The Cottage by Michael Phillips

the-cottage



MY REVIEW:

I just went back and read my review of “The Inheritance”, first book in Secrets of the Shetlands series. I discovered that I, like other viewers, struggled with its lack of dialogue and felt that I was left hanging at its end. I can positively say that “The Cottage” takes up where “The Inheritance” left off but picks up the pace quite well and the characters begin to talk amongst themselves a bit more. Now that I’ve read both books I firmly believe that the first really set the stage for the rest of the series.

One thing I liked about “The Cottage” is how much some of the characters discussed the church and its theology. I’ll admit that I was in agreement with much that was said so I very much enjoyed those discussions.”The Cottage” was also more suspenseful with danger lurking for Loni because her approach as heir to Whale Island was not to someone’s liking. Then there was the potential romance I hoped would develop between Loni and David. Seems that a little progress was made but I’m still waiting for something more definite to happen – hopefully in the final book of the series.

If “The Cottage” has a major theme, it might be that “your sins will find you out”. Hardy, for one, ran his mouth way too much and revealed his plans without knowing it. Another man paid a very high price for his actions.

All in all, I have enjoyed this series very much and do plan to read the final installment, hopefully in the near future. This is a must series for those who love Scotland.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Is the Future of Whales Reef in the Hands of an Outsider?

When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that “the Cottage” is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.

The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman–and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place–and the character of its most prominent citizen–that soon gets under her skin.

Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whales Reef. David’s cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni’s hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni’s very life in danger. . . .

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

michael-phillips-2Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly thirty more books. Over the past thirty years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken interest in the writings of nineteenth century Scotsman George MacDonald. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland, but make their home near Sacramento, California. Visit Michael’s website at www.fatheroftheinklings.com.

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Trial & Tribulation By Rachel Dylan

trial-and-tribulations



MY REVIEW:

Rachel Dylan is a fairly new author to me but I have enjoyed what I have read of her books thus far. “Trial and Tribulations” is the first novel in her latest series and it takes her writing to a new level.

I have realized for some time that there is an unseen realm at work behind the scenes that has a major effect on our lives. Rachel has brought that realm to life in this book and does an excellent job of teaching her readers a few important lessons in spiritual warfare. That she does so within the pages of a gripping and entertaining novel is a testimony to her skill. For those who love legal fiction, “Trial and Tribulations” should satisfy and those who look for a gospel message will find it within this novel.

Characters are well defined and realistic as is the plot. I loved Olivia’s strong faith that grew as she was confronted with the evil around her. It was also gratifying to see the changes in Grant as the story progressed. In my opinion, Rachel’s portrayal of the spiritual realm was right on without being over-the-top or too graphic. I liked the way she kept Olivia’s faith a strong point throughout the story. I was happy with the way this novel ended yet left some things unresolved for the next book. I am looking forward to reading it very soon.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

A Windy Ridge Legal Thriller #1

High-powered attorney Olivia Murray faces the biggest test of her career when she is assigned to represent Astral Tech, a New Age tech company, in a lawsuit filed by its biggest competitor. While Olivia is accustomed to hard fights in the courtroom, she arrives in Windy Ridge and discovers there is much more to this case than the legal claims—forces of darkness are at work. Windy Ridge quickly turns from quiet Chicago suburb to spiritual battleground, and Olivia must rely on her faith to defend against legal and spiritual attacks. Although they are enemies in the courtroom, Olivia finds a friend and unlikely ally in opposing counsel, Grant Baxter. Once a skeptic about faith, he ultimately comes to her aid when she needs it most. The battle between evil forces heats up in and out of the courtroom, pushing Olivia to the breaking point. Will she be able to help good triumph over evil, or will the town of Windy Ridge be torn apart?

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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Hazardous Holiday by Liz Johnson

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MY REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Hazardous Holiday”, the latest installment in Liz Johnson’s Men of Valor series. Its fast-paced action kept me turning the pages as I attempted to discover along with the characters exactly which one of them was being targeted and why. The plot had enough twists and rabbit trails to keep even the most avid mystery/suspense reader guessing throughout most of the story. Just as exciting was wondering how (or if) the relationship between Zach and Kristi would develop. The romantic tension was totally on point.

“Hazardous Holiday” is the perfect suspense novel for the Christmas season with its perfect blend of drama, danger, romance, and faith. Liz Johnson’s books are always welcome escapes from daily stress. I look forward to reading more of them soon.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

PROTECTING HIS FAMILY 

Just in time for the holidays, navy SEAL Zach McCloud returns home from deployment—and discovers someone wants his family dead. When he married his cousin’s struggling widow, he vowed to help her and her seriously ill son, and now he’ll risk everything to protect them. Even if their arrangement is only temporary. Kristi’s certain an unhappy client from the law firm where she works is determined to hunt her down. But when a sniper bullet wildly misses its target, they begin to question whether it’s really her someone wants dead. Working together, can they figure out why they’ve been attacked…and keep little Cody from the nefarious forces dead set on making this Christmas their last?

Purchase a copy of  “Hazardous Holiday” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Liz JohnsonLiz Johnson is a full-time marketing specialist for a Nashville-based publisher. She has been a freelance writer and editor for several publications, including CBA Retailers+Resources, Christian Fiction Online magazine, and Storytellers Journal. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is the author of several books, including The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (an ACFW Carol Award finalist) and A Star in the Night, which was part of the New York Times and ECPA bestselling A Log Cabin Christmas Collection.

 

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Abducted by Dana Mentink

abducted



MY REVIEW:

As is often the case with Love Inspired Suspense novels, the action got started with a bang at the very beginning and the suspense continued to develop with nearly every page. There are several players involved in a race to obtain a rare and valuable piece of art and some of them are willing to kill for it.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Abducted” although I often found myself holding my breath in anticipation of what might happen next. It was easy to identify with Sarah and Jett as they learned to overcome their past in order to work together to outwit the lawless men who held them captive. The plot moved at a rapid pace with very little relief other than the growing realization that Jett and Sarah still had strong feelings for each other. Courage, quick thinking, and a strong faith helped the pair to overcome nearly impossible obstacles needed for their survival.

I always admire the often underappreciated authors who manage to make the limited word count of a mass market paperback seem like a much larger book. Dana Mentink has done a superb job with “Abducted” and I hope to read many more of her novels in the future.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

When the high school sweetheart she never expected to see again bursts through the door of her medical mission clinic, nurse Sarah Gallagher can’t hold back her shock. But Dominic Jett isn’t there to catch up. He’s trying to save a life, and the thugs on his tail will stop at nothing to catch him. Now abducted and imprisoned on a remote island, Sarah and Jett become pawns in a tug-of-war between a powerful drug lord and a devious madman. And their only chance for survival is working together to find the valuable painting the dangerous men are searching for. But with someone trying to kill them at every turn, can they locate it in time to keep their reunion from turning fatal?

Purchase a copy of “Abducted” HERE.

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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