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.

A Dangerous Duet

Dangerous DUetAuthor: Karen Odden

Publisher: William Morrow

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Odden composes a delightful mystery!

Nell Hallam has a dream to study piano at the Royal Academy in London, but since her father passed, it will be difficult to earn the tuition. She and her brother Matthew live in Mayfair, which is a nice area of London, and he is an inspector at Scotland Yard.  Determined not to trouble her brother with her dream, Nell has developed an alias as a man named Ed Nell and lands a gig playing the piano at the Octavian, a music hall in Soho.  She knows her brother wouldn’t approve, but fortunately he works late into the night and she is always able to make it home before he arrives.  One night on her way home, she finds one of the performers beaten and left for dead.  Soon, other murders start to occur throughout the Soho district.  The more that she is immersed in the world of the Octavian, the more she finds that people aren’t what they seem on the outside.  Performing is all just an act, but will Nell be able to separate the people who are guanine and who are criminals?

This is by far one of my favorite historical fiction reads of the year. I was pulled into this book within the first two paragraphs and couldn’t let it go until the end.  I struck up a quick friendship with Nell and she tugged me along through late 1800s London.  I loved getting to meet the characters at the Octavian and see how everyone performed.  I shared all of Nell’s emotions and loving heart that made her extremely genuine.  I fell for Jack’s character as I got to know him and learned that things aren’t always what they seem.

The suspense throughout this book stayed very tight and kept me tearing through the pages. There were a few surprises thrown in for good measure that you might not expect, but it was well worth reading.  I’m glad that I got a copy of this book as a new author has found a place on my shelf.

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

Chosen People

Chosen PeopleAuthor: Robert Whitlow

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Terrific international legal thriller!

Hana Abboud has always known that she would leave a chosen life ever since her uncle blessed her when she was a little girl in Israel. Now an international trial lawyer in Atlanta, she is surprised when she is suddenly pulled into a briefing by one of the senior partner’s to consider a case.  Their firm was contacted by another young lawyer named Jakob Brodsky, who has taken on a long shot case concerning a family that took a trip to Jerusalem where the wife of a young couple was killed in a terrorist attack, leaving behind her husband and daughter.  The lawsuit would look for an entity that supported a terrorist to claim financial damages.  Brodsky is someone who loves to help the underdog fight for justice, but his claim maybe impossible when his client says that his daughter has to be kept out of the lawsuit.  Although Hanna doesn’t initially want to take on this case, she fells lead to help with it and becomes the primary counsel.  She hires an investigator in Israel named Daud Hasan to help find out more about the terrorist that attacked their client.  As the team digs into the investigation, things start to happen that appear to target Brodsky.  Is someone trying to kill the lawsuit before it even gets started?  Or is there more at stake than anybody realizes?

Whitlow continues to deliver legal thrillers that are must reads. I picked up a copy of this book for a flight and breezed through it with anticipation.  I even finished it before my travel itinerary was complete.  I loved the way that he compared Hana to the boy Samuel from the Bible and how she was open to hearing from God.  The way she knew He was calling was when she woke up in the night and would meditate to hear His voice.  The Christian faith played a huge role throughout this story and also affected Jakob in his lack of faith until he went to Jerusalem.

I felt an instant connection with both Hana and Sadie. I could picture them together in every scene with perfect clarity even though very little personal descriptions were provide.  The tension throughout the book was evident between the link to the terrorist and the strange occurrences with Jakob.  The romance played out great as well between the characters that it was intended.  I’m not going to say more on that note because I don’t want to give anything away about some possible surprise romances.  Also, if you loved the show NCIS with the character Ziva David, then you will thoroughly enjoy the resemblance that Hana shares to her with the trouble of understanding American idioms.

If you love legal thrillers that are clean and just great reads, grab a copy of this today! There are a few authors that I grab off the shelf without even reading the synopsis first and Whitlow is one of those.

I received a complimentary copy of this book 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.

The Book of Dog

The Book of DogAuthor: Lark Benobi

Publisher: Vegetablian Books

Release Date: September 6, 2018

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Very odd take on end times prophecy mixed with today’s dystopian flair.

In the wake of a yellow puff-ball mushroom cloud, a yellow fog is making its way across the world. Rivers have run dry, earthquakes are occurring, and volcanoes are erupting in multiple events that may be signaling the end of the world.  Through all the chaos, six women are tied together through a common prophecy.  As people continue to vanish, causing many to believe the rapture has occurred, a series of events has been set into place that could be the end of humanity as we know it unless the six women are able to work together and bring it to an end.

So, this book was really different. I’ve read a lot of end times prophecy books and this followed (partially, or at least hinted of) the biblical revelation.  However, it wasn’t in a serious manner.  In fact, most of it was hilarious.  It got to the point that it was so crazy, that I just kept turning the pages to see what would happen next and I never saw what was coming next.  It kept getting nuttier with each page, but the story line was enjoyable all the same.

This is definitely a book that needs to be read by a mature audience. There is quite a bit of language throughout as well as some rather graphic sex based material that would not be suitable for a young audience.  If you are looking for something different and can keep an open mind, check this out.

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