July Review Books
DiAnn Mills believes her readers should “Expect an Adventure.” She is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. Her books have won many awards through American Christian Fiction Writers, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader’s Choice award for 2005, 2007, and 2010. She was a Christy Award finalist in 2008 and a Christy winner in 2010.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and is the Craftsman Mentor for the Christian Writer’s Guild. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops.
After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.
Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?
With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.
It would have been difficult to convince me that DiAnn Mills’ books could be improved upon – that is until I read Firewall. It seemed to reach out, grab me by the collar and pull me right into the story. I really wanted to slow down and savor the story but I was so caught up in its grip that I raced right through it. I just had to find out what would happen next.
I liked the characters very much. I could identify with Taryn because like her I have always been more comfortable with my books and computer. I could easily imagine the nightmare Taryn found herself unable to wake from. And Grayson – what a guy! Dedicated to solving a crime with evidence pointing to Taryn’s guilt, he nevertheless gave her the benefit of the doubt despite his partner’s determination to incriminate her. The plot moved at breath-taking speed with so many twists and turns that it was sometimes hard to keep up. More than one surprise was in store as identities of guilty parties were revealed at just the right point in the story. And a little romance never hurt anything! I also liked the natural way the main characters grew stronger in their trust in God and others despite (or maybe because of) their sometimes overwhelming circumstances.
Firewall is a masterpiece of romantic suspense. I can hardly wait for the next installment of DiAnn’s newest series.
Once again Cate Kinkaid has found herself smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time (or something like that). Anyway, the assistant private detective is getting close to getting her license but is afraid doing so may end her relationship with Mitch who doesn’t approve of her occupation. Fortunately Mitch is Johnny On The Spot whenever Cate needs his assistance with the crazy situations that seem to follow her.
I have loved each and every one of The Cate Kinkaid Files and sincerely hope that this series will continue for many more installments similar to at least two secular mystery series with which I am familiar. “Death Takes a Ride” was fun and quirky like the previous books in the series but it may have been just a bit more on the serious side than the others. I love Octavia the cat and really enjoyed the addition of a dog to the mix. The story was just the right blend of action, danger, humor, and romance with a touch of faith. McCourtney’s characters are perfectly realistic and some of them (like Cate and Mitch) are people I think I would enjoy getting to know.
“Death Takes a Ride” is another winner and I hope it will not be the last of Cate’s series.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
It’s official. This case is above her pay grade–and Cate’s in over her head.
Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there–this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense.
Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.
Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.
Praise for the Cate Kinkaid Files
“Quirky, charming, and fun.”–Publishers Weekly on Dying to Read
“This book has tension that is matched only by humor–you won’t find a place to stop and take a breath.”–The Suspense Zone on Dolled Up to Die
“An entertaining, quick-paced whodunit that’s sure to keep even seasoned mystery lovers guessing.”–RT Book Reviews on Dolled Up to Die
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lorena McCourtney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of dozens of novels, including Invisible (which won the Daphne du Maurier Award from Romance Writers of America), Dying to Read, and Dolled Up to Die. She resides in Oregon. Learn more at www.lorenamccourtney.com.
Lisa Belcastro lives with her family on Martha’s Vineyard. She loves chocolate, gardening, outdoor activities, cooking, laughing, reading, traveling, a healthy dose of adventure, and her cat Ben, who keeps her company while she spends hours working at the computer.
She was inspired to write Shenandoah Nights, the first book in the Winds of Change trilogy, while chaperoning two Tisbury School summer sails with her daughter, Kayla, aboard the schooner Shenandoah. The weeklong adventure, sans electricity, Game Boys, iPods and modern conveniences, kindled her imagination to dream of an altogether different voyage.
In addition to writing romance novels, Lisa currently pens the cuisine column for Vineyard Style magazine. She has worked as a staff and freelance reporter and photographer for The Chronicle of the Horse and as assistant editor at The Blue Ridge Leader. She has written articles for USA Today, Dressage (London), USA WEEKEND Magazine, The Blue Ridge Leader and Sidelines.
When she’s not at her desk, Lisa is living in paradise, volunteering at her daughter’s school, serving in her church community, planting and weeding her numerous gardens, trying to run a marathon a month, or walking the beach looking for sea glass.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
What if she met the man of her dreams…in another century? Tisbury, Massachusetts, Martha s Vineyard. It s just a dream, Melissa Smith whispers as she stares into the intense eyes of a man dressed in Colonial clothes, as though stepping out of an American Revolution movie set. A school chaperone with Holmes Hole Elementary, she d boarded the old schooner Shenandoah for a week long educational sail. But they are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They re sailing the waters around the island of Martha s Vineyard. Yet, when she awakes in Cabin 8, the captain claims to be Isaiah Reed, who sailed the original Shenandoah in the eighteenth century. He cannot possibly be real, Melissa thinks. And traveling back in time is impossible. But days pass, and she s still in 1770. What if Isaiah, who is simply too handsome to be real, is real? What if the fire he ignites in her from barely a touch isn’t in her imagination? Can a dream last for weeks on end? If so, how will she find her way home…to the twenty-first century? And can she bear to leave the one man who has captured her heart, when everything in her longs to stay? A Vineyard Romance Romance, history, adventure. Get swept into the exciting Winds of Change series.
Shenandoah Dreams was an unusual read. It was a bit of a stretch for me to accept that God would take someone to a different century to find the perfect man to marry. Yes, it is what I would consider a fantasy novel that involves unexpected time travel. Not my favorite genre but interesting nevertheless.
Actually, the book is well-written with appealing characters and is quite easy to read. I did hate that some of the characters were left with unresolved questions regarding Melissa but I don’t know of another way the situation could have been handled. Historical facts and details about sailing added extra depth to the story.
“Love Comes Home” is the newest book in Gabhart’s Rosy Corner series and it takes place just as World War 2 ends. Members of the Merritt family understandably share mixed emotions at the news since some of the sisters will be welcoming their husbands back home but one of them will not. And after such long separations, will the returning men be the same as when they left to fight in the war?
The small town of Rosy Corner feels like home and its characters are as familiar as well-loved neighbors. It was so easy to celebrate the joy and accomplishments of each character and to grieve and sympathize with their tragedies and loss. I loved seeing how Lorena has grown up and matured as well as touching base with the three Merritt sisters, Jay, and Mike.
“Love Comes Home” is a sweet and poignant story about second chances and following God’s pattern for your life. It is the third Rosey Corner book and I would heartily recommend it and the two preceding novels, “Angel Sister” and “Small Town Girl”.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.
World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.
Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.
Award-winning and bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Rosey Corner for a heartfelt story that closes the distance between the things that were and things that can yet be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Angel Sister, Small Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels–The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted–and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.