In Too Deep

In too deepAuthor: Lynn H. Blackburn

Series: Dive Team Investigations #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Fans of the first Dive Team Investigations will be thrilled with this new installment. Adam and Sabrina’s story is so much better than I expected and I loved every single minute I got to spend with them.

After a car is found submerged in a lake the dive team is called in to recover the body. What they find is more than any of them expected: an encrypted laptop and a message linking the dead accountant and investigator Adam Campbell. Adam calls in his friend, Dr. Sabrina Fleming, a computer security and forensics expert, to help figure out what is on the laptop. With each layer they peel back, more about the case is revealed showing things are much more sinister than they originally thought. Their dead woman has information on a human trafficking ring that might involve some of Adam’s own family. There is more at stake here than solving a murder and Sabrina has to decide how much she is willing to risk to solve the case and maybe confront her feelings for Adam in the process.

Lynn H. Blackburn hit it out of the park with the first Dive Team book and the follow up is even better. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get into Adam and Sabrina’s story as much as I did with Leigh and Ryan, but I am happy to report I fell more in love with the story of Adam and Sabrina. Something about the way they had known each other for so long and yet let this stressful situation bring them together at just the right moment felt right. The story was tight and the romance so real I felt like I was one of the characters cheering them on and in agony when they were in trouble. One aspect of a strong writer is the way they can weave the tension into the dramatic high paced scenes as well as any other. It doesn’t take a high speed car chase to move a story along or keep readers on the edge of their seat.  If it is done right, edge of the seat scenes can be between two people just talking or in need of help in some way. Blackburn did a fantastic job of bringing the tension at all the right moments. I was hooked from the very beginning and didn’t want the story to end at the last page. I can’t wait to see what book three will bring.  Even though this is the second in a series, it can easily be read as a standalone, but I would still recommend reading the whole series so you don’t miss out on an excellent story. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy romantic suspense with an element of faith.

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

Dead Sea Rising

Dead Sea RisingAuthor: Jerry B. Jenkins

Series: Dead Sea Chronicles #1

Publisher: Worthy Publishing

Release Date: November 13, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

With all the success of the Left Behind series it is hard to imagine anything better; however, Dead Sea Rising is by far the best Jenkins novel I have ever read. This is not one to be missed.

Nicole Berman is waiting for the news that could change her life. She has applied to lead an archeological dig in the middle east and is waiting for the answer when she gets the call that her mom is in the hospital with a broken hip. When she gets there, she finds out her mother was actually attacked and she is a suspect. Someone doesn’t want her to go on the dig and uncover the artifacts she believes she has found, evidence of a biblical patriarch that could change history. While Nicole and her father work to prove they would never do anything to hurt her mother, the search for what is really going on and why Nicole and her family are now being threatened intensifies and no one is safe.

I honestly don’t know how to go about describing this book. All I can say is it will be hard for any book to top this for my number one book of the year. There was a back and forth element to the story, one chapter in the present with Nicole and the next 4,000 years in the past. The interesting thing is it can actually be read one of two ways, straight through like normal or readers can chose to read one timeline (every other chapter) all the way through and then go back and read the other timeline without compromising the way they understand the story. Even though the timelines don’t intercede with one another, by the end they will have relevance as the series continues. The characters and the way Jenkins weaved the tension was amazing. I also think the super short chapters helped move the story along. As readers want to put the book down for the night, they might look ahead to the next chapter and see it is only a few pages and decide it is short enough to keep going making it a sit down and read in one sitting kind of book. When most people think of a fast paced page-turner, it probably has to do with a car chase or a serial killer attacking someone. With Dead Sea Rising that isn’t the case, the tension is right from the start, as soon as Nicole is suspecting of hurting her mother and the depths of the case made me want to turn the page as fast as I could. There is a reason that Jenkins is one of the very top Christian authors, he has perfected his writing and anyone wanting to learn the craft of writing needs to read and reread everything he has writing, it doesn’t get any better. I recommend this book to lovers of biblical fiction and suspense.

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

Fatal Invasion

Fatal InvasionAuthor: Marie Force

Series: Fatal #13

Publisher: HQN Books

Release Date: November 27, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

When a fire turns into a double homicide, the heat is turned up on the case and all those involved.

