Wednesday, December 22, 2021

"Lights Out," by Natalie Walters

"Lights Out," by Natalie Walters



CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.

Oh my, what a book.  This one is addictive, you HAVE to know what happens next.  The book is so fast paced, you are running to keep up with it.  Where does Natalie gets her ideas from........actually I know where she gets her ideas from as she says before chapter one:

"They always say be careful what you say around an author because it could be used in a story.

This book and series are dedicated to my friends in those three-letter agencies who were less than careful."

This is the first book in the "Snap Agency," series and what a start to the series.  There are twists and turns all along the way.  It is so realistic that you begin to question what is real and what is not real.  Could this happen in real life?  After reading this book, you begin looking at those everyday people you meet in the street.  Could they be terrorists?  Of course they could.

All the characters were well thought out.  You want to learn more about each and every one of them.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I couldn't find any fault with this book.  This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  The next in the series is published in May of 2022.  I will be first in line for a copy of that book.

  "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group".


"A Deep Divide," by Kimberley Woodhouse

 "A Deep Divide," by Kimberley Woodhouse

After being kidnapped as a child, heiress Emma Grace McMurray has seen firsthand the devastation that greed causes in the world, and she wants nothing to do with it. When she discovers her father has offered her up as a bargaining chip to expand his empire, she disappears into the night. Determined to stay hidden, even if it means always looking over her shoulder, she finds herself working as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel.

When Ray Watkins arrives at the hotel on business, he is immediately captivated by the beauty of the Grand Canyon. Though his fame-seeking father aims to lure new investors to the Arizona Territory, Ray dreams of one day taking over the family business and doing good with the profits.

Ray immediately admires Emma Grace, and though an attraction begins to form, she can't let go of the deep-rooted fear that he's just like every other wealthy man she's known. When suspicious activity follows Emma Grace and Ray to the El Tovar, they are pulled into a mystery that stirs up their worst fears. And as shocking revelations come to light, they are left to question all they thought to be true.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this book is "never judge a book by it's cover."  The same goes for people, and this story is a prime example of that.  Due to past experiences in Emma Grace's life she thinks all men are the same; not to be trusted.  This story show's her that they are not all the same.  

I had never heard of "Harvey Girl's," and found that aspect of the story quite interesting.  Interesting enough, that I have looked up on the internet to find out more about them.  The author's notes at the end of the book were interesting and well worth reading.

The way the author describes the Grand Canyon is so life like you can visualize it exactly.  It's a place I have never been but would love to visit.  The El Tovar hotel is actually a real hotel, and looks lovely online.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 Although I enjoyed the book, this book wasn't a page turner.  I read it over a few days.  It was easy enough to pick up where I had left off.  A lovely book but one I will forget about in time.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Sunday, December 12, 2021

"Every Word Unsaid," by Kimberly Duffy

"Every Word Unsaid," by Kimberly Duffy 


Augusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family's constant disappointment. As the nation's most fearless--and reviled--columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape.

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel's sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she's long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her.

The way Kimberly describes India in her books makes you feel as though you are right there with all the characters in the book.  It is her strong point I think where her writing is concerned.  She can describe a scene and you can visualize it right away.  I also like how she incorporates so many historical facts within the book, so you are learning something as you read.

On a more negative side though, I found the book difficult to immerse myself into until Augusta finally lands in India. The story picked up from that point and became more interesting; at least for me.

The one thing I took from this book was how words that are said to you throughout your life can have a negative impact on your life.  If those same words are repeated to you on a regular basis, those words can hurt you mentally and you have to work hard to rid yourself of them.

Stars out of 5 : 4 I found the book very hard to get into at the beginning.  It felt as though it was too long of an introduction to the characters.  India was a delight as always and the relationship between Gussie and Specs was perfect and very believable.  Well worth reading.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, October 7, 2021

"Yours is the Night," by Amanda Dykes

 "Yours is the Night," by Amanda Dykes


"The trenches of the Great War are a shadowed place. Though Platoon Sergeant Matthew Petticrew arrived there with a past long marked by shadow, the realities of battle bring new wounds--carving within him a longing for light, and a resolve to fight for it.

One night, Matthew and his comrades are enraptured by a sound so pure, a voice so ethereal, it offers reprieve--even if only for a moment. Soon, rumors sweep the trenches from others who have heard the lullaby too. "The Angel of Argonne," they call the voice: a mysterious presence who leaves behind wreaths on unmarked graves.
 
Raised in the wild depths of the Forest of Argonne, Mireilles finds her reclusive world rocked when war crashes into her idyllic home, taking much from her. When Matthew and his two unlikely companions discover Mireilles, they must embark on a journey that will change each of them forever . . . and perhaps, at long last, spark light into the dark.

On the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier comes an emotive tale inspired by the courageous soldiers of World War I."

I always feel so bad when I don't enjoy a book; unfortunately this was the case with this book.  It tells the tale of a group of soldier's that discover a woman in a forest and they take her to safety and how that journey changes all their lives.  There of course is much more to the story, but that's what it is in a nutshell!

Each chapter was written by a different character's point of view.  As there were five leading character's you had five different view points.  That was way too much for me, especially at the beginning, as it was hard to keep up with.  It took me until around chapter 12 or so; a quarter of the way through the book, to figure out who was who and what was what.  That again was way too long for me.

