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.

The Curse of Misty Wayfair

curse of misty wayfairAuthor: Jaime Jo Wright

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Two tales twist together to reveal a superstitious mystery.

Traveling photographer Thea Reed has been making her way to the small town of Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin to locate the mother who abandoned her in an orphanage when she was four.  Taken in by a photographer and his wife, Thea has learned the trade on production of memorial photographs, which she takes of Rose Coyle and her recently deceased sister Mary.  As Thea settles in the small town, she learns of a curse that has been put upon the Coyles’ so that they often die unexpectedly.  And each time before they pass, it’s said the ghost of a woman who was murdered is seen.  Clues eventually lead Thea to an asylum just outside of the town’s border in the neighboring woods.  Will her quest lead her to be haunted by the ghost as well?

One hundred years later, Heidi Lane ventures to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin because of a letter that her mother wrote.  Heidi always felt that she didn’t belong with her structured family, so she left out as soon as she could.  Now her father has died, her mother has dementia, and her sister and brother-in-law are running a lodge complex.  Her sister Vicki needs her help, but when she stumbles on a photo album in an antiques shop that contains a photo of a deceased woman who looks just like her with the name Misty Wayfair scribbled on the back, Heidi begins to have strange occurrences happen to her.  From messages on a mirror to random notes to arson, Heidi starts to fear for her life.  But will people believe her? Or just assume she is trying to get attention?

Wow!  This book was really hard to put down at night because you felt like someone was going to be watching you though a window.  Seriously, it puts goosebumps on your arms while you read it.  What a great story that Jaime Jo Wright has brought to life.  Two tales that intertwine to reveal the mystery behind a curse.  It’s interesting to see that what may be solved can still live as a misguided legend for another century.

Both Thea and Heidi are similar in character.  They are insecure, but for different reasons.  Thea for her abandonment and Heidi for her need for independence.  Both women also strike up relationships with men that are quite different from society as well, but still good natured at heart.  The story flowed flawlessly between two time periods and several times I found myself wanting to just continue with one storyline to get the final answer but was so much more intrigued each time it switched.

If you love great fiction, especially with a storyline that will frighten you at times when reading, give this book a chance.

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

The Expedition

the expeditionAuthor: Chris Babu

Series: The Initiation #2

Publisher: Permuted Press

Release Date: December 5, 2018

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

The initiation was child’s play compared to the new quest bestowed on the four champions!

Shortly after completing the initiation, Drayden, Catrice, Sidney, and Charlie are presented with a new quest: to travel to the City of Boston and represent New America in an attempt to seek aid.  New America is failing as battery life is coming to an end and wind turbines desperately need maintenance.  Food production has been shortened and people are now being randomly exiled so that the colony as a whole can survive.  Unfortunately, this shortens the time that Drayden has available to look into his mom’s exile.  Trying to bargain for more time or a change of expedition has only frustrated their superiors to the point they have been threatened with execution and their families exiled.  Fortunately, they have a team of elite guardians with them for protection on the way to Boston.  But once out of New America, things don’t go quite as the group had planned.  Could there be different missions between them and the guardians?  Will Boston even still exist?  Why hasn’t there been talk about their future once they return?

This book picks up right where the first one left off.  Four scared and confused teenagers with no idea what awaits them are thrown into yet another scenario of seemingly ensured failure.  We get to see how the world has developed post confluence outside of the New America walls and to say the least, humanity has gone back to being fairly primitive, but there are a few surprises along the way.  This installment focuses on the teens continued survival as well as a challenge against the guardians.  A consistent element was that of Drayden’s insecurity.  It smeared throughout all the pages of the book, especially his relationship with Catrice.  I would really like to know what is going through Catrice’s head most of the time but may never get to see that.  I would like to see the next installment with alternating points of view.

If you enjoy this style of book, then you will likely enjoy this one as well.  There is some mild language throughout, but nothing that is not expected in today’s society.

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