The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin



MY REVIEW:

“The Two of Us” is a contemporary romance with multiple related story lines. Although Jake and Mia are the primary characters, the reader will also get to know Mia’s younger sister Lucy and her new husband Sam. Jake’s parents are also major players in the plot.

Mia has had two broken engagements and has pretty much given up on finding love. In fact, she is strongly pursuing a job in out-of-country medical missions. Jake’s dream of opening a center for boys who have lost parents is challenged from all sides, especially by a particular grouchy neighbor. When brought together by their relationship to Lucy and Sam, Mia and Jake seem to be attracted to each other but is there any hope at all for a relationship?

I really liked Jake and how he handled his disability and managed to take care of everyone he cared for. Mia was a bit more difficult to like. I grew frustrated with her determination to continue the pursuit of foreign missions when her talents would have been perfect to help Jake with his center. It was gratifying to see how God stepped in and changed all their plans for His own purposes.

A sweet romance (or two) that nevertheless introduces real life problems such as a premarital high-risk pregnancy, Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, hearing loss, etc., “The Two of Us” moved at a steady pace and had a satisfying conclusion. The author has a way with words that makes me want to keep turning those pages. I always enjoy her books and hope others will give them a try.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

After two broken engagements, Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she’s focusing on God and her goal to join an international aid organization as a nurse practitioner. But when her 18-year-old sister, Lucy, calls with an invitation to her Vegas wedding, it throws a wrench into Mia’s plans.

Jake Tanner has recovered from the injuries he sustained as a police officer–on the outside. Inside, he’s yet to heal from losing his partner in the tragedy, but finds some solace in keeping an eye on her young adult son, Sam, who’s asked him to be best man at his wedding.

Mia expects a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake, who views the marriage a little differently. As Jake’s and Mia’s lives slowly become more intertwined, could his courage and her caring heart be enough to bring them a lifetime of healing?

Read an excerpt HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo Credit: © Scott Walz

Victoria Bylin writes contemporary and historical romances known for their realistic, relatable characters. Her work has finaled in contests such as the Carol Awards, the RITAs, and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. A native of California, she and her husband now make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. Visit her website at www.victoriabylin.com to find out more.

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Bringing Maggie Home by Kim Vogel Sawyer



MY REVIEW:

“Bringing Maggie Home” is another not to be missed book by Kim Vogel Sawyer. A story that spans three generations of women, mothers and daughters, it illustrates the far-reaching effects that one devastating childhood incident had on not only one little girl and her parents but on her descendants also.

When Meghan is injured in an accident, she decides to spend her time off from work at her grandmother’s home. When her mother Diane also shows up Meghan hopes everything will go smoothly because Diane has never gotten along very well with her mother. As the women spend time together, a 70-year-old secret is revealed that slowly leads each daughter to understand the reasons for the actions of her own mother. Of course as a cold case investigator, Meghan decides to discover if her grandmother’s mystery with the help of her partner at work.

I loved “Bringing Maggie Home” and would recommend it to all. It is a sometimes poignant story but it has a few humorous moments as well as a mystery to solve and a bit of romance. Its faith-filled message is one of forgiveness and the conclusion was quite satisfying.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Blogging for Books. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery,
and a Rift Spanning Three Generations

Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.

Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.

When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?

Read the first chapter of “Bringing Maggie Home” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

KIM VOGEL SAWYER is a highly acclaimed, best-selling author with more than one million books in print, in seven different languages. Her titles have earned numerous accolades including the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Kim lives in central Kansas with her retired military husband, Don, where she continues to write gentle stories of hope. She enjoys spending time with her three daughters and grandchildren.

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12 days at Bleakley Manor by Michelle Griep



MY REVIEW:

I have to admit that I haven’t read either “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens or “Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie as mentioned by other reviewers but I enjoyed “12 Days at Bleakly Manor” nonetheless. And yes, I would like to read both of those books if only to understand their references here.

The gorgeous cover prepares the reader for a delightful Victorian Christmas adventure with just a hint of darkness inside but oh my, some of the characters and happenings were quite unexpected. It was such fun watching what transpired and anticipating what might happen next. Everything about this book was so clever and I loved the surprises at the end!

I cannot say more because I fear I might give everything away. Just take my word for it, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy of “12 Days at Bleakly House” for your holiday reading. I warn you though that you might not want to wait that long to read it.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Barbour Books. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

A mysterious invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home may bring danger…and love?

England, 1851: When Clara Chapman receives an intriguing invitation to spend Christmas at an English manor home, she is hesitant yet feels compelled to attend—for if she remains the duration of the twelve-day celebration, she is promised a sum of five hundred pounds.

But is she walking into danger? It appears so, especially when she comes face to face with one of the other guests—her former fiancé, Benjamin Lane.

Imprisoned unjustly, Ben wants revenge on whoever stole his honor. When he’s given the chance to gain his freedom, he jumps at it—and is faced with the anger of the woman he stood up at the altar. Brought together under mysterious circumstances, Clara and Ben discover that what they’ve been striving for isn’t what ultimately matters.

What matters most is what Christmas is all about . . . love.

Pour a cup of tea and settle in for Book 1 of the Once Upon a Dickens Christmas series–a page-turning Victorian-era holiday tale–by Michelle Griep, a reader and critic favorite.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Keep up with her adventures at her blog “Writer off the Leash” or visit michellegriep.com

 

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Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan



MY REVIEW:

Because I have read and enjoyed several of the author’s self-published novels, I was excited to see that she received a contract from one of my favorite publishers, Bethany House. Rachel Dylan is an extremely talented writer and deserves the attention of a major publisher. “Deadly Proof” is her first book published by Bethany House and it lived up to my expectations 100%.

“Deadly Proof” is a riveting legal thriller complete with a believable plot, just the right amount of pertinent facts, a bit of danger and suspense, plus a touch of romance for good measure. The plot features opposing lawyers who are good friends – at least they were before a major case against a giant pharmaceutical company. Kate is dedicated to helping the victims find justice and is determined to win her case without compromising her values. Ethan, the opposing attorney, is quite ambitious and eager to prove himself to his partners; however he finds himself constantly pressured by the clients who want to win the case no matter what it takes. Landon is the private investigator hired by Kate who quickly determines that Kate requires protection and takes it upon himself to provide it.  Several other characters play minor yet crucial roles as the story plays out.

As expected, I thoroughly enjoyed “Deadly Proof”. The narrative moved along at a steady pace with enough action and mystery to hold my attention and keep me wondering what might happen next. I liked most of the characters, particularly Landon and Kate. I also liked learning more about everything involved in preparing a case for trial without having to wade through the overload of information provided by certain other popular authors. The emphasis on integrity and the importance of faith were also positive factors for me.

Everything considered, “Deadly Proof” is an excellent novel that makes me eager for the next book in the series. I hope others will take a chance on this new book by Rachel Dylan. They might just find a new favorite author.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Bethany House and the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Standing For What’s Right Could Cost Her Everything

Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company’s dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He’s still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything–even commit murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

As danger closes in, Landon can’t help but admire Kate’s courage and resolve–but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?

Read an excerpt from “Deadly Proof” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation’s most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband. She is active on social media, and you can visit her website at www.racheldylan.com.

 

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