Sunburst

Author: Susan May Warren

Series: Sky King Ranch #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Another fantastic adventure by Susan May Warren that takes readers from Africa to Alaska with all the action you can expect from a novel by Warren!

Ranger Kingston has spent his life on rescue missions with the Navy SEALS. He recently left the life he had known for so long, but when his brother, Colt, is kidnapped with others in Nigeria, he goes in to help save him. During the mission, he escapes with a woman he never thought he would see again and has never forgotten. Noemi Sutton is just as surprised as Ranger when he comes into the terrorist camp to help them escape. The escape doesn’t go as planned and Noemi and Ranger must work together if they are going to make it out of Nigeria alive.

Susan May Warren is a master when it comes to Romantic Suspense. Her books have entertaining plots, engaging characters and settings that pull the reader in deep to the story. Sunburst is no exception to this method; she has crafted in making great stories for readers to enjoy.

Ranger isn’t looking for love, afraid it will take his mind off the mission, any mission he has next, and Noemi is afraid to get close to anyone because she might lose them, or they might get hurt because of her. With their combined baggage setting up the story, it makes it hard to see them making it work. With every step they take, more trouble comes their way and kept me glued to the story. This is the kind of fast paced story that I love reading; hard to put down and characters that I couldn’t help but cheer on at every turn. I loved the way Susan May Warren sets up scenes in so many different settings and doesn’t even make my blink, it all felt so incredibly real. This is the second in the series, but it could be read as a standalone. If you haven’t read the first, you will be missing a little backstory for a few of the characters and storyline, especially towards the end of the book. I do recommend this to fans of romantic suspense and Susan May Warren, you won’t be disappointed, another great read!

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

Among the Innocent

Author: Mary Alford

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Not at all what I was expecting when I picked this book up but ended thoroughly enjoyed the story!

It’s been ten years since Leah Miller escaped the clutches of the man that murdered her entire family. Leah grew up Amish but left after the murders finding it too hard to stay. When the man they believed responsible for the murders took his own life, Leah was finally able to breathe again. She joined the police force and spent her time looking out for those in the town and Amish community. When another Amish woman is found murdered in the same way as Leah’s family, she knows the killer is still out there. Leah must work with Dalton Cooper, the new police chief in town who has his own agenda concerning this case. Together they work to find out the truth and stop the killer before any more lives are lost.

Normally a book on Amish fiction would not be one I eagerly pick up to read, but I’m happy to say Among the Innocent was so much better than I expected. Mary Alford crafted a story set within the Amish community that was engaging, suspenseful, delightful, and more. Every now and then the difference in language the Amish use made it slower to read but only slightly. Leah was a great character that even with her past and suffering she was able to still rise above it all and help others.

Dalton and Leah had great chemistry that brought the story to a higher level that I wasn’t expecting. The romance was just right letting the suspense always lead the story. The way the killer was written into the story was very engaging and had me turning the pages. I would recommend readers set aside a good amount of time to read so they can fully enjoy without distractions. This was my first Mary Alford book and can guarantee it won’t be the last. Readers that enjoy romantic fiction and Amish fiction will not want to pass this one up.

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

Elysium Tide

Author: James R. Hannibal

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A bit of a slow start, but when the story picks up speed, readers better be buckled up because it goes into overdrive! 

Dr. Peter Chesterfield needs a break. He doesn’t want to take a break, but he is ordered by his boss to attend a medical symposium in Hawaii at the Elysium Grand hotel. Even while he is supposed to be on vacation, he ends up working when he pulls a woman from the water with a head injury. She ends up dying in his arms but whispers the word “hono” before dying. After her death, Peter teams up with local detective, Lisa Kealoha, to uncover the missing pieces to the case. Things take a turn for the unexpected the further into the case they go, and it isn’t long before they wind up in the crosshairs of some very dangerous men. Together they must try and solve the case before anyone else gets hurt, or worse.

