Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Spinster's Christmas by Camille Elliot

The Spinster's Christmas is one of 8 stories in The Mistletoe Kisses collection. I haven't read any of the other stories yet because I am only familiar with one other author and I haven't had time. I chose The Spinster's Christmas because I had just finished another book by Camille Elliot and wanted to read something else by her.

I enjoyed The Spinster's Christmas. There was romance and suspense, two of my favorite things in a story. Miranda is a dependent relation being treated as a servant in the household. Gerard is an injured sea captain still recovering. They grew up playing together as children and Miranda has always had a crush on Gerard. When it appears that Gerard may be in danger he calls in a cousin to help "spy" out who could be behind the attacks. Who's past could bring such violence from one mystery woman?

As always I also appreciate the spiritual aspect of a story written by Camille Elliot. Both Gerard and Miranda learn to put their trust in God instead of themselves or other people.

While I'm not familiar with most of the other authors in The Mistletoe Kisses Collection I do intend to read the rest of them. And in case you are wondering, YES, there are a few kisses in The Spinster's Christmas!


Monday, December 1, 2014

Operation Zulu Redemption: Act of Treason by Ronie Kendig

The final book in Season 1! We get some answers to what happened to the Zulu team in Misrata and who set them up. But before that there is a lot of misguidance and the team seems to be falling apart from within. The ending brings some closure, but also leads into hopefully the next season where we can find out more about what happened during the 2 hours that T'eya disappeared with The Turk. What happens with Annie and her relationship with Trace and Sam. And how the new Zulu team will work together. I'm looking forward to it!

My overall opinion of this series of course is 5 hearts. I enjoyed every heart-stopping moment. I can't decide though if I am a fan of the serial or if I would prefer it all in one or more books. Thankfully this serial came out every Friday for 4 weeks so there wasn't a lot of waiting around for the next installment, which is a major plus when you are left hanging! There is a lot of action in this serial, a lot of emotions, and a lot of kick-butt females! There is deception and betrayal and romance as well. If you like suspense, romance and military-type stories then definitely pick this serial up, after all, it is all out now so no waiting for you!

Check out my reviews of the whole serial:

Overkill: The Beginning 

Part 1: Collateral Damage

Part 2: Out of Nowhere

Part 3: Hazardous Duty


Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

Margaretha is of the marrying age and is being courted by Lord Claybrook. Having spurned many suitors, Margaretha is hoping that Claybrook is "the one" for her. When an English stranger who is wounded is brought to the castle healer, Margaretha visits him to interpret.

Colin is on a mission to bring Claybrook back to England to pay for the murder of his sisters best friend. Left for dead by Claybrook's men Colin cannot believe when he finds out that Margaretha is actually being courted by Claybrook. Colin is determined to warn Margaretha's father about Claybrook. He is too weak and Margaretha attributes his rantings to the blows to his head that he received.

When Colin asks Margaretha to spy on Claybrook and his men she finds that Claybrook is up to no good. While her father is away he plans to take over the castle and town. Colin and Margaretha escape in order to go warn Margaretha's father. Their journey is fraught with danger as they hurry to find help for her family left behind and the town that she loves.

I found this to be a sweet romance. Margaretha's incessant chattering would drive anyone nutty, but Colin found it endearing. I enjoyed seeing Margaretha's maturity as she and Colin traveled. She was a strong female character and Colin was a chivalrous suitor in his care for her. I found Claybrook to be the perfect villain for the story who gets his "just reward" in the end. I also liked the spiritual aspect of the story as well. Margaretha and Colin's reliance on God through their trials was what brought them through in the end. A sweet romance with a bit of danger thrown in, just like all fairy tales should have. 

Thanks to the publisher Zondervan through BookLook Bloggers for my copy for review. All opinions are my own.

