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Monday, October 27, 2014

HIDDEN by Vannetta Chapman

Brittany McEuen reviews

Dana Jacobs is a strong and capable supervisor at the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. She has not had an easy life and is reluctant to let anyone get too close.

Benjamin Marshall has finished his stint in the military as an explosives expert and is now assigned to Dana’s team. When threats start rolling in, and it is clear that a man full of anger is orchestrating attacks, Ben knows that he has been brought to Taos to protect Dana.

I really enjoyed reading Hidden. I loved the setting of Taos, NM, as well as the interesting characters in this book. The book takes off immediately with a heart-stopping prologue that gives the reader a peek back into the past. It is a glimpse at the moment Dana Jacob’s life changed forever. This event shaped her view of God, the world, and of relationships. What a complex character Dana is. She tries very hard to be strong, but lacks the one thing in life that could give her true strength.

Ben Marshall carries that true peace and strength in him because of his reliance on God. He is a wonderful hero. He is strong, yet gentle, and has such an innate ability to understand what Dana needs. Sometimes this causes some friction between them, adding to the tension in the book.

The story line is gripping and the action scenes are intense. The suspense builds throughout the story and the villain in the book is definitely scary and always seems one step ahead of the Homeland Defense team.

Hidden is a great addition to the world of romantic suspense! I am looking forward to reading more in the Jacobs Family Series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, Vannetta Chapman, in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.

About Brittany:
I am a busy homeschooling mom to four children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and am an avid reader and book reviewer.  I feature book reviews, giveaways, and occasional author interviews on my blog, Britt Reads Fiction. You can also connect with me on Pinterest and Goodreads.

Monday, October 20, 2014

ANYTHING FOR A MYSTERY by Cynthia Hickey



Wanda Barefoot reviews:

(A Nosey Neighbor Mystery, Book 1)
What's a romance writer to do when she stumbles on a murder? Change her genre, of course! Tweet This!

Stormi Nelson is a reclusive New York Times best-selling author. Her home office is her best friend and where she writes her famous novels but, in an effort to get out and mingle with "real" people more, she volunteers to be the head of the neighborhood watch. On one of her nightly patrols, she falls head over heels (literally) for her dead neighbor and finds herself hiding in the doghouse with an Irish Wolfhound named Sadie. As far as Stormi is concerned, everyone in the neighborhood is a suspect (until proven otherwise) including the sexy Detective Matthew Steele. Matthew, however, can't decide whether to kiss Stormi or throttle her.

How do you curb an author's wild imagination, especially when murder is involved? Click to Tweet! You. Can't.

Stormi Nelson's character is a delight in this book. She has a quirky way about her that I found so endearing. Her strong desire to gather research for her next novel and her reclusive nature clashed to a degree but her need get her creative juices flowing outweighed her need for privacy. Oak Meadow Estates is filled with all kinds of quirky characters from Bill Olson and his wife Norma (who thinks every woman is trying to steal her husband) to Victoria Lanham (who looks like a model for a Barbie Doll) to Cecelia and Herman Edgars (who look like they came straight out of a mob movie). Add to the mix Stormi's family moving in and she's ready to pull her hair out faster than gravity pulls us down to earth!

I thoroughly enjoyed going on Stormi's adventure as a self-made sleuth. Anything for a Mystery has a "cozy" feel with a lot of humor woven in and some romance with a gorgeous detective. All of these
come together to make a storyline that reeled me in like a fish and hooked me enough to buy the next book in the series. I can't wait to read more! Cynthia Hickey is a new author for me but, after reading this book, I can't imagine why. This is the perfect book to read by a warm fire on a cold night or any time you want an adventure. A very enjoyable read!

About Wanda Barefoot:

I am a self-proclaimed reviewer who turned my love of reading into a way to help authors get more recognition for the amazing stories they write for bibliophiles like me. I love God and family and I have a special love for all animals, both big and small. If I'm not reading you can most likely find me on my computer tinkering with graphics and my own personal web design. You can read more of my reviews on my blog at www.abookloversretreat.com , on Facebook at www.facebook.com/abookloversretreat or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/flghtlss1.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

DECEIVED by Irene Hannon

Marji Laine Reviews Irene Hannon pens a heart-wrenching story of tragedy, hope, and peril.

