Airborne

airborneAuthor: DiAnn Mills

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: April 28, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A timely novel about a virus outbreak on a plane that threatens the lives of all aboard and puts the country on the edge of a terrorism outbreak. DiAnn Mills has outdone herself in her latest novel that readers will not want to miss!

FBI Agent Heather Lawrence has needed a vacation for a long time and when her marriage falls apart, she decides to take the vacation they never did. Only a few hours into her flight, she is awakened by a scream for help. Passengers begin showing signs of an unknown infection that spreads quickly and proves to be deadly. By the time the flight lands in New York, the passengers are quarantined at either a hospital for the sick or a secure facility for the ones showing no symptoms. Even though Heather and her husband are separated, she hasn’t wanted to tell him she is pregnant after he left her and said he never wanted to be a father since it would interfere with his medical aspirations. Dr. Chad Lawrence has tried his hardest to put everything he has into finding cures for horrific illnesses and now finds himself the prime suspect in this attack. Heather must decide if Chad is capable of something like this or if the man she married could really have changed so much and put her life in danger along with so many others. Time is not on her side as she searches to find the killer before anyone else falls ill.

DiAnn Mills has outdone herself. Airborne is by far the best book Mills has written and one of the very best I have read all year. It has been an incredibly long time since I have been sucked into the pages of a book unable to put it down until the final pages were finished. The first third of the book flew by as fast as if I were on the plane myself flying across the country. The middle took a little longer but only because I was concentrating so hard to figure out who the villain was. The research for this book shows on every page and the best part about it all is the fact that it isn’t boring. Detailed subject matter such as this it can get to be over the head of many readers with the small points that would turn it into a science class causing readers eyes would glaze over. Not here! DiAnn Mills kept me glued to the story with a vested interest in each of the characters, even the ones that didn’t have a lot of time in the story. I haven’t been so enthralled in a story in a very long time and love the way this one played out. I hate to even classify this one as romantic suspense because the romance played such a small part; this doesn’t need a classification in a genre, it is just a GOOD book to read and enjoy. Good luck to all other authors beating this one for my best of the year. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great read that will keep them on the edge of their seat and satisfied as the last page turns.

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

Starfish Pier

starfishAuthor: Irene Hannon

Series: Hope Harbor #6

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 31, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Another wonderfully written Hope Harbor edition with our favorite characters and more you can’t help but fall in love with!

After moving to Hope Harbor a year ago to reconnect with his brother, Steven Roark left his past as a Delta Force operator and is working as a charter fishing boat captain. During this year, his relationship with his brother hasn’t improved but he has hope that will change. Parts of his past still haunt him and the more he tries to put it behind him the more he finds himself coming face to face with his demons, especially when he runs into first-grade teacher Holly Miller. Holly is trying to help with a fundraiser for the town and asks Steven to donate a fishing expedition. It doesn’t take long for the two of them to feel the sparks for each other and no matter how much they try to deny it, the feelings are real. A problem arises when their pasts come to light and Holly doesn’t know if she can accept some of the decisions Steven has made and let her feelings for him progress.

Hope Harbor is one of the best contemporary Romance series I have read, evident in the fact there are six books in the series so far and each one seems to be better than the previous. I think my favorite thing about the series is Charley and his taco truck. I can’t see any reader not liking Charley. Each new book in the series brings a new set of main characters but also has some of our favorites as secondary characters. Holly and Steven have an interesting dynamic; at first glance you wouldn’t think they would be a good fit, but the longer the story goes it is hard to not see them ending up together. Steven starts out incredibly rough but as the story progresses, we get to see a lighter side to him. He has made mistakes, but he owns up to them and shows that a person can change if they have the right motivation and rely on a higher power for help. Holly has a rough past as well, with her medical issues and trying to convince everyone that she can take care of herself, she has her plate full and isn’t sure how much more she can take from others. It’s a back and forth dialogue between the two and I found the way their relationship was written very satisfying. Even though this is the sixth in the series it could be read by as a standalone. The reader might miss a few things from the previous books that would cause a smile. That being said, I do recommend reading the whole series to get the most enjoyment out of it.

