Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason; Revell ISBN 9780800728847

Chasing Secrets, a novel written by Lynette Eason, opens with a tragedy. In Ireland it was in 1991 that a young child and her nanny hid in a closet while the child’s parents and her younger brother were slaughtered. Fast forward to twenty-five years later and the case is still unsolved. A detective has a personal connection to this cold case and his investigation takes him to America. Haley Callaghan is a bodyguard living in South Carolina. Suddenly she finds her life in danger and she has no idea why. A foiled purse snatching incident leads to her involvement with her would be assailant and his family. As if all this isn’t enough, there is more. Detective Steven Rothwell becomes involved in her life and together they try to get answers before things get worse.

This is an action packed and thrilling story. Readers will be engrossed from page one. Even though this is a mystery, it has bits of humor and many touching moments. The author skillfully presents well defined characters who know what is worth doing. Friendships, family and faith play major roles in this well crafted story. It is exciting all the way to the end. Well worth reading. Highly recommended.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren Revell ISBN 9780800727451

A Matter of Trust, a novel by Susan May Warren, is set in the mountains of Montana. Gage Watson had once realized his dream when he became a champion backcountry snowboarder. A horrific accident followed by a lawsuit and the loss of sponsors changed all that.   He made a new life by working on a mountain rescue team, but he can’t move past his previous mistakes or the memory of the woman who betrayed him, Senator Ella Blair. Ella has never gotten over the guilt she feels for the role she played in destroying Gage’s life. After three years she unexpectedly appears in his life again when she pleads with him to rescue her brother and his friend from a mountain peak-one that Gage knows all too well. Gage and Ella had experienced a deep bond quickly when they first met. That ended in a courtroom. Can Gage get past this and help her?

Both Ella and Gage have guilt. Ella’s is complicated by the secret she keeps and her family history. To undertake such a dangerous rescue  requires tremendous skill and just as important, trust and faith. It is not just the protagonists who have personal baggage. The secondary characters all have their own issues and their stories are seamlessly integrated into the main story. They are all people who know how to come together to do what is needed.

The author brings to readers a complex and multifaceted story of relationships that are hampered by secrets and regrets. The imagery of the setting is spectacular. Fast paced, suspenseful, packed with emotion and faith, A Matter of Trust is well worth reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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On Love’s Gentle Shore, A Novel by Liz Johnson; Revell ISBN 97808800724511

On Love’s Gentle Shore, a novel by Liz Johnson, is set on Prince Edward Island. Most find it to be a charming place, but for Natalie O’Ryan it is anything but that. She was the child of dysfunctional and dangerous parents and she had fled the island fifteen years ago expecting her best friend, Justin Kane, to follow her, but that is not what happened. She made a new life for herself in Nashville, all the while harboring hurt and anger toward Justin. Now engaged to Russell, her fiancé has arranged for them to be married in her old hometown. Even with all her apprehensions about returning to a place she has fought hard to distance herself from, she keeps quiet and tries to go along with the wedding plans. Rapidly, she realizes she can’t avoid Justin and the small minded town gossips. As a result, Natalie has to confront her troubled past in order to face her future. Justin, too, has lived with his own anger and hurt, but thought he had moved on once he accepted Natalie was really gone. Now that she is back his life changes. What they had once was special and important to both of them. Is it really gone?

 

The author has crafted well drawn believable characters. Their fragile and complex relationships are deftly presented. The reader is drawn into their lives as we watch them evolve into people who learn to face the truth about themselves and what paths to follow. The secondary characters are an interesting group and add much to the story. This is a story about choices, introspection, forgiveness and faith that all come together to make a memorable tale.

 

Beautifully told and easy to read. Highly recommended.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

 

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The Lion and the Lamb by Charles Causey; West Bow Press ISBN 978-1-5127-6109-2

The Lion and the Lamb, written by Charles Causey, tells the very different stories of two people who survived the Nazi horrors of the Holocaust. That is where their similarities end. Albert Speer was Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and War Production as well as his friend, at least at first. He yielded a great deal of power and many died because of that. Corrie ten Boom was a Christian whose father was a watchmaker in Holland. He was a good man and taught his children to respect and love . By 1940 the family saw what was happening to the Jewish population and at great personal risk, they began to help the Jews. Corrie became a leader of a resistance group.

Their stories are told in their own voices and the reader gets to know them quite well. Speer and Corrie change as a result of their experiences, each in their own way. Their choices determine their future.

This is a powerful, deeply emotional and well written book. It provides an in-depth look into two very different real people and what they chose to do with their circumstances. Highly recommended.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan; Crown ISBN 978-1-101-90676-7

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, a novel written by Jennifer Ryan, opens in the English village of Chilbury in March of 1940. The village’s choir wasn’t always comprised of just ladies, but most of the men were now fighting in the war. As a result, the Vicar posts a notice stating that after an upcoming funeral the choir will be disbanded. With all the other hardships the women had endured, this seemed to be the last straw. Under the direction and guidance of a very special woman, the unthinkable happens: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is formed even though some members were reluctant. Why can’t they sing without men? While  their singing is of huge importance, theirs is a story about that and much more.

The format of the book is comprised of a combination of journal entries and personal letters, each penned by the main characters. Seamlessly, each chapter is in the voice of one of the protagonists and covers a period of seven tumultuous months. There is a great deal that happens to this once quiet village and with each loss, challenge and change we watch the characters adapt and try to cope.  Amid the pain, intrigue and sorrows the characters often surprise themselves with their strengths and growth

In my opinion, the book is historical fiction at its best. Beautifully written and filled with memorable and well developed characters. When I finished reading the book I was left wanting more. I am hoping for a sequel.I highly recommend reading this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

 

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A Love So True by Melissa Jagears Bethany House ISBN 9780764217524

A Love So True, a novel by Melissa Jagears, open in 1908 in Teaville, Kansas. David Kingsman has been sent there by his over bearing father for the sole purpose of selling his factory. David’s intended brief stay turns into much more than a business trip once he meets Evelyn Wisely. She and her parents live and work at the town orphanage. In addition, she does what she can to help the woman and children from the wrong side of town. Her dream is to open a shelter, but she lacks the necessary financial backing. But, there is more. She allows no man to get close to her, that is until David becomes part of her life when he tries to help her with her mission. The reason for her chosen way of life is that she has a secret. Can sharing it with David help create a future together?

The author skillfully weaves her characters stories together. We watch them struggle and grow. They grapple with very important matters of the heart and community. While taking great emotional risks, they tackle what is truly worth doing.

I found this to be a well written, emotion packed and meaningful story. Highly recommended.

 

I received a free copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

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The Hours Between Us by Carol Graf Mill City Press, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-1-63505-176-6

The Hours Between Us, a novel by Carol Graf, is about an intense relationship. There are two protagonists. Kai, a psychiatrist, who has her own troubled past. Stephanie, a young woman with a serious illness, becomes Kai’s patient. They embark on a life changing professional and personal journey. As a result, both women emerge with more than they could have imagined.

The author clearly understands her characters and the story’s setting. The characters are well developed and the imagery is beautiful.

I found this to be a powerful and moving novel. It is well worth reading!

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

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