Check out my reviews of other Melanie Dickerson books:

The Merchant's Daughter

The Captive Maiden


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Operation Zulu Redemption: Hazardous Duty by Ronie Kendig

So much going on in this installment! Still trying to figure out what happened in Misrata five years before, the women of the Zulu team are still in danger. Twists and turns around every corner have them confused about who to trust. Then there is Sam Caliguari. Determined to find out what happened to Ashland(Annie), Sam has plastered her picture all over the networks putting her in serious danger. Trace is ready to kill Sam for that stunt so he brings Sam in. Annie is not happy with either man because she can't figure out what her feelings are for either one of them. The Turk makes contact again with T'eya and I seriously can't figure out if he is friend or foe. Nuala "Noodle" is the quiet one of the group with the most insight. Something is bothering her about the couple they have brought in claiming to have information about Misrata, but it seems nobody is listening to her.

Hazardous Duty had me on the edge of my seat and I am definitely going to be starting the last book in this serial tonight so I can see what happens. I am absolutely loving the suspense of this serial even though it causes me stress! I can't wait to find out how it all wraps up. I'm feeling a bit sorry for Sam and Trace who both have a "thing" for Annie and it seems that she has a "thing" for them as well. If you like military type stories along with some romance and a lot of suspense, oh and strong kick-butt women, then this is the serial for you!

Check out my reviews of the other books in the serial:

Overkill

Collateral Damage

Out of Nowhere


Friday, November 21, 2014

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot

Alethea Sutherton is a 28 year old spinster. She has always bucked the social norms of the day for women. Where most refined women learn to play the pianoforte, Alethea's instrument of choice is a violin. Unheard of for a refined woman to play such an inappropriate instrument. Recently kicked out of her family home by a male heir, Alethea has moved to Bath, England to live with her aunt. While there she is accosted on the street by a man who insists he has a buyer for her prized violin. When someone breaks into her aunts home Alethea knows she must find help in finding out the origins of her violin. She turns to Lord Dommick.

Bayard is still recovering from the horrors of war, but is also faced with trying to save his reputation for the sake of his sister and mother. Challenged by one of the gentry to help Alethea find out about her violin, it isn't long before he is worried about the safety of his family and Alethea. Someone is definitely after the violin and will stop at nothing to procure it.

Alethea is headstrong and has a deep wariness for all men because of the treatment she received at the hands of her father and brother. Lord Dommick is being chased by demons from the war. Will they learn to trust each other with their hurts and find healing in the love of a Savior who promises to be with them always?

This is Camille Elliot's first Regency novel. I enjoyed it very much. It felt to me to have a gothic flare to it that I really enjoyed. As I've mentioned in previous posts I am a huge romance/suspense fan and found that Prelude for a Lord held those elements. I loved Dommick and Alethea's characters. It was fun to read as their care for each other grew through the story. They fit each other well in that Alethea was just the woman to help Dommick through his tormented dreams. The mystery of the violin and the thieves that wanted to get their hands on it kept the suspense building throughout the book. I also appreciate the element of faith that both characters develop throughout the story. If you are a fan of Regency romance then I definitely would recommend this be put on your list.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The O'Malley series by Dee Henderson



Have you read this series? I have a confession...I've read it probably over 10 times through the years! Seriously, probably more! Yes, it is one of my favorite series EVER. And it never seems to get old for me. If you like romantic suspense novels then this is definitely the highest on my list of recommendations.

ABOUT THE BOOKS:




Danger in the Shadows is the prequel to the O'Malley series. It introduces Dave who is an FBI agent that heads up the protection detail of his sister. Sarah was kidnapped as a child and saw the kidnappers face. She has been in protection ever since. Periodically through the years the kidnapper manages to find her and sends her tokens that he kept from the kidnapping. When Adam comes into her life, Sarah once more makes an effort to remember the kidnappers face so that she can begin to have a more normal life.



THE NEGOTIATOR is Kate O'Malley's story. Kate is a negotiator. When a bank robbery in progress brings Kate in to do her job she encounters Dave who managed to hide when the robber took over the bank. When Kate's past moves in to haunt her she and Dave are thrown together to help piece together part of Kate's past that she would rather forget.







THE GUARDIAN is Marcus O'Malley's story. Marcus is a U.S Marshall. When a judge in his protection is killed Marcus must help to keep Sherri, an eyewitness to the murder, safe.
















