Sunday, October 31, 2021

Hostile Intent by Lynette Eason

About the Book
Ava Jackson entered the military shortly after high school, but her mother's illness has forced her to request an early discharge. She already lost her father while deployed, and there's no way she's going to let her mother die alone. But after a visit to the nursing facility where her mother lives, Ava is attacked walking back to her car. Fortunately, FBI Special Agent Caden Denning arrives in time to help fight off her attacker.
Caden reveals to Ava that she may hold the key to the murders of three families, and he needs her help before anyone else is harmed. The hits show a pattern, and clearly the killer has an agenda. But if Caden and Ava can't discover what it is, Ava may be next on the hit list.
Bestselling author Lynette Eason concludes her latest suspense-filled series with a bang as secrets are revealed and the guilty are brought to justice.

My Thoughts
This series has been a bit rocky for me and after really not enjoying the last one I kind of decided I wasn’t going to read this one. But then my bestie read it and said it was amazing so I decided to give it a shot. And she was absolutely right! From the very first page I was completely hooked and couldn’t read fast enough! Eason struck the perfect balance between all the things! The villain was pure evil and had a backstory that showed how he became what he was but it wasn’t taken to too dark of a place. The action and suspense was steady throughout but not to the point of never catching your breath. There was enough revealed at the right time that you didn’t feel in the dark as a reader but there were also some pieces you just had to wait to figure out! And the romance wasn’t the insta-love you normally find in suspense since the characters had know each other since childhood. So yeah this book really hit the sweet spot in basically every aspect and I loved it!
Caden and Ava were both fabulous and the type of characters you could easily root for. I really appreciated how Ava was skilled and capable but wasn’t above letting people help her. She knew when she needed to do things and when she could let someone else do them. And on the flip side Caden trusted her to handle what she said she could but was always there to step in when needed. You don’t see that often in books and I loved it so much that it deserved a mention!
The only thing that wasn’t my favorite was the epilogue, it went down the cheesy route that is for some reason the norm in suspense and I could have done without it. But it didn’t damper my love for this book and I definitely recommend this one!

Meet the Author
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Danger Never Sleeps, Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master's degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. Learn more at

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Cryptographer's Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander

About the Book
A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?

My Thoughts
WWII is my absolute favorite time period to read about so I was very excited to dive into this story, especially after a ringing endorsement from my bestie!
Eloise and Phillip were both great characters and I really admired their desire to serve their country no matter the cost! Their relationship went from annoyance to friendship to something more rather seamlessly and while I would have enjoyed more romance I thought it was well paced.
The “Doll Woman” spy was a story I hadn’t heard before and I was fascinated by the details of it and the process of hunting her down! I also enjoyed traveling around the country through the characters!
In short this was a really solid read that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Meet the Author
Johnnie Alexander is a wannabe vagabond with a heart for making memories. Whether at home or on the road, she creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won't forget.
Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. She also writes contemporary romances, cozy mysteries, and historical novellas. The Mischief Thief is her first suspense novel.
Johnnie is on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts an online show called Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for her Novelists Unwind program. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy.
A fan of classic movies, stacks of books, and road trips, Johnnie shares a life of quiet adventure with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Friday, October 29, 2021

To Write a Wrong by Jen Turano

About the Book
Miss Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. Known for her ability to puzzle out plots, she prefers working behind the scenes for the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, staying well away from danger. However, Daphne soon finds herself in the thick of an attempted murder case she's determined to solve.
Mr. Herman Henderson is also a mystery writer, but unlike the dashing heroes he pens, he lives a quiet life, determined to avoid the fate of his adventurous parents, who perished on an expedition when he was a child. But when he experiences numerous attempts on his life, he seeks out the services of the eccentric Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency to uncover the culprit. All too soon, Herman finds himself stepping out of the safe haven of his world and into an adventure he never imagined.
As the list of suspects grows and sinister plots are directed Daphne's way as well, Herman and Daphne must determine who they can trust and if they can risk the greatest adventure of all: love.

