A Matter of Trust

A matter of trustAuthor: Susan May Warren

Series: Montana Rescue #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: July 4, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The third installment of the Montana Rescue Series proves to be the best by kicking up the action with a perfect romance!

Gage Watson thought his past was behind him, until a young snowboarder goes missing while trying to replicate one of Gage’s most complicated free rides. As a member of the PEAK rescue team, Gage goes out looking for him along with his sister Ella, who he was once romantically involved with before his life was turned upside down.  Together they race not only the dangers of the mountain, but also the danger of quickly falling for each other once again.

With each book in the Montana Rescue series, Susan May Warren has brought the characters to life and kept readers on the edge of their seats. A Matter of Trust brings all that and more.  Of the three books in the series, this has be my favorite.  Gage has a lot in his past he wants to let go of and it just isn’t going to happen for him.  That is so true for so many of us.  We may try to let go of the past but it always comes creeping back at us.  I loved the way Warren used Gage’s past to help him turn into the man he is today.  It goes to show that if we don’t let our mistakes, no matter how bad they may seem, ruin the rest of our lives we can do something great.  Ella has just as many demons that she can’t let go of and it almost brings her to the brink of destruction.  Fans of Warren’s work and the Montana Rescue series will be pleased to see many of the favorite characters back for smaller parts in this installment.  I didn’t expect to enjoy Gage and his story as much as I did but I am pleased to say it hooked me from the beginning and there was no turning back.  I recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense and those who have enjoyed Warren’s writing.

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

Every Deadly Kiss

Every Deadly KissAuthor: Steven James

Series: The Bowers FIles #2

Publisher: Berkley

Release Date: July 4, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

If you have never read a Steven James novel, I suggest you start now with this one. It will keep you up at night and have you looking twice and double locking the doors.

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers is back and ready to solve a series of murders taking place in Detroit. Not only are there murders to be solved, there is also a terrorist plot that is more than a century old making it one of the toughest cases Patrick has ever had to tackle.  When Patrick is called in by his old girlfriend to help on a case, he questions briefly if it will affect his current relationship but tries to convince himself it is just for work and can be kept professional.  When he arrives, he finds a connection between the murders and his former lover.  With the murders continuing and the threat of a bioweapon attack increasing, Patrick finds himself digging deep to solve all the clues before it is too late.

I have been telling people for several years that Steven James is the best there is. The way he can spin a story and keep you on the edge of your seat is better than anyone out there and he is at the top of his game with Every Deadly Kiss.  The amount of time and research he puts into these books shows as you read. This is not the kind of book you can skim and still get everything out of it you need to understand the story.  Every page, paragraph, and sentence is full of information that is vital to the story and the way James gets that information across will keep you on the edge of your seat and up way past bedtime.  With this book set as another prequel to the original Bowers files, it is interesting to see the relationships develop between Patrick and the other key characters that we have grown to love throughout the years.  Patrick still has his quirks and we see them develop more into what they eventually become.  For me, a Steven James novel is always going to be at my “Top of the Year” list.  There is just something about his writing that resonates with me more than almost any other author I read.  Unlike his earlier books, this one has a bit more language and adult content, not a lot compared to what many authors like to put in, but still a little more than I’m used to from him.  With that being said, it completely fit in with the characters and how they would react with something that they would actually say.  That’s what I want, the character to act as they naturally would and every character James writes in his novels fulfills their role. That is an incredible difficult task but one that he pulls off with ease.  I cannot recommend a Steven James novel highly enough and Every Deadly Kiss is no exception.

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

Eve of Redemption

EveAuthor: Tom Mohan

Publisher: BHC Press

Release Date: March 1, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A supernatural thriller that will have you looking deep into your soul and wondering if you can trust what you see.

When John Burke’s family disappeared, he thought his life was over. He no longer had a reason to live and fell into a deep despair.  Four years later, he decides to end it all until a little girl changes his perspective.  Soon after his life collides with the supernatural, his past is all back for him to face once more.  It quickly becomes more than he can handle and he is forced to rely on new found friends and allies before all is lost.

Tom Mohan has brought suspense to a whole new level in this supernatural thriller. With characters that you can connect with on a deep level and feel their distress on every page, this is a story not to be missed.  While this is not my usual genre to read, I decided to give this one a try and am glad I did.  The story was deep with thought provoking scenes that kept me up late into the night.  A lot of thought was put into each character and how their role provided further development to the story and each scene instead of just inserting more characters for the sake of making the story longer.  I enjoyed the relationship between John and Red and how that related to his longing for his daughter.  I recommend this book to readers that love a supernatural thriller that will leave them with questions long after the last page.

Cast the First Stone

Cast the First StoneAuthor: James W. Ziski

Series: Ellie Stone Mystery #4

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

Release Date: June 6, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Set in the 1960’s with a female reporter investigating a missing person and a murder, this is a must read for all mystery lovers.

Ellie Stone is a reporter for the New Holland Republic and is assigned to travel to Hollywood to interview Tony Eberle, the hometown actor that is making his big break in the big city. Upon arriving, she finds that Eberle has disappeared and the producer that was vital in getting him the part has been found murdered with Tony is now the prime suspect.  Ellie puts all her investigating tactics to the test to find Tony and figure out what is behind this mystery, hoping it isn’t Tony, which would have the citizens of New Holland reading about their beloved Tony being a murderer.

