Monday, 23 April 2018

Probing

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/probing/385750


Back Cover
 
As evil lurks around every corner, this misfit team must work together if anyone wants to make it out alive. 
 
The states are higher than ever as Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky return again to the universe of Harbringers for four more stories set in a world on the brink of destruction.
 
In Bill Myer's "Leviathan", the team heads to Hollywood for a taping of a new television pilot, Live or Die: The Ultimate Reality.  When violence and chaos erupt, they must fight an insidious and multiplying madness before it spreads across the globe.
 
Frank Peretti's "The Mind Pirates" centers on an earring with mysterious powers that just might hold the key to solving a murder.  When two members of the team are kidnapped by seventeenth-century pirates, the team must overcome the ruthless scheming of an evil, hidden nemesis.
 
In "Hybrids" from Angela Hunt, the arrival of two mysterious black-eyed children and a baby's disappearance are no coincidence.  Instead of finding the rest they need, the four friends must stay on their guard as they search for answers - and for a missing child.
 
In "The Village" from Alton Gansky, a visit to a guarded and secretive North Carolina town becomes the most challenging mystery the team has ever faced as they must jump between universes to solve a problem they barely understand before the window between worlds closes forever.
 
Review
 
Up for another round of creepy goodness?  Enter Cycle Three in the "Harbringers" series where four talented authors deliver four thrilling stories full of supernatural suspense and intrigue.
 
I've been a huge fan of the "Harbringers" series since the first novel, Invitation was released in April 2017, followed by The Assault in August 2017, and now we have Probing to add to the collection.  One of my favourite aspects about the series is the diversity of the authors' writing, characters, and stories.  You never quite know what to expect when you pick up one of these books!  The first two novels were home runs for me all around; however...I found Probing was a little of a mixed bag.  A couple of the stories I absolutely LOVED, and they reminded me of why I was crazy about this series in the first place!  However, two of the other stories fell a bit flat.  It was as if the "mojo" was lost and instead of delivering more intense, supernatural thrillers, the stories just poked along, and I was struggling to see how they were relevant to the over-arching theme of the series.
 
And on the note of the general theme of the series, given that while there may only be three books in the series, there are actually twelve stories, and I'm rather eager to find out more about the mysterious "Gate" and who the anonymous benefactor of the team is?  I hope some strong hints and clues will be revealed in the next book to keep the theme running!
 
All in all, I'm still very much a HUGE fan of this series and am eagerly looking forward to the next book!
 
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

A Song Unheard

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/a-song-unheard/383720


Back Cover

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a critical task at the outset of World War I - to secure a crucial cypher key from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he's won - until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed.  Everyone wants the key to his father's work as a cryptologist.  And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price.  The only distraction he finds from his worry is in meeting the intriguing and talented Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn't - that she must betray him and find that key, or her own family could pay the same price his surely has.

Review

This story gave me goosebumps!  But not in the creepy-I'm-so-scared-check-under-the-bed way, but in the this-story-is-amazing way!  I fell in love with Barclay Pearce's family of expert thieves in the first novel, A Name Known, and desperately hope there are many more novels to this series.  The adventures the characters face are filled with intrigue and danger and balanced out with the perfect blend of romance.
 
In A Song Unheard, Willa Forsythe is tapped by the mysterious Mr. V.  to locate and steal a cypher key to ensure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.  Willa is the more "prickly" of personalities in the family and very resistant to showing her true emotions.  However, despite her best intentions, when she meets the Casanova-type Lukas De Wilde, sparks immediately fly, and she finds it difficult to keep the walls around her heart from crashing down.  Their budding relationship made for a delightful romantic diversion, producing a few very "sigh-worthy" moments. 
 
As with the first novel, in A Song Unheard, I was enthralled with this intriguing story set during one of the most turbulent times in history.  The detailed research Ms. White puts into her novels does not go unnoticed as I felt transported into the story as if witnessing everything first hand.  From the culture and customs, war-time drama, etc., the setting was just terrific.   
 
Simply put, Ms. White's "Shadows over England" series is one not to be missed. 

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

Cold Water


http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/coldwater/381240

Back Cover
 
The vigilantes behind him are nothing compared to the enemy within.
 
Having forfeited his youth to the state prison system, Michael moved back to the still vacant house of his parents in a town with on stoplight.  A town that hated him.  Had always hated him.  And was ready to pick up where the prison system had left off.
 
Now he's on the run from men who've tried to kill him once; but Michael is more than an ex-con.  A powerful, sinister force skulks within him, threatening and destructive.  What--and who--it will destroy next is the only real question.
 
Review
 
Cold Water is an interesting tale.  To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about this story.  On the one hand, it is suspenseful and spine-tingling as promised.  But it is also dark.  Similarly to Purgatory Road, there are elements to the story that left me somewhat confused as to why this book is coming from a Christian publishing company.  Frankly, I couldn't find any Christian elements in this book.  Other than the messages of forgiveness and mercy (along with the dark, thematic, supernatural elements), the story is missing the true source of hope and mercy - Jesus.  Cold Water leads readers to believe that just man himself can shrug off our inner darkness - our sin.  But what Christians know to be true - from what we read in the Bible - we know that is not the case. Only Jesus has the power to bring us to true repentance, save us from the bondage of sin, and grant eternal life.
 
Aside from misgivings about the spirituality of the novel, from a strict literary point of view, Cold Water does a great job of grabbing hold of the reader from the opening scene (which is very creepy and very effective!), not letting them go until the final word.  It is a taut, suspenseful journey that dives deep into exploring dark, human motives, and yet ends on a thread of hope.  There's no question that Samuel Parker can write good suspense novels.


