Knox

KnoxAuthor: Susan May Warren

Series: Montana Marshall

Publisher: Stonewater Books

Release Date: March 12, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Fans of Susan May Warren will not want to miss the beginning of the Montana Marshall series. This is by far the best I have read by her and am aching for the next installment!

After his father died, Knox Marshall knew he must settle down and run the family ranch. His dreams of becoming a professional bull rider put on hold so he can raise champion bulls for the National Professional Bull rider’s Expo. He has a good life on the ranch but starts to wonder if the best has already happened for him until he meets Kelsey Jones. Kelsey has a hard past, her parents were murdered, and she was beaten and left for dead when she was fourteen. Now she puts her past trials into her life as a country singer. No matter how far she goes though she can’t outrun her past to find the safe and secure future for which she longs. When she meets Knox Marshall, everything she has ever known is thrown out the window. With an exploding relationship and more danger around them than either could anticipate, this might be a recipe for disaster or the perfect romance in the making.

Susan May Warren is one of the very best romantic suspense writers on the market. Her Montana Rescue series is still one of my very favorite and as hard as it is for me to say this, I think Knox and the Montana Marshall series might just be even better. I absolutely loved the way she tied in characters from the Montana Rescue series flawlessly into this storyline. I can just see more of those characters popping up in future books in this new series. Tying the two series together in that way could be risky but now with Warren at the helm, she weaved storylines together that other writers wouldn’t dream of being able to make flow. It will be easy for readers to fall for Knox, as well as the other Marshall men, within the first few pages of reading. Knox is everything a cowboy heartthrob should be, and I loved reading about him. The chemistry between him and Kelsey was steaming off the page. Regardless of how much Kelsey wanted to steer clear of any romance, there was no getting past what her heart wanted. Her story line is one of my favorites. I was drawn in by her history and what she went through and how it affected her in the present that everything else flowed and kept me intrigued. I don’t want to spoil the story, but readers will be walking away from this wanting to throw the book at the wall (in a good way) and pacing the hall until they can get their hands on the next in the series. All I can say is if the rest in the series are half as good as the first, readers will have a new favorite author without a doubt. I recommend this book to fans of Susan May Warren and those that may not have read anything by her but love western romantic suspense.

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

Border Son

Border sonAuthor: Samuel Parker

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 5, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The story of the Prodigal Son continues in a turn that will leave readers’ emotions spinning after the very last page. 

When Edward Kazmierski receives a phone call saying his son needs him in Mexico, he isn’t sure he wants to go. It has been years since he has even thought about Tyler. They haven’t had the best relationship and Tyler hasn’t been one to reach out to his father either. After the initial phone call, he receives another from a federal agent wanting information on Tyler and two men show up at his house wanting to know if he knows where his son is.  All this leads Ed to head south of the border where his son has started a chain reaction with one decision that causes a ripple effect of pain and destruction for everyone involved. Even though Ed is going to rescue his son, he is first going to have to prove to Tyler that he still loves him and wants to help him out of the mess he has found himself in and try and get them both out alive.

Samuel Parker has a unique way of taking a story we are all familiar with, such as the Prodigal Son, and reforming it as a suspenseful page turner. The story is one of redemption and self-sacrifice. Ed must be willing to sacrifice everything to try and save his son who needs the redemption himself to try and turn his life around. The dynamic between father and son played out well; even though Tyler knows he needs his father’s help he is hesitant to accept it after feeling abandoned for so many years. Now that they are stuck together and have to rely on each other to find a way out to safety they find that even though they haven’t been close in years, there is still a connection that can never be broken. With short chapters that go back and forth on viewpoints, the story reads quickly and clearly, more so than if it had been from one solitary point of view.  I am really enjoying books that go in this multiple point of view format because it gives so much more of the story and keeps the pages turning much quicker. There is a true feeling of fatherly love throughout the story with not only Ed trying to help his son but also Roberto feeling the need to help this young man who had once helped him. Each character brought their own sense of need to the story in how they interacted and helped the other for their own reasons. Fans of Parker’s other novels will be sure to enjoy Border Son. And if you haven’t read anything by Samuel parker I highly recommend picking up a copy today!

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

Breach of Trust

Breach of trust

Author: Rachel Dylan

Series: Atlanta Justice #3

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Book three of the Atlanta Justice series brings the most powerful and emotional story to date.  Fans of the series will not want to miss this one!

