Buried Secrets – Book Review

After seven years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant has hit a wall. Ready for a kinder, gentler life, she takes a job as a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes the resources of her department. A call for assistance brings detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL, to her doorstep. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn’t want this dead person telling any tales—and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon is an inspirational romantic suspense novel that places a focus on the romance. This fast-paced novel contains a few faith elements, but it is not preachy or overwhelming. I didn’t connect as much with the romance aspect of this book as much I have in some of Hannon’s other works. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense and the complex killer that was drawn out. The suspense kept me turning the pages until I had finished the pages. I connected with Mac in his relationships with his brothers because of my relationships with my brothers. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to hearing the stories of Mac’s brothers.


From the Start – Book Review

Kate Walker used to believe in true love and happily ever after. While her own love life may have left her brokenhearted, it hasn’t kept her from churning out made-for-TV romance movie screenplays…until a major career slump and a longing to do something meaningful send her running back to her hometown of Maple Valley.

Permanently sidelined by an injury, former NFL quarterback Colton Greene is temporarily hiding out in a friend’s hometown to avoid the media and the reminders of all he’s lost. Maple Valley seems like the perfect place to learn how to adjust to normal life. The only trouble is he’s never really done normal before.

While Kate plays things safe and Colton is all about big risks and grand gestures, they both get what it’s like to desperately need direction in life. An unexpected project gives them both a chance to jumpstart their new lives, but old wounds and new dreams are hard to ignore. Starting over wasn’t part of the plan, but it just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them. – from Melissa Tagg’s website

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

This delightful inspirational contemporary romance contains likable characters, humor, and heartfelt moments. Kate Walker is tired of writing romance movies and wants to write something more meaningful. Colton Greene is forced to retire from the NFL because of injury and wants to continue his career by staying in the spotlight. Kate and Colton are at a crossroads in their careers and they come together when a tornado ravages Kate’s hometown of Maple Valley and they help to restore the town. Throughout the novel, Kate and Colton struggle with knowing when to let go of a dream and how those dreams change or may be fulfilled in a different way than they thought.

The Trouble With Patience – Book Review

Patience Cavanaugh has lost hope in romance. The man she yearned to marry is dead and her dreams are gone with him. Now she is consumed with restoring a dilapidated boardinghouse in order to support herself.

Despite Patience’s desire for solitude, Jedediah Jones, the local marshal with a reputation for hanging criminals, becomes an ever-looming part of her life. It seems like such a simple arrangement: She needs someone with a strong back to help her fix up the boardinghouse. He needs a dependable source of food for himself and his prisoners. But as she gets to know this “hanging lawman,” Patience finds there is far more to him than meets the eye–and it could destroy their tenuous relationship forever.

With a keen eye for historical detail and a deft hand at romantic tension, Maggie Brendan invites you to a Montana gold rush boomtown, where vices and virtues are on full display and love is lying in wait.

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book for my honest opinion. I enjoyed most of the book but I found the last several chapters changed my opinion slightly. To me, the ending wrapped up too nicely when I thought it was heading towards one of the secondary characters becoming a main character in another novel in the series but her story ended along with the other characters in the book. I also found that some changes occurred too quickly in some characters, like one character who was bent on revenge but then a couple of chapters later he forgives the person without any hint that was where he was headed. There was also a person who was murdered in the book and I found the ending to the murder came out of left field because there had been no hints whatsoever in the preceding chapters to the person’s possible identity. Even though I enjoyed the story, the problems I had with the ending is what stuck with me and dimmed my enjoyment of the novel.

Hidden Agenda – Book Review

This is the third book in Lisa Harris’ series Southern Crimes. The first two books are Dangerous Passage and Fatal Exchange. It continues with the story of the Hunt family – this time with Michael Hunt, who his family thinks is dead. Michael has been working undercover in the cartel under Antonio Valez. His cover is blown but he can’t turn to the authorities because of corruption within the Atlanta police department and he’s been accused of being a mole in the police department. He’s being hunted by both the cartel and the police and his only hope is Olivia Hamilton, the daughter of Antonio Valez, and the woman he is falling for.

The intricate web of lies and deceit on many different levels in this book keeps you on the edge of your seat. As Michael and Olivia try to stay one step ahead of those chasing them, you are drawn into the storyline. If you’ve read the first two books in the series, knowing that Michael is alive and did not die in an explosion as his family was led to believe, will compel you to find out if he is ever going to be reunited with his family with the price on his head.