My Thoughts
Opening a Turano book is always a mix of knowing what to expect and also having no idea what is coming! You know there will be humor, hijinks, and a special brand of charming ridiculousness that only Jen Turano can pull off, but there’s just no way to guess how it will play out!
This particular book took a little bit of time to pick up speed at least for me. I felt that not a lot was happening in the first half but the pace definitely sped up some for the second half and finished well!
The main characters were both writers and bookish types which is always fun as a reader to have something major in common with the heroine and/or hero! Daphne and Herman intrigued each other from the start and it was fun to watch their relationship play out!
There was a full cast of supporting characters and lots of amusing, what I call “Turano quirks”, sprinkled amongst them to make for lots of entertaining moments!
So all in all, despite the slow start, this was another Turano win!

Meet the Author
Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She's been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado. Readers can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and at

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Carved in Stone by Elizabeth Camden

About the Book
After years of tragedy, Gwen Kellerman now lives a quiet life as a botanist at an idyllic New York college. She largely ignores her status as heiress to the infamous Blackstone dynasty and hopes to keep her family's heartbreak and scandal behind her.
Patrick O'Neill survived a hardscrabble youth to become a lawyer for the downtrodden Irish immigrants in his community. He's proud of his work, even though he struggles to afford his ramshackle law office. All that changes when he accepts a case that is sure to emphasize the Blackstones' legacy of greed and corruption by resurrecting a thirty-year-old mystery.
Little does Patrick suspect that the Blackstones will launch their most sympathetic family member to derail him. Gwen is tasked with getting Patrick to drop the case, but the old mystery takes a shocking twist neither of them saw coming. Now, as they navigate a burgeoning attraction and growing danger, Patrick and Gwen will be forced to decide if the risk to the life they've always held dear is worth the reward.

My Thoughts
These are the kinds of reviews that are the hardest for us reviewers to write, trying to find the balance between honesty and kindness when a book misses the mark, so bear with me. Let me start by saying that I have been a fan of Elizabeth Camden since her first few books and I’ve been along for the ride ever since. There have been a few books here and there that haven’t been my favorite but overall I generally find myself loving her books which made the fact that I couldn’t get behind this one even harder to swallow.
Overall this book suffered from having to much going on at once but without any of the subplots being developed enough to take center stage. There was a vaccine, a merger, a lost heir, a mistress with an illegitimate child, a few murder attempts, some strange family dynamics, and a relationship battling class separation. I really felt that the story would have been strengthened and more cohesive if some of the plot points were cut out and others were more strongly developed.
The characters themselves were also a bit all over the place and they didn’t do much to endear themselves to the reader. Gwen was described as this bright ray of all that is good in the world but her actions and thoughts never really backed that up. Instead, she portrayed a lot of typical traits of someone who was raised with money and only had to do work they felt like doing. And the way she tried to throw money at every problem, especially where Patrick was concerned, was rather distasteful. Patrick himself didn’t have a lot to recommend him either, though I did admire the way he helped the less fortunate, his thoughts and attitude were just kind of off putting. I also did not buy them as a couple, nothing about their personalities or life circumstances were complimentary, and I truly think they would have been better apart.
And the last thing I’m going to mention, because I really don’t want to harp on things for too long, is the fact that I had a hard time with the entirety of the Blackstone family. I’m not sure if we were supposed to start liking them by the end but I honestly couldn’t recommend a single one of them and I really am not excited to continue interacting with them in the following books.
In the end, despite the fact that I wanted to love this book, there were just too many head scratching moments and unlikable characters for me to recommend it. As always though, please don’t just take my word for it, read some other reviews, read the synopsis, and make your own informed decision.