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

Saturday, 3 February 2018

A Dangerous Legacy

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/a-dangerous-legacy/382500


Back Cover

Telegraph operator Lucy Drake is a master of Morse code and has made herself a valuable asset to the Associated Press news agency.  But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk.  Colin is talented, handsome, insufferably charming - and keeping a secret that jeopardizes his reputation.
 
Despite their rivalry, Lucy can't deny that Colin has the connections she needs to give her family an edge in the long legal battle they've been waging over their rightful inheritance.  But when she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, the web of treachery they dive into proves to be far more dangerous than they ever could have known.

Review

What another great historical novel by Elizabeth Camden!  I'm always amazed by the depth of her research that she puts into each of her novels.  She picks such interesting topics to expound upon that it's like getting a history lesson at the same time (but in a good way!).  In A Dangerous Legacy, she expounds upon the rivalry between the Associated Press and Reuters, carrier pigeons, the world of telegraphs, insane asylums (believe it or not!), and Panama Canal.  She masterfully weaves all these different facets together to create a story that is immensely fascinating and difficult to put down. 
 
As for the characters, Lucy is a spunky girl with a lot of pluck and determination.  She has a razor-sharp focus on winning a long-standing family court battle so that justice can be accomplished.  Her fierce devotion to her brother as well as her quick wit, has endeared her as one of my favourite heroines to date. 
 
Colin is an affable British fellow who is tenacious and goal driven with his eyes firmly set on marrying a wealthy heiress to bring his family estate out of disrepair.  He truly has a "nose" for news, and enjoys reading the newspaper front to back - including the cricket scores.  I loved the fact that he raises carrier pigeons as it added a wonderful aspect to the story.
 
Together, Lucy and Colin make a smashing pair, trading insults, and are equally matched in their determination for their own pursuits.  As circumstances take dangerous turns, they are forced into an alliance that tests their budding friendship.  I greatly enjoyed reading their story and am looking forward to Lucy's brother's story, A Daring Venture - hopefully coming out soon!

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

The House on Foster Hill

http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/the-house-on-foster-hill/386910


Back Cover

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death.  When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise fell on deaf ears.  In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather`s Wisconsin hometown.  But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision.  And when the house`s dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.
 
A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe.  When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity.  Ivy`s search leads her into dangerous waters, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart.  Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives - including her own - are lost?
 
Review
 
A new author on the scene, Jaime Jo Wright, blasted through my expectations with a spine-tingling mystery.  Jaime has deftly written two tales that cross time periods with the "house on Foster Hill" bridging the gap.  There is plenty of drama, loads of intrigue, and many interesting characters fleshing out this story.  And because there are two stories, it also means double the romance - a huge win in my books!

When you first start reading, don't despair: the story may start as a slow simmer, but it gradually builds tension to an out-of-nowhere climax that explodes across the pages like a firecracker at a Fourth of July picnic.  Ivy lends herself as a complex character whereby grief and hopelessness weigh heavy on her shoulders.  Similarly, Kaine, struggles with feelings of self-doubt, guilt, and her own grief as she attempts to make a new life for herself, as well as atone for her past actions.  Combined, the two leading ladies also show courage and determination in getting to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the house on Foster Hill.

The House on Foster Hill is a novel not to be missed.  It has made my favourites list, and is one of the few stories I will definitely be reading again.


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

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Dangerous Illusions




http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/dangerous-illusions/379890


Back Cover
 
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart.  When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death - and puts Trish under police scrutiny - her world is once again thrown into turmoil.
 
Detective Colin Flynn isn`t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during this investigation.  Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake, or is there more to the case than meets the eye  As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge - and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn`t just dangerous...it`s deadly.
 
Review
 
I was nearly giddy with excitement when Dangerous Illusions arrived in my mailbox.  Being one of my favourite authors, Irene Hannon never disappoints.  The worst part about reading her stories is that they eventually end...leaving me to wait in eager anticipation for her next work.
 
In Dangerous Illusions, Irene has crafted an intriguing mystery.  This book kept me up late as I had to read `just one more chapter`!  Taut with tension and threaded with delicious romance, Irene has written one of her best novels yet.  And the plot twist...!  It came right out of left field and had my head spinning. 
 
In short, I love, love, LOVE this book!  And I`m so happy to see it`s the start of a new series, `Code of Honor`. 
 
Thank you Graf-Martin for this book!

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

Sunday, 3 December 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty

http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/an-inconvenient-beauty/376620


Back Cover

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride.  While he's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes - as well as her conscience.  And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith's and Isabella's long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?

Review

I have been eagerly anticipating An Inconvenient Beauty, which encapsulates the story of Griffith, the oldest sibling of the Hawthornes.  Well, to be honest, anticipating, and also dreading, as with this story, it spells the end of the Hawthorne House series, a series I have been thoroughly enjoying from the first novel, A Noble Masquerade.

Kristi Ann Hunter has brilliantly written another unforgettable historical treat.  Griffith's character was everything I was hoping him to be: the tall, strong, silent type who measures his words and actions to the utmost detail.  It is because of his more stoic, commanding personality that he requires a bit more fun in his orderly life...enter Isabella who has a knack for causing Griffith to laugh and appreciate the small things around him.  And while their personalities may be different, there is a trait that they share in common: a strong sense of duty towards their family's well-being.  While admirable, it is also the one thing that threatens to keep them apart...

With many appearances from the series' past beloved characters, An Inconvenient Beauty was a joy to read.  The interactions were at times highly amusing, and the story did not disappoint.  I'm sad to say goodbye to the Hawthorne House series, but know it is one that I will revisit many times.  In the interim, I will be eagerly awaiting Kristi's next masterpiece!

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