Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A quick visit to Angel Island -- The Wedding Promise

The Wedding Promise by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer is the second installment in their Angel Island series, which follows right on the heels of their Cape Light novels.  This is a quick and easy-to-read story that draws the reader into its pleasant setting.

Liza Martin is just getting her feet on the ground in her plans to bring The Inn at Angel Island back up to the previous state of the time when her aunt and uncle ran it, when she is approached by a young lady who has her heart set on getting married at the inn.  Initially determined to decline the request to handle the wedding, Liza decides to give it a try but ends up facing all kinds of hurdles in pulling off this first major event of her new career.  On the personal front, Liza finds herself falling for Daniel, the very desirable handyman who is helping her with renovations.  Things get very confusing in that arena as Daniel sends mixed signals about his interest in Liza and is unwilling to open up and share his secrets.

I enjoyed this book, as I did the first in this series and the previous series.  However, for much of the book, the plot seems to move very slowly, and I felt it was bogged down in details rather than anything that really moved the story along.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fast-Paced Romantic Crime Thriller -- A Killer Among Us

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason is a fast-paced romantic crime thriller with lots of twists and turns to the story.  Kit Kenyon knows her business as a top-notch hostage negotiator.  Almost immediately after starting a new job, she and her new partner Noah Lambert find themselves involved in a terrifying serial murder case.  The case progresses and the danger grows personal, as it appears that the killer may be after either Kit or Noah. 

As Kit and Noah get to know each other better, his openly expressed faith and compassion have a dramatic impact on Kit.  She finds herself having to make decisions about how to handle feelings of betrayal and hurt in her personal life, and the partnership begins to move in unexpected directions.

I was a little hesitant to opt in on reviewing this book when I realized it was the third in a series, but I’m glad I chose to do so.  There was enough background information given to make this enjoyable as a stand-alone, but now I’m anxious to go back and read the first two installments in the Women of Justice series.

(This book was provided free from Revell for my honest review.)

Available May 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

End of a Series -- Greater Love

This week I read the third and final installment in Robert Whitlow's Tides of Truth series -- Greater Love.  As I said in a post about the second book, this was an OK series, but not my favorite. 

The story begins with Tami Taylor struggling to make a couple of major decisions in her life -- (1) which law firm's offer to accept for her first employment after passing the bar and (2) whether she should choose between the the two men vying for her heart, or whether God's plan for her involves neither of them.  After finally making her employment decision, Tami receives a court-appointed assignment and ends up in the middle of a case where there is much more danger and intrigue than what is immediately apparent.  Along the way, she learns important lessons in "greater love" and suffers the loss of someone close to her.

Once I started this series, I wanted to finish it to see how things turned out for Tami and her friends/family.  Some things, though, kept it from rising to the top of my favorites list.  Many elements of the plot were drawn out and slow moving.  The spiritual elements -- although generally something I very much enjoy and appreciate in a novel -- were just a little too "out there" for my comfort zone.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Walk continues . . . -- Miles to Go

I'm not sure what it is about Richard Paul Evans' books that makes them so compelling.  There is action, but I wouldn't call them action packed.  There is romance, but I wouldn't classify them as typical romantic stories.  His books always make me think and make me feel -- and I don't even realize how much until after I've finished the story.

Miles to Go, "the second journal of THE WALK series," fits into this same category.  Alan Christoffersen picks up right where he left off at the end of The Walk -- in the hospital recovering from his near-deadly attack, resulting in a months-long detour from his original plan.  During this unexpected down time, though, his life takes on new meaning through a mutually beneficial relationship with his very own Angel.  He also has the chance to reconnect with important people from his past.   When he is able to start back on his cross-country trek, he meets Kailamai -- once again someone he helps as she brings new enjoyment to his life.  Without being "preachy" or "teachy," Richard reminds his readers of important life lessons through Alan's relationships.

So I wind down to the end of the book -- the very last entry before the epilogue -- feeling quiet and introspective -- and Evans throws in a big-time cliffhanger!  And I have to wait until sometime next year to get the answers?!?!?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A different kind of Amish story -- The Promise of an Angel

The Promise of an Angel by Ruth Reid blends Amish characters and angels into an engaging story of love and faith.

Judith Fischer wants to live the typical Amish life, marrying a man of common faith and raising a house full of children.  She has loved Levi Plank for years and anxiously awaits her nineteenth birthday when her parents will allow her to be courted.  Things change for Judith after her younger brother Samuel suffers a serious injury at a barn raising.  She believes she has been visited by an angel, but her family, friends, and church officials fear that she is either being deceived or is willfully sinning and should confess her wrongs.  Only Andrew Lapp, the bishop’s son, believes Judith’s story, and that puts him into a difficult spot with his father.  Eventually Judith’s parents have to make a difficult decision to keep Judith from having to suffer the discipline of the church.

Ruth Reid’s first story is a good one, and I look forward to reading more from her.  The quality of her work is comparable to many of the works by other writers of Amish stories.  Her characters draw you in as they deal with their struggles and joys of life.

(Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another great thriller by Randy Singer -- Directed Verdict

When I finished my first book by Randy Singer, I knew I was hooked, and Directed Verdict confirmed that response.  This was another legal page-turner with lots of twists and turns, keeping me unable to decide who were the "good guys" and who were the "bad guys" up to the very end.

Attorney Brad Carson files a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia and the head of that nation's "religious police" and finds his team watched closely by individuals, organizations, and nations on opposite sides of the world.   Sarah Reed experienced horrendous persecution, including the brutal murder of her husband, at the hands of the Muttawa while the couple served as underground missionaries in Saudi Arabia.  She reluctantly enters the legal process as a means of clearing the trumped-up drug allegations against her husband and recovering the life insurance she needs to raise her two children. 

As Brad, Nikki Moreno (a paralegal with quesitonable ethics), Leslie Connors (an ambitious law student), and others on the team move forward with the case, it appears they might be in over their heads.  Careers and even lives appear to be on the line as deception and danger pop up at every turn, leaving Brad unsure of who he can trust and what pieces he can salvage from his crumbling case and personal feelings. 

Lessons of love, faith, and trust are woven throughout this intriguing story.  Randy Singer's personal faith and first-hand knowledge of the legal system bring a valuable authenticity to his writing.  I'm anxious to see what he has to offer next.