Meet the Author
Elizabeth Camden ( is best known for her historical novels set in Gilded Age America, featuring clever heroines and richly layered storylines. Before she was a writer, she was an academic librarian at some of the largest and smallest libraries in America, but her favorite is the continually growing library in her own home. Her novels have won the RITA and Christy Award and have appeared on the CBA bestsellers list. She lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband, who graciously tolerates her intimidating stockpile of books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Yours is the Night by Amanda Dykes

About the Book
A mysterious song in the forest . . .
A discovery in war-torn France . . .
A journey toward hope.
The trenches of the Great War are a shadowed place. Though Platoon Sergeant Matthew Petticrew arrived there with a past long marked by shadow, the realities of battle bring new wounds--carving within him a longing for light, and a resolve to fight for it.
One night, Matthew and his comrades are enraptured by a sound so pure, a voice so ethereal, it offers reprieve--even if only for a moment. Soon, rumors sweep the trenches from others who have heard the lullaby too. "The Angel of Argonne," they call the voice: a mysterious presence who leaves behind wreaths on unmarked graves.
Raised in the wild depths of the Forest of Argonne, Mireilles finds her reclusive world rocked when war crashes into her idyllic home, taking much from her. When Matthew and his two unlikely companions discover Mireilles, they must embark on a journey that will change each of them forever . . . and perhaps, at long last, spark light into the dark.
On the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier comes an emotive tale inspired by the courageous soldiers of World War I.

My Thoughts
It is always the most daunting of tasks to try to find the words to tell of an Amanda Dykes novel because there are none that truly do justice to the breathlessly beautiful stories she gives us. But this will be my attempt to at least give you the barest glimpse into this newest gift so that you will be persuaded to pick it up yourself.
Normally I fall in the less is more category when it comes to points of view but even though there were five I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Each character embedded themselves into your heart and together wove this intricate tapestry of a story that would have been incomplete without each of them. They each had there own story arc and character growth but they also formed unbreakable bonds with each other that were beautiful to see.
Mira and Matthew were the main focus of this story and they both had had quite the unique journey to the point at which they met and their meeting was like all of the puzzle pieces of their lives falling into place. I loved watching them build a trusting relationship that slipped seamlessly into love.
I loved the way the author drew attention to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as we approach the 100th anniversary of when he was finally laid to rest. And while she didn’t fictionalize him or try to put a name on him she did give us a glimpse of what it was like for those who wonder if the unnamed soldier could be their soldier.
This story captured me wholly and I lost myself in it every time I picked it up.
Like I warned at the start these words don’t even begin to encompass all that is inside this amazing book and I cannot recommend that you read it (and all of Amanda Dykes’ other books) as soon as you possibly can!

Meet the Author
Amanda Dykes's debut novel, Whose Waves These Are, is the winner of the prestigious 2020 Christy Award Book of the Year, a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, and the winner of an INSPY award. She's also the author of Set the Stars Alight and three novellas. A former English teacher, Amanda is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. Find her online at

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Riverbend Gap by Denise Hunter

About the Book
She came in search of the family she’d always wanted—and found the kind of love she’d never dared imagine.
When Katelyn Loveland’s car veered off a winding Appalachian Mountain road, she thought she was done for. That is until Cooper Robinson, local sheriff’s deputy, came to her rescue. And though Katie narrowly escaped her brush with death, she still fell. Hard.
She wasn’t the only one. But soon Cooper learns that the woman he’s more attracted to than any he’s ever met is his brother’s new girlfriend—and therefore unquestionably off limits. Yet, despite their best efforts, Cooper and Katie can’t seem to avoid running into each other. Or ignore the undeniable chemistry between them.
As they grow closer, Katie shares secrets from her past and the real reason she moved to their small North Carolina town. She also wins over Cooper’s welcoming and bighearted family. But they don’t know that her feelings for Cooper keep growing—all while she’s dating his brother. Soon the stakes of their emotional connection become higher than either could have imagined.
Katie stands to lose the first family she’s ever had, and a scandal could doom Cooper’s campaign for sheriff. Suddenly they find themselves on the edge of another precipice—and they’re forced to make a decision that could change their lives forever.

