Devoted Defender by Rachel Dylan

Devoted Defender



MY REVIEW:

I was unfamiliar with Rachel Dylan’s novels but when I read a description of “Devoted Defender” I was pretty certain that she writes the kind of books I like to read. To prepare myself to review this book I decided to purchase the first book in the series “Lethal Action” and was so glad I did. Although each of the books easily stands on its own, I loved having the background from the first one as I read “Devoted Defender”. I will have to find time to review “Lethal Action” also.

When Annie Thomas witnesses a murder, she is forced to run for her life. When she arrives in Maxwell, Georgia she decides the small town may be a good place to lie low. Her first encounter is with police chief Caleb Winters when he pulls her over for speeding. Because of events in her past, Annie is afraid to trust the man who seems to read her mind. It doesn’t take very long until she is forced to trust him with her life.

The plot of “Devoted Defender” jumps right into action from the very first page and the danger and suspense mounts with each chapter. No matter what Caleb and other trusted law enforcement try, Annie’s location is compromised over and over. As most readers will expect, Caleb and Annie’s close proximity during such threatening circumstances leads to the inevitable romance between them. Fortunately the relationship develops in a natural and believable manner and does not seem forced. The story was filled with unexpected twists and a couple of major revelations that kept me on edge throughout.

I enjoyed catching up with Gabe and Hope as well as meeting Caleb’s twin Mac and their sister Gabby. I am hoping the entire crew will show up in future books of this series. Another author has been added to my favorites list and I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for more of Rachel’s books.

I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Danger in the Deep South Book 2

Personal Chef Annie Thomas thought she’d finally found a safe haven from her past. But when her boss is shot in cold blood leaving her as the only witness, she’s forced to go on the run—again. And this time there is an even bigger target on her back.

Navy SEAL turned small town police chief Caleb Winters doesn’t like that danger has come to Maxwell, Georgia. But he vows to protect the innocent woman seeking refuge from an organized crime network that he knows will stop at nothing to tie up loose ends.

When hiding is no longer an option and threats surround them, will Caleb be the devoted defender Annie needs with her life on the line?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel DylanRachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including inspirational romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense and the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. Trial & Tribulations is a 2016 Selah Awards Finalist.

Rachel has practiced law for a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She is a member of ACFW and RWA. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids–two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. She is represented by Sarah Younger at Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

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Eden Hill by Bill Higgs

Eden Hill



MY REVIEW:

“Eden Hill” is a nostalgic look back to a time not so long ago when life was a little slower and everyone knew almost everyone who lived in small towns like Eden Hill, Kentucky. I grew up in a similar small town in Tennessee, a place where no one locked their doors and neighbors helped neighbors. Ice cream suppers and picnics on the last day of school and Bible school were the norm. So reading “Eden Hill” brought back some memories for me and the realization that I have now lived long enough that a book set during my childhood years could be considered historical.

Eden Hill was not the perfect town. It certainly had its problems. The church needed a new roof but only heaven knew where the money for it would come from. And anyone who lived during those years knows that there was definitely a separation between blacks and whites in that part of the country. Then there was always the town busybody or the one person who wanted to tell everyone else what they needed to do. Life as normal in the 60’s. It wasn’t ideal or even good but it was normal.

Well, into that little town Cornelius Alexander saw an opportunity to provide for his growing family by opening a fancy new gas station right across the road from Virgil T. Osgood’s station. His fancy-dancy new station threatened to take business away from not only Virgil but possibly even other businesses in town. Naturally Virgil and the other business owners worried and kept their distance from the interloper, hoping against hope that their livelihood would survive the competition. Well, as they always do, things happened and the Alexanders found themselves floundering. What happened next should be a lesson for all of us.

This story was a wonderful lesson about loving your neighbor the way Jesus taught. It’s not usually easy, in fact sometimes it’s really difficult but the rewards can be astonishing. I will just stop here lest I give too much away. Just take my word – read it!

