Book Review: Missing

Book Review: Missing

Missing by Lisa HarrisMissing by Lisa Harris is another new romantic suspense novelbeing released this July. I already admitted that romantic suspense is an escape read for me, so I picked this one up when the opportunity arose.

Special Agent Nikki Boyd is tasked with finding the missing Lucy Hudson, but as her search takes her closer to home, she doesn’t know who to trust and who is telling lies:

Nikki Boyd isn’t usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she’s ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant–and another dead body–Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business–including Nikki.

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Book Review: Without Warning

Book Review: Without Warning

My “guilty pleasure” reading is probably romantic suspense. I love getting sucked into a story involving crime, mystery, relatable characters, intelligent law enforcement and a bad guy who will inevitably be found out — and if there’s a touch of romance in there it’s all the sweeter.
So when I saw Lynette Eason’s Without Warning, book two of the Elite Guardian series, I instantly wanted to give it a try, especially when it became apparent that the usual roles are flipped!

Daniel Matthews, retired special forces, lives a relatively sleepy life running his restaurants and raising his orphaned niece. But when he crosses paths with danger, not once, but twice in a single night with a dead body found hanging in one restaurant basement and an arson attack on another, he realizes that someone may be out for blood.

Katie Singleton, a former arson investigator, is working as a bodyguard with a handful of other exceptionally talented women know as Elite Guardians. When she gets pulled into Daniel’s life, she is forced to confront her own reasons for leaving arson investigating while also working to keep Daniel alive.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. The characters were friendly and likable, though not perfect. Read more

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me

Book Review: Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and MeWhen I first read about this book, I got very excited. Some of my favorite subjects are right at the forefront: classic literature (Anne!), adoption, international adoption, memoir. It was like this book was meant for me.

“A charming and heartwarming true story for anyone who has ever longed for a place to belong. “Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me is a witty romp through the classic novel; a visit to the magical shores of Prince Edward Island; and a poignant personal tale of love, faith, and loss.” (Tyndale)

It actually took me quite some time to track down a copy of it, but I was determined to read it. When my copy finally arrived, I dove in with eager anticipation.

Perhaps I had built up this book too much in my head. I don’t know. But I was disappointed. Far from impressed, I found myself reluctant to pick the book up time after time. It wasn’t that the subject matter wasn’t interesting, it was! But it just didn’t engage me. Read more

Book Review: The Inheritance

Book Review: The Inheritance

The Inheritance by Michael PhillipsThe Inheritance by Michael Phillips promised to be an interesting tale about so many delightful things: a Scottish island, clan family history, an inheritance up for grabs, cross-cultural interpersonal relationships. It could have been a winner based on the blurb:

The death of clan patriarch Macgregor Tulloch has thrown the tiny Shetland Islands community of Whales Reef into turmoil. Everyone assumed Tulloch’s heir to be his much-loved grandnephew David. But when no will is discovered, David’s calculating cousin Hardy submits his own claim to the inheritance, an estate that controls most of the island’s land. And Hardy knows a North Sea oil investor who will pay dearly for that control.

While the competing claims are investigated, the courts have frozen the estate’s assets, leaving many of the locals in dire financial straits. The future of the island — and its traditional way of life–hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, Loni Ford enjoys a rising career in a large investment firm in Washington, D.C. Yet, in spite of outward success, she is privately plagued by questions of identity. Orphaned as a young child, she was raised by her grandparents, and while she loves them dearly, she feels completely detached from her roots. That is, until a mysterious letter arrives from a Scottish solicitor. . . . Read more

Book Review: Unintended Target

Book Review: Unintended Target

Unintended Target by D. L. WoodUnintended Target by D.L. Wood is an interesting tale of questions, mysteries and close encounters.

When Chloe’s brother dies suddenly, he leaves behind a mystery that follows her all the way to the Caribbean. There, she meets charming and resourceful Jack — a man who may be more than he seems. Unaware of who her enemy might be or what it is they want, Chloe ends up framed for murder and hunted down by dangerous men. She is left with no choice but to trust Jack with her very life. As she is faced with yet another tragedy, Chloe must decide if God exists and if He does, if she is willing to trust Him.

The tagline “What you don’t know CAN hurt you” sums up this novel quite well. Along with the main characters, the reader is left without all of the facts, trying to learn what is going on. As each chapter answers and asks even more questions, the reader is enticed to continue digging. Unfortunately, I found the novel a little too easy to put down, and not engaging enough to make me want to pick it up at the first opportunity. Read more

Book Review: Cold Shot

Book Review: Cold Shot

Cold Shot by Dani PettreyDani Pettrey’s latest novel Cold Shot is the closest thing to Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series that I have read. That may not sound like high praise, but trust me — it is.

Henderson’s O’Malley series is one of those iconic, career defining, genre quintessential series that is beloved and held dear by readers. The O’Malleys are more like friends than characters. I’m starting off this review by mentioning this because Cold Shot sparked a similar type of interest and investment. Cold Shot is by no means a replication of Henderson’s work, but it echoes so many of the same elements that make the O’Malley series shine.