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

Flight Risk

flight riskAuthor: Cara Putman

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: April 7, 2020

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

With sharp characters and a story within the story, Flight Risk is a perfect blend of excitement, adventure, romance and suspense.

Savannah Daniels has had her share of troubles in the past. Her ex-husband left her after going off to war and when he came back, he had a baby with her sister who struggles with substance abuse. Being there for her niece is one of the most important things in her life right now, along with building her law practice. Finding love is one of the last things on her mind, especially after her ex-husband is in an accident and winds up dead.

Jett Glover is a reporter who has been working all his life to get over finding his father dead of suicide by reporting the truth. When he comes across the story of his career, he can’t pass it up and spends months doing research to make sure he comes to the right conclusion. His story is an expose that features a celebrity baseball player and a group of men involved in sex-trafficking; one of the men happens to be Savannah Daniel’s ex-husband. When Jett releases his story, it leads to a chain reaction of events, an airline crashes, the men connected to the sex-trafficking start to mysteriously die, and Savannah’s new clients are implicated in the crash. Together Jett and Savannah work to figure out what is fact and what is fiction with his story and all they have been told before one or both of them wind up dead.

Cara Putman is fantastic at writing romantic suspense. Her main characters as lawyers are totally relatable and easy to cheer for. I particularly enjoyed Savannah and her relationship with her family, it was messy but so real. Even though she doesn’t want reminders of her failed marriage, she also wants nothing more than to be there for her niece who is a shining jewel to her in the chaos of her life. She realizes her sister isn’t the greatest mother, and no matter how much she has tried to help, Savannah realizes she can’t make her sister change if she doesn’t want to. The only thing she can do is be there for her niece and make sure she feels loved. Jett could have been a difficult character to relate to but Putman writes him in a way that even when it is shown that he made a mistake, he tries so hard to make it right you can’t help but cheer him on in the process. Almost every aspect of the story is well thought out and written perfectly except for a few scenes that had me scratching my head by the end of the book as to why they were necessary. I don’t want to say too much about them and give anything away. If you take those out of the equation there is nothing at all for me to complain about. I would recommend this to fans of legal thrillers with a hint of romance, fans of Putman’s previous work will thoroughly enjoy Flight Risk.

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

Silent Shadows

silent shadowsAuthor: Natalie Walters

Series: Harbored Secrets #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 31, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A story with a lot of heart, suspense and relationships that demands the reader’s attention and love. Such a great combination!

Pecca Gallegos moved to Walton, Georgia to start a new life with her son and try to escape his father and his gang. She has worked hard to become a nurse at a Home for Heroes and loves her work and the community she has found in the small town. Her newest patient, Captain Colton Crawford, comes with a disorder that hasn’t been diagnosed yet and is making it hard for him to function and find a purpose for his life. At first, they clash but it doesn’t take long for Colton to find a connection with Pecca’s son who had to have a leg amputated when he was a baby and just wants to be able to play sports like the other kids his age. The more time he spends with the two of them, the more Colton’s heart aches to be able to find love and have a family. But the life Pecca left behind comes back and puts their lives in danger. Colton wants to protect them but is afraid he won’t be able to with his disability. With each passing day, the danger becomes greater and their feelings for each other grow stronger. Will he be able to help them or put them in more danger?

The heart of this story is Pecca and her relationship with her son; that is what drew me in and kept me going. There are so many more great aspects that will keep the reader turning the page as well. Pecca’s number one goal is to keep her boy safe, and that has been hard with the hand she has been dealt since before he was born. I love the fact that even though she has been through a lot of hardships, she never once tries to throw herself a pity party; instead she focuses her energy on helping others which helps lift her own spirits as well. Colton on the other hand has no faith that his life can turn around and almost gives up trying. It will be easy for readers to find someone in this book to relate to, whether it be Pecca, Colton or even one of the other minor characters throughout. I will say I didn’t see the twist coming towards the end and loved how that played out. This is the third book in the series and readers will enjoy the addition to the series or even as a stand-alone. The romance plays out as well as the suspense in this book and that is a hard dynamic to pull off, but Walters was able to do that here. I would call this her best book yet. I recommend this to readers that enjoy a good, clean romantic suspense read with lots of heart.