A copy of this book was provided for review by The Tyndale Blog Network.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Nothing seems to change in Eden Hill, Kentucky, and that’s just fine with Virgil T. Osgood. He’s been content to raise his family and run the only service station in town. But when a new station is set to open right across the road from Virgil’s pumps, he suddenly faces obstacles in his career, his marriage, and his self-worth that he’s never even dreamed of.

Cornelius Alexander wants his new Zipco station to succeed and help establish a strong foundation for his growing family. As long as he follows the Zipco guide, he’s sure to be a success—and prove his father wrong.

Reverend Caudill wants to be a conduit for grace in his town, but that grace is challenged by the changes sweeping through in the early 1960s. For the sake of this small town, Virgil and Cornelius must learn to get along, but how do you love your neighbor when his very presence threatens to upend everything you hold dear?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bill HiggsBill Higgs is a lapsed academic, former engineer, and avid storyteller. He also admits to being a nostalgic baby boomer, with a keen interest in how things past can teach lessons for the present. He lives in Kentucky with his wife, author Liz Curtis Higgs, and her two cats. Eden Hill is his first novel.

http://billhiggs.com

 

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Twice Redeemed by Mimi Milan

Twice Redeemed



MY REVIEW:

With its World War 2 era setting in Mexico, “Twice Redeemed” is a more modern than usual tale that still has the feel of the old west. The heroine of this story is Mercedes, a saloon girl who is essentially a slave to the obviously evil owner of the establishment. Because she helped another of his “girls” escape (in Book 1 of the Jericho Resistance series), Mercedes is punished in various ways, including physical abuse. If only the American cowboy who offered to take her with him would come back Mercedes would not refuse his offer again. Fortunately for Mercedes, John Durbin did return to take her to the United States with him but doing so would be easier said than done.

Overall, I enjoyed “Twice Redeemed”. The characters were well developed and I could easily relate to their difficulties. I particularly liked reading about the old woman who helped Mercedes and John and would have liked to learn more about her. I was also intrigued by the group who called themselves the Jericho Resistance and felt like there is a story there that I would love to know more about. The plot contained enough action, danger, and suspense to keep me reading and included a few twists that surprised me which is always fun. The story was resolved well at the end although there were a few questions left in the air that I hope will be answered in Book 3.

Although the second book in a series, “Twice Redeemed” easily stood alone but it did leave me with enough curiosity about the first book that I will probably go back and read it also when I find the time.

A digital copy of this book was provided by Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review .



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Who will save her from herself?

After helping another girl escape, Mercedes Nobles suffers unspeakable abuse at Jericho. So when an American cowboy rides into town, she jumps at the opportunity to start a new life… even though she carries a secret that could destroy any chance of happiness for either of them.

John Durbin may have turned in his badge, but he still believes in living by a code of honor. That includes returning to a seedy Mexican saloon and rescuing a woman who helped his friends escape. However, the tables turn and he finds himself married in name only.

Struggling with cultural differences, they question if their marriage will survive. Will John sacrifice his faith to make his new bride happy? How will Mercedes redeem herself when John learns of the secret she’s hiding?

To purchase your own copy, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mimi MilanMimi Milan spent two decades scribbling away in notebooks before realizing that her life’s calling was to write. So she returned from Mexico and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Film. She currently resides in the suburbs of Charlotte, making time for God, family and imaginary friends.

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August 9: Blossoms and Blessings

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Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink

Fetching Sweetness



MY REVIEW:

“Fetching Sweetness” is a lighthearted romance that features a dog with the unlikely name of Sweetness. Stephanie Pink, on the quest for a manuscript she hopes will cement her place as a literary agent, and Rhett Hastings, a man on a mission from God (or so he thinks) are almost secondary characters considering the crazy antics of Sweetness. One near disaster after another plagues Stephanie Pink as they join forces to deliver Sweetness to his home after Stephanie agrees to help Rhett with his own quest. Sparks fly between the pair during their adventurous journey up the northwest coast.

