Book Review: Wild Montana Skies

Book Review: Wild Montana Skies

Wild Montana Skies by Susan May WarrenWhen I saw a new contemporary novel by author Susan May Warren would be released this fall, I got very excited. I am a huge fan of In Sheep’s Clothing (and the subsequent Mission: Russia books: Sands of Time and Wiser Than Serpents), plus I lived in Montana, the setting of this new book, for 4 years while attending college, so I was ready for something great with Wild Montana Skies.

Injured in more ways than one by a war overseas, helicopter pilot Kacey Fairing returns home to Montana to start a new life — coming to terms with her emotional scars and learning to be the mom that her daughter needs. One thing at least she knows, she will be helping people by piloting search and rescue missions over the gorgeous and deadly Glacier National Park wilderness. But then she learns who her new partner will be, it becomes apparent that leaving the past behind won’t be so easy. The man who broke her heart will now be her constant companion. Read more

Book Review: Deadly Encounter

Book Review: Deadly Encounter

Deadly EncounterDeadly Encounter by DiAnn Mills was an enjoyable mystery and a quick read.

“Airport Ranger volunteer Stacy Broussard expected a peaceful Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of Houston’s airport. What she encounters instead is a brutal homicide and a baffling mystery. Next to the body is an injured dog, the dead man’s motorcycle, and a drone armed with a laser capable of taking down a 747.

“Though FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc sees a clear-cut case of terrorism, his past has taught him to be suspicious of everyone, even witnesses. Even bleeding-heart veterinarians like Stacy. But when her gruesome discovery is only the first in a string of incidences that throw her life into a tailspin, Alex begins to wonder if Stacy was targeted. As a health emergency endangers Stacy’s community, and the task force pulls in leads from all directions, Alex and Stacy must work together to prevent another deadly encounter.”

Read more

Book Review: Catching Heat

Book Review: Catching Heat

Catching Heat by Janice CantoreCatching Heat by Janice Cantore is the third installation of the Cold Case Justice series.

The deaths of her parents appears to be settled — or as settled as it was going to be — so detective Abby Hart is prepared to move on. But when a key confession witholds information, Abby can’t stand the injustice. Now a part of the newly formed task force to address cold cases, she learns that it’s harder to let go than she thought.

Meanwhile, private investigator Luke Murphy is ready to blaze ahead with the first lead assigned to his new cold case team. Struggling to keep Abby’s focus on the case, he worries her seeming obsession might become deadly. Read more

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.

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: 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:
Abducted
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: Rising Darkness

Book Review: Rising Darkness

Rising Darkness by Nancy MehlRising Darkness by Nancy Mehl is an intriguing tale about a formerly Mennonite woman who finds herself right back in a largely Mennonite town as she pursues the biggest break of her reporting career.

Haunted by her past, Sophie is doing her best to create an entirely new life for herself. Part of that life is becoming the investigative reporter she’s always dreamed of being. With a tip from an old neighbor, Sophie takes a vacation from her day-job as an obituary writer to strike out on her own and solve a cold case involving theft of more than $1 million and the murder of at least two men.

But as she hunts down the killer, and the missing money, Sophie is also confronted by her own shadowy past — specifically a young charismatic pastor name Jonathan, a face from Sophie’s past and the one man her heart has always longed for. Can she solve the mystery without losing her heart again?

While well written, I found the book rather difficult to believe. Perhaps it is my own degree in journalism or my experience as a reporter, but I found the entire premise somewhat fantastic.

Setting aside my own disbelief, I rather enjoyed reading about Sophie’s journey to solve the mystery and face her past. She learned many lessons along the way — about truth, justice, and forgiveness. And you’ll be left guessing the “whodunnit” until the very end. The cast of characters are certainly the strongest element of Rising Darkness.

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

Book Review: Taken

Book Review: Taken

Taken by Dee HendersonI’ve mentioned before that I’m a longtime fan of Dee Henderson, and although I have found her more recent work to be rather different and a little disappointing, I’m always up for giving it another shot. So when the opportunity came to read her latest, Taken, I jumped on it.

In order to regain true freedom after escaping her longtime captors — a notorious crime family — Shannon Bliss enlists the help of private investigator Matthew Dane, a man with experience bringing a kidnap victim back to life. But in order to help Shannon get her life back, Matthew must unravel the truth behind her kidnapping and captivity.

While the characters were interesting and well developed, I kept waiting for the suspense and to be honest, it never really came. The story line is perhaps an interesting look at life after surviving a heinous crime, but it does not involve anything suspenseful or even terribly mysterious. I’m finding that this is a running theme in Henderson’s latest books. Interesting, but not suspenseful.

In spite of the lackluster plot, I did truly like Shannon Bliss as a character and rooted for her to overcome all obstacles to regaining her life and freedom. Matthew Dane was also an interesting character, but largely because of his past. I found he grew and changed very little over the course of the novel.

I also struggled with the title of the book, in part because it set me up to believe the book would be about her kidnapping (not her recovery after the fact), and in part because it is the title of a well-known film (and several people thought I was reading the book behind that movie).

That said, I do anxiously await the next installment from Henderson and will continue to read anything that she publishes.

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

My Other Dee Henderson Book Reviews:
Unspoken
Full Disclosure
Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story