When a home invasion turns into a double homicide, fire Lieutenant Sam Holland is called in to work the case. Without a doubt this turns into her toughest case when the only witness to the crime are five-year-old twins of the victims. Having no-where else to go, the kids go home with Sam and her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. With the case heating up and members of her own squad in trouble, Sergeant Tommy “Gonzo” Gonzales more than any other causes trouble in the department and in his personal life, Sam has to figure out how to solve the case and save her team. The harder she tries to keep her work and private life separate the more they seem to collide causing her to risk it all to do what she knows is right.

This book is exactly what the reader can expect with the series, lots of romance and plenty of suspense. The audience should have no problem getting connected to the characters as they instantly draw you in with the tension of the fire and murders and missing kids. Sam is the perfect strong female lead with a tender heart when it comes to the ones she is trying to protect. I really felt the scenes with her and the kids played out well. My least favorite scenes were probably the ones with Gonzo, I just had a really hard time connecting with him and caring about the struggles he was going through. This is the first in the series that I have read and maybe if I had read previous books in this series and had some of the background for this character I would have connected with him a little better. With that being said, I don’t feel it is necessary for readers to read all in the series to enjoy this one. It might help with knowing what some of the characters have gone through and be able to help explain why they act the way they do. This is for an older audience with the mature language and sex scenes, but that is who it is marketed to and the more mature audience is sure to enjoy.

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

Wait for Me

Wait for MeAuthor: Susan May Warren

Series: Montana Rescue #6

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The final book in the Montana Rescue series proves the saying, “saved the best for last”. The story of Pete and Jess will give readers what they have been longing for in the best romance installment with the most suspense yet.

Pete Brooks has just about given up on love. He’s waited a year for the woman he loves to come back to town only to have her show up engaged to another man. Pete has been working in search and rescue and the last few missions he has been a part of have not had a happy ending, causing him to wonder if he wants to continue the work. Jess Tagg has come back to Montana to try and see if Pete still wants to be with her but before she can explain what has been happening in her life Pete blows up at her. She leaves with a friend, Esme Shaw, they are run off the road and taken hostage deep into the Montana wilderness.  They don’t know who has taken them but they are injured and know if someone doesn’t come to rescue them soon it will be too late.  Pete and the rest of the PEAK Rescue Team realize they are missing and set out on their most emotional rescue mission yet.

I have loved every one of the Montana Rescue books and the different characters they have focused on. I especially loved the way all the characters intertwine throughout the different installments and readers get to see them grow outside of the book of their focus.  Saving Pete and Jess’s story for last was a brilliant idea; to me, their story was especially interesting. They both wanted what they thought they couldn’t have and almost gave up but their hearts just wouldn’t let them. This story goes to show that if something is worth having it is worth fighting for and Jess and Pete had to fight especially hard for their love. One of the things that made this romance so good is interesting because it has to do with the lack of time the characters actually spent together and interacted with each other. They worked hard to be together and the way they have to fight the elements and others around them shows the passion they have for each other.  The secondary characters were especially well written. Esme and the battle she was having to face brought an extra tension to the story and made the pages turn even faster. Even though this is the last in the series it can also be read as a standalone and the reader will still enjoy the story. I do however recommend reading the whole series, mainly because the stories are so good and should all be enjoyed. I am sad to see the series come to an end. I have invested a lot of time and emotion in the characters and will miss seeing what happens with them next. The ending was done just as I thought it should be and all the loose ends throughout the books were tied up quite nicely.

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

Lethal Target

Lethal TargetAuthor: Janice Cantore

Series: Line of Duty #2

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: October 9, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

With tighter action, better characters and an overall excellent story, Lethal Target is by far the best I have read from Janice Cantore.

Tess O’Rourke has grown to love her new home of Rogue’s Hollow and being the Chief of Police is just the right fit for her. When the town becomes divided over the vote to legalize the sale of marijuana and a young high school graduate is found dead of a possible overdose, Tess has to put her knowledge to the test to crack the case. As emotions come to a boiling point, Tess starts to lose the support of those she has sworn to protect. To make matters worse, a familiar face from her past resurfaces causing even more problems. Needing a friend and an ear to help her keep things in perspective, she turns to pastor Oliver Macpherson. As things heat up with the case, so do her feelings for the pastor and his for hers, but her father’s death when she was just a teenager has her questioning faith and even Oliver himself. When the cases collide and the danger becomes lethal, Tess has to use everything she has to save herself and those in her town.

