Sunday, 17 May 2015

Buried Secrets

Back Cover

They both wanted quieter, safer lives, but crime never sleeps…and killers keep killing.

After years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant is ready for the kinder, gentler life of a small-town police chief.  But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes department resources.  Enter ex-Navy SEAL Mac MacGregor, the detective sent by the county to assist on the case.  As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them.  Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales—and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.


This delicious novel arrive in my mailbox the day before leaving for a camping trip – talk about perfect timing!  Capturing my attention from the first page, Buried Secrets is a smashing debut of Irene Hannon’s latest series, “Men of Valor”.  I couldn’t get enough of the story, and finished the book in two days - and of course then greatly regretted it as it meant it was over.  Done.  No more chapters or pages…or even paragraphs.  *sighs* 

Buried Secrets was a fast-paced read supported by strong lead characters.    Irene Hannon is an expert at not only at creating a fantastic storyline, but believable, and most importantly, likeable characters.  Lisa Grant is a strong female character, but not in the ultra-feminist way, who is always trying to best the men and make everything a sexist game (which I find more of a turn-off than anything).  Rather, Lisa is confident in her own skin and skills, not out to prove herself, but to do her best on every case and get the job done.  She reminds me of Kate Beckett in the TV series, “Castle” – not willing to rest a case until it is solved.

Mac McGregor is intuitive and caring, and is Lisa’s perfect counterpart.  He looks out for his family and, being the oldest, has a deep protectiveness over his brothers.  As his feelings deepen for Lisa, he feels protective over her as well, but not to the point of smothering her.  They work as a team – both on and off the case, and always putting the other’s needs ahead of their own.

So, to sum up the review:  I loved Buried Secrets.  It’s a fantastic piece of story writing.  Needless to say, I will be eagerly anticipating the sequel – due out in Spring 2016!

Book has been provided courtesy of Revell and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The Trouble with Patience

Back Cover

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance.  The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him.  Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life.  It seems like such a simple arrangement:  She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse.  He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners.  But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman”, Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye—and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.


Ah, it would be fun to have a time machine, where one can step back in time and experience days gone by: the Bible times, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Victorian era, the Wild West, and so on.  But since such a contraption does not exist (at least, in the real world!), we have pleasant historical novels like The Trouble with Patience to help us relive history.  

Book one in a new series, “Virtues and Vices of the Old West”, The Trouble with Patience follows Patience Cavanaugh as she embarks on her own and starts up a boardinghouse that used to be her Grandmother’s.  She quickly encounters the quick-to-draw Jedediah Jones, the town marshal who has a very black and white view on justice.  They initially get off on the wrong foot, that is soon forgotten as Jedediah enlists Patience to supply meals for his search parties and, at times, prisoners.  With each passing day, they find themselves drawn together; and, much to the delight of the town baker, romance is in the air.

For those worried that romance is the only ingredient to this novel, rest assured, that is not the case.  Maggie Brendan added a barn dance, cattle rustlers, murder, and a little bit of mystery to round out this classic Western story.  While at times I found The Trouble with Patience a little too classic, and not enough uniqueness, its “virtues” outshine the bumps with themes of forgiveness, grace and acceptance rising to the forefront. 

The Trouble with Patience is a story that will leave you feeling good after turning the final page – and who doesn’t like that type of ending?

Book has been provided courtesy of Revell and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

The Beauty of Grace

Back Cover

In this hectic life, it’s easy to forget that God is always near at hand, even though He sends us frequent reminders.  The beauty amid the mess, the well-timed word of encouragement from a friend, the memories that won’t let go of our hearts—they’re all ways God extends an open hand to us.  But if we’re not paying attention, we can miss it.

Combining heartfelt stories from some of today’s foremost writers with Dawn’s stunning photography of God’s incredible creation, The Beauty of Grace is your haven of calm contemplation amid the chaos.  This inspiring collection includes stories of cultivating friendship, waiting on God, choosing joy, staying connected, learning to trust, and much more.

If you’re in need of a little peace, a little quiet, a little beauty, find comfort in this:  you’re invited to experience them all within the pages of this soul-stirring book.


I really, really enjoyed this book.

The Beauty of Grace is a compilation of various stories from different authors whose purpose is to cause us to pause, breathe deep, and remember the love and grace of God.   In today’s world, with hectic schedules, endless to-do lists, and no shortage of worries, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, drowning in a sea of busyness and losing sight of the Lord.  Some of the stories in The Beauty of Grace include daily struggles, and the writers share how they found calm in the midst of the storm, and hope in the chaos.  Other times they are of personal “aha!” moments or times of reflection. 

Split into seven themes, “Purpose”, “The Big Picture”, “Surrender”, “Trust”, “Lessons Learned”, “Hope and Encouragement”, and “Worship”, the various memoirs highlight Biblical principles, with the constant reminder to keep our eyes fixed upon the Saviour, who will guide us through life – from the daily “mundane” to the bumps in the road.

Beautifully written and very encouraging, this book will make the great addition to anyone’s reading list.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Revell and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group."