My Thoughts
I’ve been a Denise Hunter fan for over a decade and have absolutely loved almost every book of hers I’ve read. Sadly though, this one was a bit of a miss for me. The main sticking point for me was the whole falling for someone while in a relationship with someone else trope. It’s a tough situation to navigate well in best case scenarios but adding in the fact that the two guys were brothers made it even trickier. I was hopeful that the author would find a way to work things out without crossing any lines but the line got blurrier and blurrier as the book progressed till it got crossed in a major way that was not okay in my book.
The main characters did have great chemistry and I would have loved them as a couple if only their “moments” together weren’t happening while she was dating his brother. I wish the author could have found a way to have the relationship with the brother end in a drama free way earlier in the story so we could have enjoyed the romance.
The family dynamic between the Robinsons was great and I admired how they fought through the tough situations to still be there for one another.
So this wasn’t the book for me but if this type of trope and situation aren’t a problem for you the writing was still great and this may be a win for you!

Meet the Author
Denise Hunter is the internationally published, bestselling author of more than 40 books, three of which have been adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has won the Holt Medallion Award, the Reader's Choice Award, the Carol Award, the Foreword Book of the Year Award, and is a RITA finalist. When Denise isn’t orchestrating love lives on the written page, she enjoys traveling with her family, drinking chai lattes, and playing drums. Denise makes her home in Indiana where she and her husband raised three boys and are now enjoying an empty nest and two beautiful granddaughters. To learn more about Denise, visit her website; Facebook: @AuthorDeniseHunter; Twitter: @DeniseAHunter; Instagram: @deniseahunter.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

To Marry an Earl by Karen Thornell

About the Book
Katherine Cartwright knows through bitter experience that true love is fiction and trust should not be bestowed easily. Now, after two unsuccessful London Seasons, her atrocious father has decided to marry her off to the highest bidder to pay for his gambling debts, ridding himself of the daughter he never wanted. A profitable deal is struck, and Kate is packed off to the home of her betrothed, an earl she has never met. Or so she believes.
When James Fenwick, the new Earl of Bowcott, learns that the girl he’s loved since childhood is being sold off like chattel, he’s determined to step in and save her. He makes an offer her father cannot refuse and insists on a proper engagement. But when Kate meets James again, her old friend cannot bring himself to admit it is him whom she is to marry. Soon, an intricate charade and a past that cannot be escaped jeopardize James’s chance at rekindling their friendship, to say nothing of winning Kate’s heart. Can love truly conquer all, or was this a match doomed from the start?

My Thoughts
After thoroughly enjoying this author’s contemporary Christmas story I was excited to read more from her! When I found out she would be publishing a regency I was definitely intrigued, and if I’m being honest a little wary. It’s tricky to do historical and contemporary and keep them both true to their genre. But Karen Thornell did it exceptionally and this story had everything I love about regencies!
I’m always a fan of friends to more, though this one had a slightly different spin due to the fact that they had been separated for years.
James was great and truly desired to do the right thing, even if he was misguided occasionally about the best way to do it. I greatly admired the way he wanted Kate’s happiness and safety above any of his own desires. I wanted him to tell Kate the truth faster than he did but I did understand the reasons he held back so I didn’t dislike him for that.
I felt so bad for Kate and the life she’d been forced to endure under her father’s thumb. She didn’t let it turn her bitter though and she had the kindest heart. She also had some trust issues that needed to be worked through thanks to her father and other circumstances and I was so happy to see her start to let her walls down.
I thought James and Kate made a wonderful couple and their romance, while a bit of a bumpy road was still so sweet!
I absolutely enjoyed everything about this book and I cannot wait to read more from this author!

Meet the Author
Karen Thornell grew up reading when she should have been sleeping, but it wasn't until 2019 that she started writing. Tired of ending books and saying 'goodbye' to beloved characters, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters that lived in her head always. It was probably a mark of sleep deprivation that she wanted people living in her head, but the idea was planted regardless.
Karen lives in Utah with her husband and kids. When not writing contemporary or regency romance, she spends her free time doing endless loads of laundry, playing board games, and, yes, talking to those characters in her head.
You can connect with Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or on her site at

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.