When park ranger and former-sniper Griffin McCray comes across a 21st century skeleton among the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg, charming and frustrating forensic anthropologist Finley Scott finds evidence linking the murder to an expert sniper — sending Griffin on a quest to learn the truth behind the murder. When Griffin and two of his childhood friends — an FBI special agent and a crime scene analyst — are thrown together again, old grudges and two unsolved mysteries churn to the surface. Read more

Book Review: The Jazz Files

Book Review: The Jazz Files

The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch SmithThe Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith is an engaging and delightful read. (Ironically, the first book I selected after my Fiona was born was authored by a Fiona.)

Shortly after arriving in London in 1920, Poppy Denby takes a position as an assistant at a newspaper — hoping to start her own career as a journalist. But when the political editor drops dead, Poppy begins a journey unlike anything she imagined to learn the truth about the article he had been working on, one with very personal ties to her own family. But her determination to dig up the past puts her and those she loves in danger…

I enjoyed reading this well-written mystery and getting to know the characters of this new series by a new-to-me author. The heroine, Poppy, is easy to like and relatable — she isn’t an expert at much of anything, but she has spunk and determination. Her friends are a smattering of personalities and generations, each unique and likeable in their own way. Read more

Book Review: Burning Proof

Book Review: Burning Proof

Burning Proof by Janice CantoreHaving enjoyed previous books by Janice Cantore, I jumped at the chance to read and review her latest novel, Burning Proof.

Burning Proof, a sequel to Drawing Fire, follows Abby Hart’s career as a detective and her lifelong goal to finally solve her parents’ murders. After a life-changing incident in the line of duty, Abby takes time off of official work to recover. But new clues regarding her parents’ deaths lead her down new avenues of investigation. Meanwhile, private investigator Luke Murphy can’t stop thinking about his own suppositions regarding the old murders — but he is focused on solving a cold case abduction. Little does he know the old case might bring him and Abby closer together.

In this second installment of Cantore’s Cold Case Justice series is worth the read. The plot, while technically a stand-alone, does a great job of picking up the plot where Drawing Fire left off — both the mystery and the personal lives of Abby and Luke.

The reader is quickly drawn into Abby’s quest to learn the truth about her parents’ deaths and pursue justice for herself and all those who lost loved ones in the fire. You will find yourself caring very much about Abby’s quest and the struggles of her life. Meanwhile, Luke’s own mysteries will keep the reader guessing from cover to cover.

While the plot keeps the novel moving from cover to cover, the characters are what really shine in Cantore’s second Cold Case Justice series. While introduced in Drawing Fire, Abby and Luke are both further developed in this installment. I feel as though I’m getting to know a friend – piece by piece, little by little – as I read more about Abby.

Meanwhile, Cantore’s 22 years’ experience in the police force ads an element of reality and grit to her writing. She not only understands how to write, but even the procedural and behind-the-scenes police moments ring true to life.

Cantore’s 22 years’ experience in the police force ads an element of reality and grit to her writing. She not only understands how to write, but even the procedural and behind-the-scenes police moments ring true to life.

I received a complimentary copy of Burning Proof from Tyndale House Publishers, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

Other books I’ve reviewed by Janice Cantore:
Drawing Fire

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if you make a purchase using this link.

Book Review: A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest

Book Review: A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a QuestWhen I first read about A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre, I was interested in reading it. I am soon to be a first-time mom, and I work for an international humanitarian organization, which means that I am very interested in raising my children to understand the many places and cultures of our world — and to value the differences and similarities.

In A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, young Mu — an orphan — sets out on a special quest across the varied geography of a nation in Africa with little but his own ingenuity and the help of a very special chameleon companion and a dog he’s not sure whether or not he can fully trust. Along the way, Mu is testing — both physically and spiritually. His decisions could cost him his life, or the lives of others.

While this youth book takes some time to get started, I appreciated the attention to detail as the author sets the scene in Africa. I think that the explanation of the culture is easy enough for a child to understand without glossing over the struggle of poverty in rural Africa. Mu is a character that any child could relate to.

I did find some discrepancy in Mu’s understanding of the world and some of the narrative and vocabulary used as the tale is told from his point of view.

One of the best parts about the book, though, was the allegory for the Christian walk. The chameleon clearly represents the Holy Spirit that is with us, in us, guiding us throughout our journeys — but only if we let Him. Botu, the dog, may not be “safe”, but he is good and willing to take great risks for Mu, whether the boy deserved it or not.

I would recommend this book to any Christian family hoping to teach their child about world cultures, and also about Jesus Christ.

I received a complimentary copy of A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest from New Growth Press, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

Book Review: Owls

Book Review: Owls

Owls: Our Most Charming BirdI was so excited to receive Owls: Our Most Charming Bird by Matt Sewell at this moment in my life because I am in the process of decorating the nursery for our little one in a woodland animal theme with owls and foxes. I thought this book would be a perfect addition — beautiful hand painted illustrations, an educational component with all the different types of owls, and an earthy look and feel to the volume.

In a lot of ways, I was right. I LOVE the drawings, they are beautiful. And I did learn about the different types of owls in our world. However, I will caution parents that this book is not intended for children (it’s not marketed that way, but it was my first thought). I may end up having to remove this book from my child’s room when he or she learns how to read.

For instance, the Short-Eared Owl is described as a woman who has been up all night, saying “flying over open ground looking for her purse, mascara smeared, with a beast of a hangover.”

In every other way, though, this book is absolutely superb and I can’t wait to show the lovely images to my child!

I received a complimentary copy of Owls from Blogging for Books, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.