Lethal Target is by far the best Cantore novel I have read yet, and I have read them all. The characters are sharp, the tension is tight and the story is really on point. I felt a stronger connection with the characters and what they were going through than in the previous in the series. Tess was going through some really hard times but I never felt sorry for her in a way that would make the character annoying, something that happens all too often. The romance aspect played out in the right way, nothing was too strong that had me rolling my eyes, instead I smiled as the characters drew strength from one another and used that to solve the problems they encountered. This is the second in the series but readers new to Cantore will have no problem starting with this book having not read the first. There is just enough back story on the characters, mainly Tess, to keep new readers up to speed on what is happening. As always, the fact that Janice Cantore has a back ground in law enforcement provides so much to the story and the plot making the details be just what is needed to make everything realistic. I highly recommend this to fans of Cantore and those that love a good police procedural, mystery with just a sprinkle of romance. With no language or over the top violence this is even appropriate for any age group.

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

The Scythian Trials

the scythian trialsAuthor: Elizabeth Isaacs

Publisher: Vesuvian Books

Release Date: October 23, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A little bit of The Hunger Games mixed with The Valiant makes for a great read for a mature audience.

The Scythians are descendants of the Amazons and highly valued warriors. Nya Thalestris is one of the best in her generation and she has earned a spot in the Trials, a mating ritual responsible for the evolution of her species. Nya has a hard time letting anyone, especially men, get close to her or touch her, it sets her off violently. What she doesn’t remember is years ago she was abducted by their enemy, the Drahzda and tortured. Jax Nickius has been working with her for years to help her get past her abuse and he discovers hidden triggers in her mind. Jax has grown close to her and pursues her as a mate during the trials. When Nya’s memories start coming back, she realizes she has enemies within her own walls and her life is in more danger than she would have thought possible.

I was about to give up on this book but stuck with it and I am glad I did. The ending ramped up the tension and really made me care more about the characters. Nya is a real fighter and the kind of tough female lead character that is becoming more and more popular. However, I had mixed feelings about Jax. His devotion and feelings for Nya were clear and I didn’t have trouble relating to him on that level, but there was just something else about him that didn’t have me jumping to the edge of my seat when he was being written about. The secondary characters, especially the other warriors helped bring the story to life.  When Nya’s memories started returning and flashbacks showed what she had been through, I wanted more back-story and more scenes with Nya and Penn. While this is targeted to a Young adult audience, I have trouble recommending it to a young audience because of the language and sexual scenes throughout. With that being said, I do recommend this to readers that enjoy dystopian novels with plenty of action, tension, and romance throughout.

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

Delayed Justice

Delayed JusticeAuthor: Cara Putman

Series: Delayed Justice #3

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: October 16, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An absolutely fantastic book with a very timely message about speaking out on abuse even if it takes time and strength to say the right words.

Jaime Nichols has spent her whole life trying to get the strength to move on from the abuse she faced as a child. Now she is a lawyer fighting in the courtroom to give a voice to victims like her. After decades of counseling, she has gained the voice she needs to go against her uncle, the man who molested her when she was just a small child. He is up for promotion to become a one star general and with his power he is determined not to let Jaime ruin him.  While Jaime fights her own case, she is also helping a young girl who was abused and needs help healing. Chandler Bolton brings his therapy dog to help the young girl and is instantly drawn to Jaime. He sees her strength but also her pain and wants to help her heal. As Chandler and Jaime work together to help those hurt and without a voice, they are drawn to each other and find strength they didn’t know they had at just the right moments.

This is a book that can tackle a tough topic, but does it in a way readers will really be able to connect with and feel for the characters. Cara Putman has a way with legal thrillers, she brings out the drama in all scenes, inside the courtroom and out.  I love the fact that the court scenes aren’t boring and slow paced; there is still tension and heart pounding moments. It was obvious there was going to be chemistry between Jaime and Chandler, their connection was apparent from the first moment they saw each other. Both Jaime and Chandler have demons they are fighting but together they are able to work through these difficult times and find a strength they didn’t know existed. Faith is a big element throughout and I loved the way Putman incorporated The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, such a timeless novel that played well with the struggles being faced here.  None of the moments of faith were too forward or in your face to push readers away that might not want to read that. It is enough to make readers think and maybe instill a few seeds to keep the reader thinking and possibly nudge them towards faith of their own.  It’s simple enough to show readers there is more out there if they will trust and look to God without trying to shove religion down anyone’s throat.  I recommend this book to fans of Putnam and also anyone that enjoys a good romantic suspense.  While this is a third in a series it can be read as a standalone without losing anything.

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