I had never read the first book in this series so I wasn’t all that interested in the few sections where Avery (Michael’s older sister) was the POV character. I found these sections didn’t bring a whole lot to the story which I might have felt different about if I had read Jackson and Avery’s story.

This book is a Christian romantic suspense novel so Christianity is woven among the romance and suspense.

Tolkien – Book Review

God’s ways are inscrutable. Learn how an expert in Anglo-Saxon and English literature came to write a trilogy widely regarded as the touchstone fantasy of modern times. Go behind the scenes to learn what motivated Tolkien, the sources that illuminated his imagination, and the importance of friends like C.S. Lewis.

To start this review, I will confess that I have actually never read any of Tolkien’s work and I’ve only seen one of The Lord of the Rings movies. It may seem strange to some as to why someone who has never read any of Tolkien’s work would read a biography on how his work came to be. I’ve heard a lot about him and am familiar with his work despite not ever reading it. As a writer myself and knowing how beloved his work is, I wanted to know more about how his books came to be.

I found it fascinating to read how different events and places in his childhood influenced his books. I found it especially interesting because his books are fantasy but they came out of his reality. I also liked that The Hobbit started as a story he told his children. Reading about the back story of his books in this book, I kind of want to read them.

My only criticism is that at times I got a little confused of the timeline of the various events in Tolkien’s life because the author of this book would mention something that happened many years later than the event he was currently talking about and then he would bounce back.

I think people who enjoy Tolkien’s books will enjoy this book. I think it will also be an enjoyable read for those who like to see the inspiration behind the writing of books.

A Promise to Protect – Book Review

In a steamy small town riddled with broken promises, one woman’s secret could change everything.

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn’t heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn’t mean he can get her–or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago–out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But all too soon, Ben is charged with a different task–protecting Leigh from the people after her brother. With Leigh doing everything in her power to avoid Ben, it’s no easy task. And the secret she is keeping just may change their lives forever.

This is the second book in the Logan Point series. These books can be read as stand-alones because the second book does not have any of the same plot as the first one and this one focuses on Ben Logan’s story and you don’t need to know what happened in the first one to get this one.

This book falls into the romantic suspense genre of Christian fiction. Often in the romantic suspense genre books fall into one side of the genre more so than the other. This book falls more to the side of the romance side of the genre. The main focus of the plot is Ben and Leigh’s relationship and whether they will be able to work through their issues while trying to figure out who killed Leigh’s brother and shot Ben’s dad and keeping everyone safe.

I liked the book but I was a little disappointed with the ending because there was a character I really didn’t like and had made up my mind that they were involved with the crimes somehow. I felt that the ending left some loose ends that I was not expecting and was not happy with.

Keepers of the Covenant – Book Review

In Their Darkest Hour, Where Would Hope Be Found?

In one life-changing moment, the lives of the exiles in Babylon are thrown into despair when a decree from the king’s palace calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire in less than one year.

Ezra, a quiet but brilliant scholar, soon finds himself called upon to become the leader of his people. Forced to rally an army when all his training has been in the Torah, he struggles to bring hope in a time of utter despair, when dreams of the future–of family and love–seem impossible.

In Keepers of the Covenant, acclaimed novelist Lynn Austin weaves together the struggles and stories of both Jews and Gentiles, creating a tapestry of faith and doubt, love and loss. Here, the Old Testament comes to life, demonstrating the everlasting hope displayed in God’s unwavering love for His people.

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review and I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. At times I found myself liking the book but there were also times when I didn’t like the book. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hated parts of the book but there were parts that I didn’t like. Towards the beginning of the book, I did not want a certain relationship to happen but because of the time period of the book, I realized that it was going to happen, although I didn’t like it at first. As the story went on, I started enjoying their relationship. I also found it harder to get into the book because the timeline shifted suddenly. Take for example the relationship I didn’t want to happen. The couple didn’t marry for love and the story also shifted in time and they were in love. I missed how they fell in love. The story focused on time frame and then jumped to fourteen years later, so I had to switch my mind frame from one character being eight years old to twenty-two all of a sudden.

However, with that being said, I felt along with the characters, partly because of going through similar things such as losing a brother and struggling with following God’s laws but showing mercy. This book brought depth to the biblical character of Ezra and the time period of Esther and Ezra.

I think people who like biblical fiction will like this book, as long as they’re not looking for too much detail of that time.