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Monday, October 26, 2015

VIPER'S NEST by Shirley Raye Redmond



Brittany McEuen reviews Viper's Nest by Shirley Raye Redmond.

Short Version: 

An outing that begins as research about asylums and Dorothea Dix, quickly turns sinister. Wren Bergschneider is the research assistant to Professor Allan Partner. They are working to uncover the mysteries hidden in an old asylum that is slated for demolition. The same asylum where Allan’s mother died years earlier.

It quickly becomes clear that someone does not want the pair to be digging into old secrets. Will Wren and Allan find the answers they need? What exactly went on behind the closed doors of this institution?

My review:

Viper’s Nest was a spooky and exciting story that I devoured in one day! When I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about it and wondering what would happen next. The story had so much to offer. What peaked my interest right from the beginning were some very interesting history facts that were tied into the story about mental institutions and the sad events that sometimes took place in them. It made me want to read up on the history of these asylums.

The book also had a light romance that developed naturally through it. For a good portion of the book, Wren and Allan were not on the same page spiritually. I like how the author addressed this. She was able to point out how God had been working in Allan’s life, even through terrible events, when he had been unable to see it.

The mystery and suspense in this story was great! The portions of the book when Allan and Wren were inside the asylum were extremely suspenseful. The ending, when everything is finally revealed, felt slightly rushed to me. However, this did not squelch my enjoyment of the story, at all. I have read other books by this author, and have enjoyed them all. Viper’s Nest was my favorite so far.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

About Reviewer, Brittany McEuen:

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 19, 2015

THE LOST HEIRESS by Roseanna M. White

Iola Goulton reviews The Lost Heiress by Roseanna M. White

The Short Version:

Brook Eden has never known where she truly belongs. Though raised in the palace of Monaco, she's British by birth and was brought to the Grimaldis under suspicious circumstances as a babe. When Brook's friend Justin uncovers the fact that Brook is likely a missing heiress from Yorkshire, Brook leaves the sun of the Mediterranean to travel to the moors of the North Sea to the estate of her supposed family.

The mystery of her mother's death haunts her, and though her father is quick to accept her, the rest of the family and the servants of Whitby Park are not. Only when Brook's life is threatened do they draw close--but their loyalty may come too late to save Brook from the same threat that led to tragedy for her mother.

As heir to a dukedom, Justin is no stranger to balancing responsibilities. When the matters of his estate force him far from Brook, the distance between them reveals that what began as friendship has grown into something much more. But how can their very different loyalties and responsibilities ever come together?

And then, for a second time, the heiress of Whitby Park is stolen away because of
the very rare treasure in her possession--and this time only the servants of Whitby can save her.

My Review:

Brook has grown up in the palace of Monaco under the protection of the royal family although she isn’t related. In fact, she doesn’t know if she has any relations until Lord Justin Harlow, her friend since childhood, returns to Monaco and tells her he has managed to locate her father … and she’s not plain Lizette Brook, but Elizabeth Brook Eden, daughter of an Earl, and a Baroness in her own right.

Justin takes Brook back to Whitby, in Yorkshire, to meet her family, but not everything goes smoothly. The staff don’t like her, her mother’s diary goes missing, and someone attacks her in the barn. He claims she has something he wants, but Brook has never heard of it (not surprising if he speaks with a broad Yorkshire accent—I still remember my first visit to Whitby. I couldn’t understand a word anyone was saying for the first day or so).

The Lost Heiress was historical romantic suspense at its finest, with plenty of romance and plenty of suspense. Brook was an adventurous young woman for her time, the product of someone raised by an actress (at a time when actresses weren’t respected at all), and raised in and around Monaco’s royal family. She has long been encouraged in her adventures by Justin, who is an excellent hero with a deep Christian faith. That was one of the things I liked best about The Lost Heiress: the main characters were all strong Christians (however unlikely that might seem!), a pleasant change from some of the “Christian” fiction I’ve come across recently.

The novel is set in 1910, the height of Edwardian England, an age of elegance many of us will recognise from the early series of Downton Abbey (and it has a similar upstairs/downstairs feel, with Irish maid Deidre O’Malley as one of the main characters). The historical research was excellent—I hadn’t realised the Grimaldi family had such a history of, ahem, dysfunction. However, the research never overwhelmed the plot.