Let me start with a confession, it took me over two weeks to read this book. Not because it wasn’t good, I just started it at a very busy time with lots going on and didn’t have much time to read. When I did read, I didn’t want to stop to do the other things I had to do. The story started a little slow but once it got going in really picked up the pace and held my interest the rest of the time. Peter and Lisa were great main characters, a little rough around the edges at times but had some great character growth and their dynamic when with each other was very well done. This was the second book in a row set in Hawaii I read by coincidence and this was by far the better of the two. I loved the beautiful setting, fast paced storyline, and fun characters. Even though it could have gone deeper into the Elysium aspect, I feel Hannibal did a great job with not going too far and losing the reader. My advice would be to pick this book up when you have plenty of time to devote to the story without interruptions. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy suspense, action and an overall great read.

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

No Small Target

Author: James Tyler Brooks

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: May 17, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fast paced thriller that blew me away by a debut author. No Small Target is one to add to the To Be Read pile for thriller fans!

Jack Case thought he had left Hawaii behind until he gets a call from Kamakoa, his closest friend asking for his help on a case. When he arrives, Kamakoa is missing and Jack is now in charge of finding him and stopping a traitor from selling defense secrets to North Korea. Being back in Hawaii is hard, but nothing could keep him from being there for the only family he has left. As the search continues for Kamakoe, Jack must figure out who he can trust and with every turn the stakes are higher as the threats to those around him continue to grow.

For No Small Target being a debut novel, I am pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Just knowing what the story was going to be about intrigued me and made me want to read it; suspense novels are my go-to and this one did not disappoint! Jack Case was a great protagonist that had me hooked from page one.  He had a rough past that was unveiled little by little making it more interesting for me as the reader. Not only were the characters well written, but the story itself and the setting really transported me and kept me engaged the whole time. I was a little worried at first with it being set in Hawaii because a few books I have read recently have had characters from there and they have been over the top annoying, so I was hoping that wouldn’t be the case here and it wasn’t. This is the first in a new series and I can’t wait to see what else comes from James Tyler Brooks.

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

Fatal Code

Author: Natalie Walters

Series: Snap Agency #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The second book in the SNAP agency series is full of action, adventure, and plenty of tension to keep the pages turning. Fans of romantic suspense will not want to miss Fatal Code!

Elinor Mitchell is an aerospace engineer that finds herself with a target on her back after her grandfather passes away and she ends up with some of his work from decades ago that have to do with a nuclear energy project. The project she is working on has connections to the work her grandfather did and it is very sensitive. SNAP agent and cryptologist Kekoa Young is assigned to help keep Elinor safe. Elinor is Kekoa’s neighbor, and he is tasked with using his close status to spy on her. The more they work together, the closer they become. When she finds out he has been spying on her, she is more hurt than when she found out someone was trying to kill her to get her grandfather’s work. Even after he betrayed her, she must trust him in order to keep her safe and her work away from the enemy.

This book was good but not quite as good as the first in my opinion. I enjoyed the interaction between Elinor and Kekoa, but some of the other minor characters just didn’t sit well with me. The only other thing that bothered me was some of the dialogue with Kekoa; with him being from Hawaii it got into that a little much for my taste. There was some good humor at times and the story flowed well making it a quick read, which was enjoyable. The book sets a pretty steady pace but does speed up at the end with a powerful conclusion that was satisfying and leaving me wanting more from the series. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series. I recommend this book and series to those that love romantic suspense and have enjoyed the first in the series.

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

Strangers We Know

Author: Elle Marr

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: May 1, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An incredibly intense plot that had me guessing how it would all work out until the very end.

After Ivy Hon is stricken with a mysterious illness, she does online genetic testing to see if she can find her family since she was adopted days after she was born. Ivy is contacted by the FBI after her DNA links her with a serial killer located in the Pacific Northwest. She connects with her cousin in Washington state and the more family she meets the more questions she has about her past, the notorious serial killer, and how it all ties back to her. With each new question, she puts herself closer to the killer and further in danger of being the next victim.