The first thing I need to say about this book is it is the fourth in a series, I didn’t realize this when reading it and don’t believe it influenced how I enjoyed the book. Ellie is a very ambitious woman that is looking to make a name for herself in the world of reporters.  In this time period, bring a woman and breaking into this area is a very difficult thing to accomplish.  Ellie didn’t let any of that keep her from pursuing what she felt she was meant to do. Having an assignment that sends her to Hollywood and then investigating the disappearance of Tony and the murder ends up putting all of her skills to the test.  Even when she finds herself in danger while trying to get the next lead in her story, she still keeps pushing forward.  I liked her and the spunk she had.  It is probably one of the best aspects of the story.  A few of the characters are questionable at times in how they react in different situations that could have played out better.  While Ellie is the main character, there are too many secondary characters to keep track of.  If a few had been left out or combined, the story would have flowed a little better for readers.  You do have to keep in mind that this is set in the 1960s while reading to keep from getting confused about prices of things and landmarks.  While this isn’t one I would normally pick up, I did enjoy the story and will recommend it to mystery lovers for a good read.

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

Dark Deception

Dark DeceptionAuthor: Nancy Mehl

Series: Defenders of Justice #2

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: June 6, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A fast paced, gripping story that will leave readers wanting more until the very last page. By far the best I have read by Nancy Mehl.

After surviving an attack by a serial killer four years ago, Kate O’Brien has been living a quiet life in the small town of Shelter Cove, Arkansas in the witness protection program. It has been a struggle to get her life back to something she can be happy with, especially in the beginning when she wanted to end it all.  The man that attacked her has been in prison, but now there is new evidence showing he might not be the murderer.  Kate is subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to face her past, Kate refuses to go until Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who was assigned to protect her during the original trial, comes to escort her back.  This is one assignment Tony has no problem taking.  He has had a hard time getting over Kate O’Brien.  She made an impression on him and he hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind.  As Tony arrives and prepares to take Kate back, the case takes an interesting turn that ends up putting both him and Kate in danger.

I have been a fan of Nancy Mehl for a while now and I must say that Dark Deception is her best yet. The character development and the situations they found themselves in were what I enjoyed the most.  Part of it could be that that Kate is a twin and so am I.  Seeing how Kate had to deal with that loss was played out really well.  A few instances with Tony could have been fleshed out better to make him more believable in his role.  But other than that, I don’t have many negatives to say about this book.  The scenes were tight, the characters were written to play out as I felt they actually would, and the suspense was very well written.  It can be difficult writing romantic suspense and find the right balance between the two in order to keep the story flowing just right.  With each book, I feel Mehl is getting better and better at fining that stride and getting the dynamic just right.  I recommend this book to fans of Mehl and romantic suspense novels that will keep you guessing till the end.

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

Riverbend Reunion

Riverbend ReunionAuthor: Henry McLaughlin

Series: Riverbend Saga #3

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: December 14, 2016

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The third book in the Riverbend Saga brings Michael Archer back to what he has been running from for years and is the best in the series!

Michael Archer feels like the luckiest man in the world. He has just married, Rachel, the woman he is madly in love with, and they have a bright future to look forward to.  He has finally decided to settle down after running from his past for years.  But when he receives a cryptic telegram from his sister Ellie telling him to come home, he feels led to go.  He is hesitant to go because the last time he was home he was saving his sister from their father, who he then stabbed with a pitchfork.  Thinking he had killed his father he runs and doesn’t look back.  Going back might just be the hardest thing he has ever had to do.

After reading all three books in the Riverbend Saga, I can easily say that Riverbend Reunion is the best.  The first two focus on Michael and all he goes through.  With the third, it starts with his sister Ellie and what led to Michael leaving home.  The story then continues for almost a third of the book with Ellie before switching back to Michael. I thought this was an interesting approach, keeping the main character from the first two books mostly absent till a third of the way through, but it worked.  I enjoyed getting the story of Ellie and how she handled all she went through before going back to Michael.  His story in Riverbend was fleshed out enough that it was easy for him to leave and go home to deal with the family issues he had been harboring for years.  I can tell that McLaughlin is growing and improving as a writer with each new book.  The characters are relatable and the story itself is much more tight with the suspense in just the right places.  I’m not sure if there is going to be another in the series, not only do I see potential with a few of the characters being delved into a little further, but also feel it has been wrapped up well if this is the end.  The nice thing about this book was there were no spots were the story came to a stop and I felt like I wanted to be done, I was invested and wanted to see what happened with the characters.  Overall it was very well written and I will be recommending this to readers that enjoy a good western tale with a lot of suspense and redemption throughout.

What Hope Remembers

What hope remembersAuthor: Johnnie Alexander

Series: Misty Willow #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The third installment in the Misty Willow books brings the heat and is a pleasant addition to the charming series.

Gabe Kendall has decided to try and make a fresh start at his aunt’s horse ranch. Having just been released from prison, he is skeptical of being found trustworthy anywhere he goes.  As he goes for a ride one day, he bumps into a face from the past, Amy Somers.  He has been in love with her since he was a teenager, but fell out of contact for many years.  He doesn’t think she will ever want to be with him after finding out about his past.  The thing Gabe doesn’t know is that Amy has a past and secrets of her own, some she isn’t proud of either.  Can these two let go of what has been holding them back and find a way to move forward?  Or are they going to be stuck in their own self-made prisons?

What Hope Remembers is a nice addition to the Misty Willow books.  The nice thing is you don’t have to read them all to enjoy each one individually.  It has been a while since I read the previous in the series and didn’t remember a whole lot going into this one, but that didn’t keep me from connecting with the characters and enjoying the story.  I did think that both Gabe and Amy were a little too hard on themselves at times.  Yes, they made mistakes, and yes, they had things in the past neither was proud of, but that was all they seemed to think about for most of the book.  The last quarter of the book was the best, the suspense kicked in and made the pages fly.  I think fans of the series, and the author, will really enjoy this one.

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