One thing which bugged me was the use of “Duke” as a nickname. It’s a title, like President, and being used as a nickname is about as realistic as referring to the US President as “Pres.” Actually, most of the nicknames bugged me, especially “Duke” calling his future father-in-law, “Whit.” He’s Lord Whitby, or simply Whitby to those equal in rank. The ranks and addresses were correct—thankfully. That's something a lot of American authors get wrong, despite the information being easy to find online.

The writing was excellent, and I particularly liked the secondary characters … well, except for the evildoer, who we’re not supposed to like! I’ll look forward to seeing more of these characters in future novels in The Ladies of the Manor series, especially Mellissa, Brice, and Ella.

Recommended for fans of Carrie Turansky and Downton Abbey. Thanks to Bethany House and Litfuse for providing a free ebook for review.

About the Reviewer, Iola Goulton: 

I am a freelance editor specializing in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Tsu .

I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog. I'm a Top 25 Reviewer at Christian Book, in the Top 1% of reviewers at Goodreads, and have an Amazon US Reviewer Rank that floats around 2500 (and I'm in the Top 50 at Amazon Australia).

Monday, October 12, 2015

Giveaway: EHVAH AFTER by Rose Dee

Author Rose Dee has graciously agreed to give away a copy of her newest book, Ehvah After to one lucky Suspense Sister review visitor.

Here's what Iola Goulton, our New Zealand reviewer, said about this book:

"There’s plenty of mystery and suspense along with some romance and all set against the beautiful backdrop of Queensland and more than a dash of humour from the locals (human and non-human)."

Ehvah After recounts troubles of a former teen star who finds herself running from a murderer. See the entire review HERE!

Want a copy of your own direct from the author? Simply leave a comment below and share your favorite teen star (current or former)! Don't forget to leave your email address for contact purposes.

A winning name will be drawn on October 20. If you have a US address, you can choose between a paperback or e-book. An international winner will be sent an e-book. 

Again, make sure you include your email address!

Monday, October 5, 2015

SUBMERGED by Elizabeth Goddard

Marji Laine reviews:

Submerged, by Elizabeth Goddard follows in the excellence shown in the first three stories of the Mountain Cove series, published by Love Inspired Suspense.

Back Cover Premise:

IN TOO DEEP

With Christmas just around the corner, Cobie MacBride wants closure in the case of her missing father. But when a visit to the last place he was seen leads to an attack by a masked assailant, Cobie knows she's in over her head. Running for her life, she never expected to find safety with Adam Warren—the man she blames for her brother's death. Seeking answers leads them to a treasure ship, buried secrets…and deadly danger. Christmas could find them starting a new future—if they can avoid getting trapped in the perils of the past.

MOUNTAIN COVE: In the Alaskan wilderness, love and danger collide

My Take:

To say I enjoyed Submerged is the epitome of understatment. This story took me by surprise over and over again. I love the way Elizabeth Goddard paces her books. She has a rhythm as natural as breathing.

Cobie and Adam show intense sparks, suppressed at their first "on camera" meet up. Their troubled past association is revealed slowly, and it seems to effectively doom any future they might have together. And yet, Adam can't leave her to defend herself alone against someone who has murderous intention. With each attack on Cobie's life worsening, the futility of any blossoming romance is the least of their worries.

The lingering pain would destroy a relationship before it began, anyway.

Oh, and believe me, the relationship between these two is every bit as intriguing as the twisted mystery and suspense that surrounds their new interaction! Well worth the sleepless night I took to finish it!

About the Senior Reviewer:

Suspense Sister, Marji Laine, loves books and writing. Her own Grime Fighter novella series, about a crime scene cleaner, involves mystery, romance, and a touch of suspense. 

Living in a Dallas suburb with her hubby of almost 30 years and her twins - the youngest of four - she spends her days homeschooling and transporting her teenagers to various functions, especially volleyball games. She also directs the children's music, helps with the youth choir, and sings in the adult choir at her church, and coordinates the high school credit classes along with the website of a large home school co-op. 

Join her at MarjiLaine.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or visit her Amazon author page.