The romantic tension between Rhett and Stephanie was perfect. I enjoyed every minute of their dialogue and the way neither of them hesitated to speak the truth as they saw it. The spiritual content was excellent yet unobtrusive. And did I mention Sweetness who was the real star. What a mutt with his soft heart and tendency to rescue every creature he ran across!

I very much enjoyed “Fetching Sweetness” and plan to keep my eyes open for future books by this author.

A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Standing between Stephanie and her dream is one hundred pounds of lovable trouble.

It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Meet up with Agnes Wharton in a small town in California, retrieve the reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript, and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent.

But Agnes’s canine companion, Sweetness, decides to make a break for it before Stephanie can claim her prize. Until Agnes has Sweetness safely back at home in Eagle Cliff, Washington, Stephanie will never set eyes on the manuscript she needs to make her dreams come true.

When Stephanie tracks the runaway mutt to a campground, she meets Rhett Hastings—a man also on the run from a different life and a costly mistake. Rhett agrees to help Stephanie search for the missing dog…thus launching a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Once Sweetness gets added to the mix, it’s a recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dana MentinkDana Mentink lives in California, where the weather is golden and the cheese is divine. Dana is an American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year finalist for romantic suspense and an award winner in the Pacific Northwest Writers Literary Contest. Her suspense novel, Betrayal in the Badlands, earned a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Besides writing, she busies herself teaching third and fourth grade. Mostly, she loves to be home with her husband, two daughters, a dog with social anxiety problems, a chubby box turtle, and a feisty parakeet.

Find out more about Dana at http://www.danamentink.com.

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A recipe for love and loss, merriment and mayhem, fun and faith in the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest can only be found in Fetching Sweetness by Dana Mentink. It should have been so simple for Stephanie Pink: Retrieve a reclusive author’s valuable new manuscript and be promoted to a full-fledged literary agent. But when the author’s canine companion, Sweetness, makes a break for it and Stephanie has to track Sweetness down, she meets Rhett Hastings. They’re in for a surprising string of adventures and misadventures.

Celebrate the release of Fetching Sweetness with Dana by entering to win the Sweetness Unleashed Prize Pack!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 24. The winner will be announced August 25 on Dana’s blog.

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When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

When Death Draws Near



MY REVIEW:

When I was introduced to Carrie Stuart Parks’ novels with “A Cry From the Dust” I became an instant fan. Since then each book has reinforced my first impressions. “When Death Draws Near” is my favorite one yet and I sincerely hope that Gwen Marcey’s adventures do not disappear after the usual trilogy.

If I ever had to choose a heroine from a novel that I admired, it would be Gwen Marcey. She is smart, observant, and seemingly fearless. Actually Gwen is one who simply faces her fears because often she has no other choice. Whatever life throws at her, she refuses to sit down and take it but fights back with all she is worth just as long as she can keep moving. And like a mama bear, if her daughter is in danger, Gwen will not stop until she is certain of her safety.

When Gwen takes on a temporary job in Kentucky, it becomes much more complicated than first expected. She finds herself up to her neck in something that might just connect two seemingly different cases. There are snakes involved – lots of snakes! One of the cases involves a snake-handling church but when Gwen gets to know its members, nothing seems to add up. The case gets more convoluted as Gwen learns more and the list of suspects (and bodies) keeps growing until she finds her own life in jeopardy.

Unexpected twists and surprises abound in this can’t-put-down page turner as Gwen’s faith and determination are put to the test. “When Death Draws Near” is a must read for any suspense lover.

A copy of this book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carrie Stuart Parks Carrie Stuart Parks is a Christy finalist as well as a Carol award-winning author. She has won numerous awards for her fine art as well. An internationally known forensic artist, she travels with her husband, Rick, across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement professionals. The author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing and painting, Carrie continues to create dramatic watercolors from her studio in the mountains of Idaho.

Find out more about Carrie Stuart at http://www.carriestuartparks.com.

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey’s world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks’ new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

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One grand prize winner will receive:

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Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

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