needs to take a back seat to helping his family. As Sam leaves, Kimberly finds herself in a bind to find his replacement and board members start to lose confidence in her. Kimberley’s at a loss and knows it is hopeless to try and convince Sam to come back, when he calls her for help with their family business troubles. They make a deal that if she comes to help then maybe Sam will reconsider returning to the states with her. The longer Kimberly is in Australia, the more Sam realizes he made a mistake leaving the job he loved and the woman he thought he could never get along with becomes someone he can’t see not being in his life.

With fun, sassy characters and a setting that will transport you to the great outback, readers will enjoy this new book by Jessica Kate. Her first novel was good, but I knew she could do better. I was waiting for this one right here. She is from Australia and brought a totally new feel to this contemporary romance. The Aussie slang along with the setting was a perfect blend to keep me engaged and entertained. Kim had never been to Australia and her main knowledge with the country was based on her interactions with Sam, which transplanted me as the reader to her character. I have always wanted to go to Australia and see the land, so as Kimberly made her way there and spent time with Sam and his family I felt as if I was traveling with her. And when Sam’s sister went to the Gold Coast I felt as if I was sitting on the beach watching the sun set with her. These little moments brought the book alive for me while making it all feel authentic. This story hit so much deeper for me than a lot of the contemporary romance I read. If Jessica Kate can keep this up as she continues to write, she has a bright future ahead of her. This is a light and fun read, not suspenseful, but still a quick read. I recommend this to readers that enjoy a romance with a little bit of sass at just the right places.

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

The Way of the Brave

Way of the braveAuthor: Susan May Warren

Series: Global Search & Rescue #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Wow! Wow! Wow! Susan May Warren has started her new series off with a bang. The Way of the Brave will take readers on a chilling ride with so much action, adventure and just the right amount of romance sprinkled in they will be aching for more.

Orion Starr is trying to put his past as a pararescue jumper and the last rescue that went wrong behind him. He is finally recovered from his injuries and living alone in Alaska. He still has nightmares about his time in Afghanistan and when his buddy Hamilton Jones ask him to join his rescue team, he wants to tell him no, but deep down he still wants to help others. When a group of climbers gets lost on Denali, Orion can’t not help, especially when he finds out that someone from his past that he thought he would never see again is with the group.

Jenny Calhoun is a former CIA profiler and psychiatrist who has been climbing mountains every year trying to get away from the guilt she feels for a top-secret mission going horribly wrong. With two of her friends on this climb, she hopes they can prove they are stronger than they think and become closer to one another. The last thing she expects to see when she gets to Denali is the man she was falling in love with when her world fell apart. When the climb goes horribly wrong and they are trapped on the side of the mountain, Jenny prays that Orion will keep his promise from Afghanistan and find her no matter what.

I have been a fan of Susan May Warren for a long time. This book is very different from any previous books of hers I have read, but in a very good way. The action and suspense here aren’t focused on a villain chasing someone, instead readers see the characters trying to survive the dangerous mountain and elements they are in. In this story, the main characters are Orion and Jenny with many supporting characters on each side that will shine in the upcoming sequels. Orion and Jenny both have a difficult past and are using their time climbing to work through their issues. I am not a climber and much of the book is about the actual climbing experience. Some of the terms and technical aspects were unfamiliar to me but written in a way that made it easy for me to follow along with the story even though I haven’t been on a climb or had these experiences myself. The research that went into this made the story flow brilliantly and kept me engaged with what the characters were going through. It is hard to write a suspenseful story with no real bad guy to move the action along, but Warren has done just that with The Way of the Brave. That said, there is a minor villain involved and I am curious to see how that will be played out in the next installment of the series. This is a wonderful start to a new series and I for one can’t wait to see what adventures lie ahead for us. If you are a fan of Romantic Suspense you will not want to miss this one. And if you have never read anything by Susan May Warren this is the perfect one to start with.

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

An Uncommon Woman

an uncommon womanAuthor: Laura Franz

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Franz shows why she is one of the elite authors of historical fiction during the prerevolutionary war time period!

Tessa Swan grew up the only daughter of a Scotsman in western Virginia during the 18th century. To say that she is an uncommon woman is an understatement. Living in the wild frontier borderland and having to fight off the local native American tribes has made her a bit rough around the edges and she’s not sorry for it, especially after her Pa was felled by a tomahawk. She’s seen friends be taken by the tribes and had to wonder what happened to them. When she meets the new Fort Commander, Clay Tygart, she can’t deny that there is something unspoken that passes between them. But as Clay tries to focus on his leadership duties, will she manage to distract him long enough for more than a passing glance?