A grieving mother. A mysterious child. And a dedicated PI who's determined to solve the puzzle.

For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she's convinced it's her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating "accident" begins to look increasingly suspicious. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.

This was a different type of suspense. It didn't have a "ticking clock" feel until the last couple of chapters, but the sense of foreboding prevailed.

Another rare situation was the fact that the antagonist was known virtually throughout the entire book. Trouble was, I really felt for the antag. I liked his character and felt sorry for him, which proved to be a study in psychology. A real piece of work.

But I liked all of the characters. Kate a nurturing counselor, is haunted with the possibility of her son being alive, even though all hope for that prospect has evaporated years before. Connor, a swashbuckler in the past who has recently become more of a warrior, has ghosts of his own making that whisper into his ear of his faults and failures.

How these two broken people can find healing and a future has as much to do with this story as the twisted crime. More than once, I got the feeling that there was no way this story could have a happy ending. Hannon does a masterful job of resolving the plot and tying up the dangling details.

Deceived is the final book of the Private Justice Series. I haven't read the others, but I can deduce that they all share the same supporting cast. Love those characters, too. Very distinct in personalities and back stories!

All in all, Deceived was a great read.

Senior Reviewer: Marji Laine

Marji Laine is thrilled to be nearing the end of her daughters' volleyball season so she can indulge in working on a brand new story! A collaborative novella, The Love Boat Bachelor, set for release by Write Integrity Press in February. Her blog, Faith Driven Fiction, posts reviews, interviews, and writer focused articles as well as analysis of popular movies with a Biblical World view. Find her at FacebookTwitterPinterestGoodreads, or Google+.

Monday, October 6, 2014

TIDE WILL TELL by Lesley Ann McDaniel

Marji Laine review.
I had no idea Tide Will Tell was book 2 of the three-book Islands of Intrigue - San Juans series until I finished the novel with a blissful sigh. It stands alone as a full story, both the suspense and the romance, which are equally riveting!

Kate Jennings has plans for a new life. One free of poverty, fear, and secrets. Well, maybe not free of secrets. But with money to secure her, who can possibly learn her trivial details or the more despicable events of her life?

Except that her new fiance, at least twenty years her senior, has disastrous secrets of his own, and rumors of truly hideous actions. Can Kate really consider a hermit-like life of luxury with only his company? She believes that's the life she wants, but the new security man, the paparazzi, and a few unexpected complications spoil her fantasy of happily-ever-after.

This story, while a strong romance, flourishes with constant tension. What seem to be imagined ravings of a fearful woman, become real threats. Sinister and terrorizing. Without giving too much away, a perplexing mystery with shades of Daphne du Maurier's, Rebecca, this story held me til the final page!

I love Kate. She's a survivor. A WAIF with a spine of iron. She thinks she needs rescuing. Relies on her new fiance for safety. Desperately needs people around her. But she grows through this story, revealing her true, whimsical personality and strength she never knew she had.


This plot is full of enticing conflict, not only because of the secrets, but also from the diverse values the different players entertain. In an ultra-luxurious atmosphere, of course material wealth is important to some. Kate's values include wealth, but only as a means to security. Others held honesty, family, truth, or ambition in high regard. All of these clashed through the story.

I loved this story. Makes me curious about the first book in this series, Unrelenting Tide, by Lynnette Bonner. There is also a promised third book, Deceptive Tide by Janalyn Voight to come in Summer, 2015!


Senior Reviewer: Marji Laine

Marji Laine is a collaborator in three novellas with short stories published in both books and magazines. A homeschooling mom or four, two of which are graduates, she is married to a wonderful business analyst who keeps her grounded in reality. Her blog, Faith Driven Fiction, posts reader and writer focused articles as well as analysis of popular movies with a Biblical World view. Find her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or Google+.