Starting off, Strangers We Know was a very interesting and intense plotline. I was pulled in and wanted to find out what was going to happen. As the story continued, Ivy kept me intrigued and into the story. There were a few moments throughout the story that dragged a little and lost my interest but not for long. The nice thing was this was a quick read that left many possibilities of how it might all end up for the characters. There are many secondary characters throughout and it can be hard to follow at times if you aren’t paying attention. Once readers get a little over halfway, the pace picks up and you will fly through the last half. Overall, this was an average read for the year but I found that I enjoyed it.  A good solid effort by Elle Marr. I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy thrillers that are fast, and full of surprises.

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

Willow

Author: Ronie Kendig

Series: Metcalfe Family #2

Publisher: Task Force Press

Release Date: April 22, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ronie Kendig has out done herself!! Williow is a hard story that is raw, emotional, and filled with more page turning tension than any book I’ve read this year! Do not miss this amazing addition to the Metcalfe Family!

Willow Metcalfe is not like the rest of her family; she has found her own place in the world helping survivors of trafficking through the healing process. When the compound she works at is attacked by the Nigerian Mafia, she is taken hostage and is thrown firsthand into the horrors she has only heard about. One of her captors turns out to be working against the evil men; Chijioke “Chiji” Okorie has worked with Willow’s brother for years. Now, he has returned home to try and find his sister who was taken years ago. Chiji goes undercover in the trafficking ring to try and find her and bring her home when he finds Willow. Having seen her in a picture with her family, he has thought of her often over the years and knew she was the one he would one day marry. At first Willow doesn’t trust this man with the group that has taken her, but something about him changes her thoughts and she begins to trust him and hope that he can be the one to help save her before it is too late.

Ronie Kendig is really amazing me with this new series. I have enjoyed her writing for years, but this is my favorite series of hers by far. The way she has written the characters in these books have hooked me faster than most authors have ever been able to and kept me glued to the pages with all the feels for what is happening. I am deeply invested with the characters both from Stone and now Willow. This second book in the series was darker and harder material to read about but it was handled in a way that readers will get a sense of the darkness in the world without feeling like anything has gone too far to make it not appropriate to read. This is a book dealing with hard topics and the normal, Christian fiction readers that go for Ronie Kendig and her writing may have a hard time with this one because of the evil portrayed but nothing within the pages made it too much for me. It was packed with tension in all the right ways to keep my heart pounding and emotions high for these characters. It doesn’t always have to be a gun battle or high-speed car chase to make it a thriller or create tension, simple acts can do that and Ronie Kendig accomplished that in all the right places in this book. I recommend this book to readers that are looking for a tension laced action packed read that will be hard to put down and oh so good to think about long after the final page is finished.

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

The Catch

Author: Lisa Harris

Series: US Marshals #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The third book in the US Marshals series is the best yet, wrapping things up nicely but leaving me aching for more from a series I’ve loved!

US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn are back on the case after an attempt is made on a judge’s life. Now they are in search of a missing woman and child that might be in danger connected to the murdered wife of the judge. They thought their hardest case was behind them, but with each clue Madison and Jonas turn up, they discover a tangled web that goes deeper than they could have imagined. Not only do they have a young child and missing woman to find, but they are also on the lookout for the person who shot Madison and left her for dead. The possibility of coming face-to-face with the person that killed her husband is all that she wants and what terrifies her more than anything.

The Catch was a fun conclusion to a great series. For me, I loved the way the story played out finding Madison in danger but keeping her as a strong female protagonist for the story. It can be easy in a story like this to lose sight of the fact that she has trauma she is working through but must be strong for her job and those around her. Playing the part of damsel in distress would have been easy enough, but Madison stayed strong and didn’t want those around her hurt. She used all the pent-up anxiety and energy she had to propel her forward in helping others and being able to solve her greatest mystery. Lisa Harris did a fabulous job of writing these characters and this storyline in a way that kept me engaged and feeling as if I’m following along with these characters as they face many challenges on the job and in their personal lives. This book had a fabulous mix of suspense and romance at just the right times, I never felt like the romance was too much and stayed on the edge of my seat with the tension from all that was happening. I would recommend this series to readers that love following characters on adventures and seeing them grow closer with each book. I would recommend reading the series in order though to get the most out of it and not miss important parts needed to enjoy the most.