 When Mia Shaw finds her friend and co-worker brutally murdered. everything she has known about the law goes out the window. She wants justice for her friend and vows to do anything in her power to put the murderer behind bars. Working as a lawyer, she knows how the system should work and hopes she can use that to her advantage to help the investigation. The man they arrest says he is innocent and hopes his friend, Noah Ramirez, a security tech expert can help prove it. Mia has to take over at work for the case her friend had been working on and soon learns there might be more to his death than everyone originally thought. Secrets come to light that have her wondering if she stumbled upon corporate espionage and much worse. She turns to Noah for help and even though they have a different opinion on the case. she is still able to trust his judgment and feels safer with him working beside her. Together they must solve the murder case and try to stay alive in the process.

 I have loved the Atlanta Justice series and am very happy to say that the finale does not disappoint. I think Mia might just be my favorite of the characters. Her emotion in this story made everything so much more real. Mia is the kind of character that feels deeply for those she cares about and brings that quality into everything she does using it to help her solve the most dangerous of cases. Noah was more of a grounded character that helped Mia navigate through the mess she finds herself in. The relationship between these characters was written well and I found myself rooting for them. I really love the way Dylan brings in her real-life law experience to make the story points realistic and play out as they should. Fans of romantic suspense will love this finale in the series. I especially loved the twist at the end. I can usually see those kinds of things coming but didn’t see this one and loved the way it worked out. I recommend this to fans of the series but also readers who haven’t had a chance to read any of Dylan’s work yet, this would be a great one to start with. Even though it is the third in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone without missing anything.

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

Killer Thriller

Killer thriller

Author: Lee Goldberg

Series: Ian Ludlow #2

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: February 12, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

When an author’s own work comes to life making him the star of his own story, things take an interesting and thrilling turn. Killer Thriller is not to be missed.

 Ian Ludlow has become an international bestseller with his latest thriller. Everyone loves his stories, but what everyone might not know is his fiction has a way of becoming reality. Ian finds himself in Hong Kong with his assistant Margo French to promote his book being made into a movie and uses the time to research his newest story idea. While he is there, he uncovers a conspiracy by Chinese intelligence connected to those in power in the United States and puts himself in the crosshairs when the Chinese learn what he is researching. Without meaning to, he has stumbled upon this plot and must find a way to keep the whole thing from blowing up in his face. Now Ian finds himself trapped in his own thriller, on the run from assassins and trying to prevent an epic disaster using his imagination to solve the craziest of problems even he couldn’t write.

 This was my first Lee Goldberg novel to read and I must say I am disappointed I didn’t find this series sooner as I loved it very much. Even though this was the second in the series, I enjoyed it greatly as a standalone. The characters were fun, witty, and flawed enough to make them believable in everything they did. Ian and Margo, the main characters, are a perfect pair. She is sarcastic, and he has a dry sense of humor but is able to inject humor into his writing that bleeds off the page and into his own life. There is action, adventure, suspense, romance (kind of) and enough humor to keep it lighthearted at just the right moments.

 There is a fair bit of language and adult content in the book making it unsuitable for a younger audience. With that said, it is exactly right for its intended older audience. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this book, but it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite authors, Robert Dugoni and his writing style: sharp, tight and full of adventure. I highly recommend this for those that love adventure and a very well written thriller.

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

Secrets at Cedar Cabin

Secrets

Author: Colleen Coble

Series: Lavender Tides #3

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The third installment of the Lavender Tides series brings the whole family together with the most excitement and best storyline yet!

 Bailey Fleming is at a loss after her mother is murdered and she finds out the man she married has been lying to her from the beginning. When her mother’s murderers come after her, Bailey flees to a remote cabin in Lavender Tides. Once she arrives, she finds out more of her life has been a lie than she knew. The cabin she is staying at has been used for human trafficking, which brings FBI agent Lance Phoenix into her life. Lance has been working the case to try and rescue his sister, Ava, who was snatched after running away from home. When his path crosses with Bailey, he wonders if her story is really as true as she says and if she can somehow bring him in touch with his sister.