After that though I got into the story a bit more and I did want to continue reading the book to see what happened next.  I will say the descriptions of the conditions on the front and how those poor people had to live both soldiers and civilians was well written.

Stars out of 5 : 3 I like a book that sucks me in right away, this book didn't.  If you enjoy stories from the Great War/World War I this book is for you.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, September 30, 2021

"Beyond the Tides," by Liz Johnson

"Beyond the Tides," by Liz Johnson


"When Meg Whitaker's father decides to sell the family's lobster fishing business to her high school nemesis, she sets out to prove she should take it over instead. Though she's never had any interest in running the small fleet--or even getting on a boat due to her persistent seasickness--she can't stand to see Oliver Ross in charge. Not when he ruined her dreams for a science scholarship and an Ivy League education ten years ago.

Oliver isn't proud of what he did back then. Angry and broken by his father walking out on his family, he lashed out at Meg--an innocent bystander. But owning a respected fishing fleet on Prince Edward Island is the opportunity of a lifetime, as well as a way to provide for his mother, and he's not about to walk away just because Meg wants him to.

Meg's father has the perfect solution: Oliver and Meg will work the business together, and at the end of the season, he'll decide who gets it. Along the way, they may discover that their stories are more similar than they thought . . . and their dreams aren't what they expected."

I really enjoyed this book.  The story kept moving along at a decent pace.  The main characters Oliver and Meg were very realistic and I was cheering them along throughout the story.  I know nothing about lobster fishing, so that was interesting learning about that.

Prince Edward Island is somewhere I would love to visit, and this story just made me want to visit more. There was a great deal of thought and love written into this story.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved it and I can't wait to read the second in the "Prince Edward Island Shores," series which is due out in the Summer of 2022

 "Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell , a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Sunday, September 26, 2021

"The Lines Between Us," by Amy Lynn Green

 "The Lines Between Us," by Amy Lynn Green


"A WWII novel of courage and conviction, based on the true experience of the men who fought fires as conscientious objectors and the women who fought prejudice to serve in the Women's Army Corps.

Since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gordon Hooper and his buddy Jack Armitage have stuck to their values as conscientious objectors. Much to their families' and country's chagrin, they volunteer as smokejumpers rather than enlisting, parachuting into and extinguishing raging wildfires in Oregon. But the number of winter blazes they're called to seems suspiciously high, and when an accident leaves Jack badly injured, Gordon realizes the facts don't add up.

A member of the Women's Army Corps, Dorie Armitage has long been ashamed of her brother's pacifism, but she's shocked by news of his accident. Determined to find out why he was harmed, she arrives at the national forest under the guise of conducting an army report . . . and finds herself forced to work with Gordon. He believes it's wrong to lie; she's willing to do whatever it takes for justice to be done. As they search for clues, Gordon and Dorie must wrestle with their convictions about war and peace and decide what to do with the troubling secrets they discover."

This book was pretty interesting, story aside.  I learned a lot about conscientious objectors, about smokejumpers, and even about the WOC.  The author's research really paid off and she wove true historical information into a very well written book.

Dorie was a bit over the top for me, but you couldn't help but like her.  What Gordon, Jack and his fellow conscientious objectors went through fighting fires they deserved praise for what they did.  The story was fast paced and it kept you interested throughout.

The mystery about Jack's accident does keep things interesting.  However, DO NOT read the author's notes until after you have read the book!!  I made the mistake of reading the author's notes around three quarters of the way through and I figured out the "mystery!"

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 It lost half a star, because the story seemed to drag at certain points.  The author's notes are really worth reading at the end, they contain a lot of information.  WWII stories are not my usual genre of books I read, so this made a lovely change for me.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"A Warrior's Heart," by Misty M. Beller

 "A Warrior's Heart," by Misty M. Beller


"Brielle Durand is still haunted by the massacre that killed her mother a dozen years before. Vowing to never let it happen again, she's risen to be the key defender for her people's peace-loving French settlement living in hidden caves in the Canadian Rockies. When a foreigner wanders too near to their secret home, she has no choice but to disarm and capture him. But now, what to do with this man who insists he can be trusted?

Hoping to escape past regrets, Evan MacManus ventured into the unknown, assigned to discover if the northern mountains contain an explosive mineral that might help America win the War of 1812. Despite being taken prisoner, Evan is determined to complete his mission. But when that assignment becomes at odds with his growing appreciation of the villagers and Brielle, does he follow through on his promise to his government or take a risk on where his heart is leading him? Either choice will cause harm to someone.

Brielle and Evan must reconcile the warring in their hearts to have any hope of finding peace for their peoples."

I had high hopes for this book, but I am afraid it didn't live up to it.  I am not sure if it was the slow pace of this story or just the lack of depth in the story, but it didn't capture my imagination.  The way this story ended just didn't make sense to me, there was a lot of loose ends that needed to be tied up.  

This is the first book in the "Brides of Laurent" series; and normally you get a complete ending with the main characters, so when you read the next in the series, you move onto another main set of characters, with the characters from the first book taking second stage.  There is still a lot of story to be told regarding Brielle and Evan.

I wished there had been some author's notes about how she came to write this book and more about Pitchblende.

Stars out of 5 : 3 I didn't hate this book, I read it through to the end, but I know I will totally forget about it soon.  It just didn't live up to my expectations.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"Lights Out," by Natalie Walters

"Lights Out," by Natalie Walters CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of ...