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

Beach Haven

beach havenAuthor: T.I. Lowe

Series; The Carolina Coast #1

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: April 7, 2020

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A great quarantine read for all of us staying home who need a world to escape to right now!

Opal Gilbert has always been a free spirit and loves her life in Sunset Cove running her store selling vintage furniture. As her store grows, she needs help with deliveries and hires Lincoln Cole, an ex-marine who is new to town trying to recover from wounds both physical and emotional. At first, he doesn’t want the job, but it doesn’t take long for him to come around after a hurricane strikes causing damage to Opal’s shop. Lincoln decides to help her restore the shop and the furniture. As he is trying to help restore the shop, Opal is trying to help restore Lincoln and all that he is dealing with. Even though Lincoln doesn’t want to admit it, his wounds are healing the more time he spends around Opal. He knows that if he wants to pursue any kind of future with her, he will have to step out in faith and repair some of the damage on his own.

With extra time on our hands, I decided to pick this one up and was pleased with the fun, entertaining read it was. I finished this in two days, could have been one if I had pushed it. Beach Haven is a fun start to a new series that I foresee being an enjoyment for readers that love a book they can pick up and escape into for a few hours. There is nothing in this book that is too heavy or extra that would take readers extra time to push through. Opal and Lincoln have a relationship that can be hard to understand at first, but the more time they spend together the more the reader will want to see them grow closer. I particularly enjoyed the way Lowe brought things to a conclusion; I don’t want to give anything away but the last several chapters were my favorites. Lincoln is a hard man to get along with and doesn’t want to allow anyone to get close to him. Once you learn a little of his back story, it is easy to see why he feels the way he does. This was a fun easy read for me and I am sure many will enjoy as well. I recommend this to readers that enjoy a clean, contemporary romance that will pass the time and put a smile on your face.

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

The Traitor’s Pawn

traitors pawnAuthor: Lisa Harris

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 31, 2020

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A quick intense thriller with plenty of romance and characters for readers to swoon over!

Detective Aubrey Grayson is trying to relax after a stressful time at work when she finds herself in even more stress and danger. She is staying with a retired senator who has always been more like a father to her than her own family when he is shot, and she is kidnapped. It doesn’t take long for the FBI to get involved leading her to reunite with her former best friend and the man she never told she loved. As Jack Shannon is called in to help find Aubrey, he feels all his old feelings resurface and can’t let anything happen to her. Once she is found safe, they realize this is all tied to her father, who she hasn’t seen in years. He has been suspected of selling government secrets to foreign countries. Aubrey doesn’t want to believe the worst of her father, even though they haven’t been close in years, but the more they search the worse the situation becomes for all of them. As the investigation gets more involved, Aubrey and Jack can’t deny the feelings they have for each other.

This book started out with a bang and kept up until the very end. I loved the way Lisa Harris introduced these characters and immediately put Aubrey in a tight spot, which gave me a solid reason to be invested in her as a character for the rest of the book. Jack and the way he cared for her after all these years made me want to cheer for them to find a way to be together. This was probably the best book I have read by Lisa Harris! She developed a connection that was able to make me bond with the characters from the very beginning and continue to care what happened to the all the way through. There is a theme of forgiveness and redemption throughout that was written in a way that the reader can relate to without feeling like they are being preached to. We all have people in our lives that we need to forgive for one reason or another, maybe it isn’t as big as what Aubrey is going through, but if we think about it we can find someone that has wronged us at one time or another and we need to think about forgiving, for ourselves not just for them. That can be a hard concept to get across to readers, but it is nice when an author such as Harris can write it in this way. I recommend this book to fans of Harris’ writing and that enjoy romantic suspense, especially when there is more suspense than romance. If you have never read anything by Lisa Harris this would be a perfect one to get you hooked on her as a new author.

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

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.