 I am sad to see this series come to an end. I have really come to enjoy these characters and the circumstances that brought them all together. In this installment, we finally get to meet Bailey and see what has happened in her life. The events that brought her to end up back In Lavender Tides are very interesting and really bring the series full circle. With her bad marriage at the beginning, it is hard to believe she will fall for anyone very quickly, but then again having a great guy like Lance come along after being burned so bad could be just what she needed. I enjoyed the interactions between the two of them and how they gravitated towards each other in the rough times they were going through.  When Bailey finds out who she really is and that she has family she can lean on in the hard times, I was really touched by the way that played out. Going from thinking you are alone to finding out you have a family in the middle of an emotional turmoil was a great scene. I would recommend reading the first two in the series before beginning this one to get the backstory of all the characters and what is happening in their lives to bring them all to the point they find themselves in during this book. Readers will be pleased with how all the loose ends from the entire series will be tied up by the last page.

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

Never Let Go

Never Let Go

Author: Elizabeth Goddard

Series: Uncommon Justice #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: February 5, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

It may be a two decade old cold case but things are just heating up for the team.

 After her grandfather is killed in a hit and run and evidence starts to surface that it wasn’t an accident, Willow Anderson starts looking into his last case and trying to find a connection. The case is that of an abducted baby from a hospital over twenty years ago. The mother is dying and wants more than anything to what happened to her only child. Willow finds out her grandfather enlisted the help of her former flame, Austin McKade. Together Austin and Willow will have to deal with their feelings and all they left unsaid to try and solve a case someone is determined to keep them from solving. The clues lead them across the country from Texas to Wyoming, forcing Austin to face his past and the family he has drifted away from. It’s not only their lives they are risking by looking into this case, but also their hearts.

 This storyline is one that will pull readers in and keep them until the very last page. I was very pleased with how well this story played out. I was hooked from the very first page with the kidnapping of a baby from the hospital until the very end. Willow and Austin are a good couple to play off each other. They had good chemistry and the way Goddard used trust issues to show tension between the two really helped propel the story forward. I wasn’t sure at a few parts how things were going to play out, the back and forth viewpoints coupled with new ones added about midway through almost through me for a loop but I was able to quickly catch on and keep track of who’s head we were supposed to be in. Maybe if the chapters had been headed with who’s view point we were in the transition might have been a little smoother, but that’s just me. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Austin and Heath, his brother, which leads me to guess Heath’s story will be coming up next. There was a very good mix of romance and suspense to keep the pages turning but also keep me engaged with the characters and why I really needed to care about them. I recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense novels and looking for a great start to a new series.

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

The Line Between

the line betweenAuthor: Tosca Lee

Publisher: Howard Books

Release Date: January 29, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

In one of the most intense and believable thrillers I have ever read, Tosca Lee takes readers on a journey they will never forget in a story they will beg for more before the last page is turned!

After spending most of her life in a doomsday cult called New Earth, Wynter Roth is cast out with nowhere to turn. An old family friend takes her in and she learns how to deal in the real world. Pretty soon, all of the cults predictions of the horrible things destined to happen in the world start to come true. Wynter tries to figure out how much of this they knew about and how much of it might be because of New Earth and its leader, Magnus. One night, Wynter’s sister shows up and gives her medical samples that are a key to understanding the sickness ravaging the country. Power across the country is starting to go out spreading panic with every passing hour. Wynter must get the samples to Colorado to a lab ready to help. In a world going mad it is hard to know who to trust.  With hesitation, she receives help from a former military man, Chase Miller. At first, she doesn’t understand his motivation to help her but embraces the only help she has before time runs out.

In all the years I’ve been reading, I don’t know that I have ever been able to pinpoint my number one book for the year this early. Now something could come along later to snag that spot, but it would have to be out of this world good. I have always been a fan of Tosca Lee but this one right here is by far the best I have read, (and that’s saying a lot because her last two books The Progeny and First Born were my top books of their release years) I didn’t think anything would top Progeny, and it is still one of my favorite reads. The Line Between just has something about it that pulled me in and refused to let go until the final page, and now I’m chomping at the bit waiting for the sequel to come out. The characters, especially Wynter, were so believable and well fleshed out that I pictured each scene as though I was right there with them. Although it isn’t very conventional, I found the back and forth timeline to work very well for this story.  Seeing what happened to Wynter during the time she was with the cult and how that has affected her now with how she sees the world and everyone in it worked this way. If it had been a straight timeline, I think some of the story would have been lost and not connected well. The fact that everything talked about in this book could actually happen is a little scary and shows how well Lee did her research and poured her heart into this book. If you have never read anything by Tosca Lee you are sorely missing out.  She is solidified herself as one of my very favorite authors and I can’t wait to see what comes next. I recommend this book to fans of Dystopian thrillers that are ready for a thrill ride they won’t soon forget.

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