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

The Souls of Lost Lake

Author: Jaime Jo Wright

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow! Wow! Wow! Jaime Jo Wright has outdone herself! The Souls of Lost Lake pulled me in deeper than the waters of Lost Lake with a magnificent story that will stay with me long after the last page.

Wren Blythe has a complicated life. She lives with her father, working ministry at a youth camp in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. She joins in the search for a little girl who has gone missing in the area causing rumors of decades old murderess, Ava Coons, could be involved. In the 1930s, Ava Coons comes out of the woods carrying an ax and covered in blood. Her family’s cabin is found burned to the ground with blood around the ground but no sight of any of her family. At thirteen years old, Ava doesn’t remember what happened to her family and the townspeople blame her for their deaths. Years pass before another murder hits the town and Ava is the prime suspect. Decades separate Ava and Wrene, but there is a wickedness in town that will bring them together to save the lives of those they love.

Jaime Jo Wright is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I was slow to pick up her books because she writes part of her stories in the past and historical fiction has not been one of my top go to genres. But when you write in the way Jamie Jo Wright does, it doesn’t really matter if it is past, present, or future; the story is so good it takes time out of the equation and puts the reader deep within the story. I am finding with each of her books that I read it is better than the last and The Souls of Lost Lake is no exception. Both the past and the present timelines are so intriguing with characters readers will have no choice but to fall in love with and want to desperately find out how their story turns out. I have never enjoyed historical stories much, just hard for me to get into and relate to the characters, but here I have fallen in love with even the secondary characters and can’t wait to turn the pages and see what happens. I started this one while in a reading slump, not even wanting to read for a few weeks, which is very unusual for me, but this book turned me around and I flew through the pages devouring the story within. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a great mystery that will be hard to put down and accomplish anything else. One of the rare books I wish I could give more than five stars.

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

Driving Force

Authors: Lynette Eason & Kate Angelo

Series: Elite Guardians

Publisher: Sunrise Publishing

Release Date: March 22, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The start of a new collection adding to the Elite Guardians series with a fresh author brings a fresh look at an already fantastic series!

The Elite Guardian’s newest member, Christina Sherman is in for a surprise with her newest client she is assigned to protect. Her client is bossy, headstrong, and to top it off, he is a highly trained military working dog called Boss. Special Forces Air Commando Grey Parker is his handler and has been training him to help find explosive materials that no other dog can track. That has made him and especially his dog a target. When Grey is scheduled to undergo a surgery to try and help him to walk again, he needs someone with the right clearance level to handle Boss while he is out of commission. Christina is supposed to keep Boss alive and well but ends up having to protect both he and Grey when they come under attack. What seems at a first to be a normal assignment ends up being more than Christina bargained for, and with more than their lives on the line, The Guardians are going to have to pull all their resources to get the job done.

I have enjoyed the Elite Guardians series by Lynette Eason and when I learned there would be a new set of authors exploring these characters and adding to the series, I was excited. While I was excited, I was also a little bit nervous, Eason has become one of my favorite romantic suspense authors and it is hard to fill those shoes. With Eason as her mentor, Kate Angelo has proven herself with Driving Force. The characters of Christina and Grey are engaging and charismatic in a way that shows the influence of Eason and that made Angelo a great author for this novel. Christina is a great protagonist; strong and full of passion no matter what obstacle she encounters she is going to give it her all. Even with all that said, she isn’t above showing fear in the face of great danger and still letting it work for her. The feelings she develops for Grey and the feelings he develops for her drive the story full speed ahead. I recommend this novel to fans of the Elite Guardians series and even if you haven’t read any of the series you could read this one and enjoy.

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