THE TRUTH SEEKER is Lisa O'Malley's story. Lisa is a forensic pathologist(Bones anyone?).  Quinn Diamond is Marcus' partner who has a mystery in his past that he has spent over 20 years trying to solve. When Lisa is hurt and put in charge of trying to help solve cold cases their mysteries seem to collide. Both are ready to put their pasts behind them, but before that can happen they need to solve the mystery of who killed Quinn's father and why.








THE PROTECTOR is Jack O'Malley's story. Jack is a firefighter. When budget cuts cause several fire departments to close their doors an arsonist takes matters into his own hands to try and draw the public's attention to the need for those jobs to be reinstated. Cassie used to be a firefighter but a fire that caused her to almost lose her life has put her on the sidelines. She is now ready to get back to work to help find who the arsonist is, but will Jack's desire to protect her keep her from doing her job?












THE HEALER is Rachel O'Malley's story. Rachel is a councilor for the Red Cross. She goes in when disasters happen and helps people put their lives back together. Two disasters are about to happen in the O'Malley's hometown. A flood and a school shooting has everyone reeling and Rachel finds herself running out of energy to help those who are hurting. The O'Malley's are also struggling with the imminent death of the baby of the family. Jennifer is about to lose her battle with cancer and that will have a devastating affect on all of the O'Malley's.








THE RESCUER is about Stephen, the last O'Malley to have a story. Stephen is a burnt out EMT who is running away from all that he knows in the wake of Jennifer's death. Stephen needs time to heal. He is also the last O'Malley holdout to become a Christian. Jennifer's dying wish was to see all of her brother's and sisters come to know Christ. Stephen doesn't want to let anyone down, but he cannot see Jesus as being a friend. Longtime childhood friend Meghan lives in Silverton. When family news brings Stephen back to the family Meghan is one of his friends that he looks up. Blinded in an accident several years before Meghan's faith has never wavered. When Meghan is put in charge of liquidating a friends jewelry store she finds that not everything was on the up and up with his business. Someone is determined to find the jewels that Neill has hidden throughout the years. This puts Meghan in danger once more.





I didn't read JENNIFER this time around, but I did like it the first time I read it. It is a novella and tells Jennifer's story of how she came to Christ and how finding out she had cancer affected her.










So there you have it. A small synopsis of all of the O'Malley's. Seven orphans who weren't born into the same family but chose each other to form a family of their own. Their love and loyalty to one another is closer than blood. One of the things I like most about these books is the element of faith. Each book gives a clear gospel presentation and shows the main character struggling with what a life surrendered to Christ would really mean for them. I've bought several sets of this series throughout the years for different family and friends and they quickly become favorites to all. Try them...you'll like them ;)


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How A Star Falls by Amber Stokes



About the Book

Sweet NA Contemporary Romance Novella

How does a star fall?
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly.

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life.

Then Brielle falls into his world.

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home.

And his whole world falls apart.

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.



Author Bio


Amber Stokes works as a content writer (marketing services) for a Christian publisher. On
the side, she self-publishes inspirational fiction depicting the seasons of life and love. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor's degree in English and to run her own freelance editing and publicity business for over a year. Happily, this new chapter of her career takes place in the Pacific Northwest—a part of the world she's always considered home. Learn more about Amber’s books at www.SeasonsofaStory.blogspot.com




Social Media Links





Goodreads: Amber Stokes

Google +:  +AmberStokes

MY REVIEW: 

  This was such a sweet novella! I enjoyed both of the characters in the book. Derrick was a likeable character, knowing his life choices were getting him nowhere he seemed ready for a change. Meeting Brielle seemed to bring out the "man" in him. Rather than staying in his man-child ways he started making choices that were much more adult and mature. Brielle seemed a bit mysterious throughout the story, but I enjoyed her spontaneity. She seemed a bit lost, which made her perfect for Derrick. How A Star Falls is a delightful story of two young people finding themselves and each other and moving to adulthood together. 


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