Clay Tygart grew up wild after he was taken as a child by the Lenape tribe. After he was rescued, he made it his mission to keep other people safe from the same occurrence. He fought in the French and Indian War and become a hero, which resulted in a frontier fort bearing his surname. Once he arrives at Fort Tygart, he meets the Swan clan. The lone daughter named Tessa quickly garners his attention, but he knows that he must focus on being the commander now and not on a romance, which he has always easily avoided. When Tessa gets taken by the same Lenape tribe that kidnapped him as a child, he realizes that his heart has been taken captive as well. Clay knows he must get her back.

Laura Franz does a terrific job taking readers directly to the time period she is writing about. This has always impressed me about her books and An Uncommon Woman is no exception. I felt as though I was transported to the western frontier of Virginia in the opening scene while journeying down the river and spying the two native American tribes on the bank. The language she uses easily sets the scene and the use of dialect made me feel I was hearing the characters talk. She reminds me of reading James Fennimore Cooper but does it in the present. If you enjoy historical romance stories set in this time period, this is a must read to add to your shelf.

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

End Game

End gameAuthor: Rachel Dylan

Series: Capital Intrigue #1

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

With danger around every corner, every clue brings more trouble! End Game is a non-stop suspense ride that readers will have trouble putting down to do anything else!

FBI Special Agent Bailey Ryan finds herself partnered with NCIS Special Agent Marco Agostini when several members of elite military members are murdered on the streets of Washington DC. Even though their evidence leads them to a Navy SEAL sniper, Bailey has doubts he is the one behind the murders. Each new clue that brings them closer to the truth also brings them closer to danger. Bailey has several attempts made on her life as she gets closer to uncovering the truth and Marco realizes his feelings for her go far beyond that of a fellow agent. Whoever is behind this is willing to kill anyone that gets in their way and Bailey and Marco must do whatever they can to stop them before anyone else gets hurt.

End Game is the first in the new Capital Intrigue series by Rachel Dylan and she has started this new series off with a bang. I loved the main characters. Actually, I loved all of the characters. Bailey and Marco have a great chemistry from the start. They are from different agencies and are a little hesitant of each other at the beginning but quickly learn that in order to solve the case they are going to have to trust each other. The way that Bailey became a target as Marco’s feelings intensified made my connection with both characters that much more involved and kept me with a vested interest in what was going to happen next. The only downfall for me was the fact that the romance aspect outweighed the suspense at times. Being in an intense situation can make feelings run high but some of the dialogue seemed a little out of place at times. Fans of romantic suspense will surely want to add this to their list. If you have never read anything by Rachel Dylan this is the perfect time to get started with this intriguing new series.

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

Collateral Damage

collateral damageAuthor: Lynette Eason

Series: Danger Never Sleeps #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 7, 2020

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Lynette Eason keeps getting better with each new novel and fans of her work will absolutely love the start to this new series.

Brooke Adams thought she left the danger behind after being honorably discharged from the army as a military psychiatrist. She still has nightmares about the explosion that nearly killed her while trying to move on with her life at home. When a stranger from her past shows up in her life, things get complicated and she finds her life in danger once again. Sergeant First Class Asher James may be out of the army, but he is far from danger. When he closes his eyes, the terror he faced comes back full force. After a bad family encounter, he decides it is time to see someone for help. When he sees a picture of Brooke in the paper from their time together overseas and learns she is now counseling close by, he makes an appointment hoping she will be able to understand and help him. He arrives at her office hoping to see her and finds a dead body instead. Brooke walks in moments later and is as shocked to see him as she is the dead body on her floor. It doesn’t take long for either of them to realize Brooke was the real target and now they are both in danger. Asher promises to protect her and get to the bottom of who is after her and what they want.

With each new book, Lynette Eason is developing stories that are fresh, feel real and will leave readers wanting more. I am falling more and more in love with her writing as she releases each new book. Brooke and Asher were a great lead couple in this series; I loved the way their relationship started and the fact that none of the romance in this novel felt forced. Sometimes in a romantic suspense novel, the romance can feel forced and take away from the storyline for me. Here readers get to see it all flow as it naturally should. I have to say there were a few moments I was caught by surprise with a few of the characters and their actions, a job well done. Even though part of the story takes part overseas with the fighting it was never difficult to follow who was where and keep up with the different story lines. This book has a good number of characters and I can’t wait to see how they continue to develop with the next in the series. My only complaint would be the ending fizzled just a little bit when I was hoping the tension would be ticked up an extra notch or two. Still, it was an overall wonderful read and I highly recommend it to fans of Romantic Suspense and especially fans of Lynette Eason’s writing.

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