"A LADY IN ATTENDANCE" BY RACHEL FORDHAM


"A Lady in Attendance" by Rachel Fordham

πŸ”Book Blurb:

Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel's real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts's lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.

As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can't help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?

Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose--to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving--and perhaps find love along the way.

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πŸ”My Thoughts:

There is a quote at the beginning of this book by C. S. Lewis that says, "To love at all is to be vulnerable." This is so true. I have only read the first three chapters of this book so far and I can already tell this is going to be a touching story of friendship, vulnerability, love, and redemption. Rachel has clearly made some mistakes in her past that she regrets wholeheartedly, and while she has learned many lessons and has become such a good person, she fears being judged by the person she used to be. This is very relatable. I'm enjoying the writing style in this book and look forward to reading more about Rachel's story.

Thank you so much @RevellBooks for my gifted copy and allowing me to be a part of this book’s launch team!

My ⭐ Rating: TBD

Credits: The cover photo and book blurb seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"ALONG A STORIED TRAIL" BY ANN H. GABHART

  


"Along a Storied Trail" by Ann H. Gabhart

πŸ”Book Blurb:

Kentucky packhorse librarian Tansy Calhoun doesn’t mind the rough trails and long hours as she serves her Appalachian mountain community during the Great Depression. Yet she longs to find love like the heroines in her books. When a charming writer comes to town, she thinks she might have found it–or is the perfect man actually closer than she thinks?

Perdita Sweet has called these mountains home for so long she’s nearly as rocky as the soil around her small cabin. Long ago she thought she could love, but when the object of her affection up and married someone else, she stopped giving too much of herself away to others.

As is so often the case, it’s easier to see what’s best for others than to see what’s best for oneself, and Perdita knows who Tansy should choose. But why would anyone listen to the romantic advice of an old spinster?

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πŸ”My Thoughts:

Set in the Appalachian mountains during the 1930s, with a librarian main character who delivers books to her rural community on horseback… I’m in! This is the first time I've heard of packhorse librarians and I now want to learn as much as I can about them.

Released this month (June, 2021), “Along a Storied Trail” by Ann H. Gabhart sounds like such an interesting book that I really look forward to reading!

Thank you so much @AnnHGabhart and @RevellBooks for my gifted copy and allowing me to be a part of this book’s launch team!

My ⭐ Rating: TBD

Credits: The book blurb seen in this post is courtesy of Amazon.com.

CURRENTLY READING... "NEVER MISS" BY MELISSA KOSLIN

 

"Never Miss" by Melissa Koslin

πŸ”Book Blurb:

Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.

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πŸ”My Thoughts:

I received an ARC of Never Miss from its publisher, Revell, which I am currently reading and after the first few chapters, I look forward to reading the rest of this book as soon as I can! I was quickly pulled in by actions and mysterious characters I want to learn more about, with the main character (Kadance) risking her own life to save a perfect stranger (Lyndon) from being shot in the very first chapter. I look forward to seeing how this developing relationship plays out...

This is the debut novel of Melissa Koslin, released in May, 2021.

My ⭐ Rating: TBD

Credits: The book blurb and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"PRESENT DANGER" BY ELIZABETH GODDARD


"Present Danger" by Elizabeth Goddard


πŸ”Book Blurb:

Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He's committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn--one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he's failed her before. And if he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.

Join bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard as she plunges you into a web of deceit made of hidden crimes, open threats, and long-buried family secrets in this gripping first book of an explosive new series.

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πŸ”My Thoughts:

I have been a fan of Elizabeth Goddard's since I read her Uncommon Justice trilogy in July of last year, after which I vowed to read all of this author's books.


Present Danger is a great start to the new Rocky Mountain Courage series. Just as I expected it would, this book pulled me in and held my attention from the very first chapter, with exciting action, mysteries that kept me guessing, and wonderful character development with characters I loved reading about. I now can't wait to read this book's sequel coming out later this year! 


Note: I received a free copy of this book from Revell, for which I am extremely grateful, and these are my honest thoughts.

Credits: The book blurb and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"THE INDEBTED EARL" BY ERICA VETSCH

"The Indebted Earl" by Erica Vetsch


Book Blurb:

Can Captain Wyvern keep his new marriage of convenience all business--or will it turn into something more?

Captain Charles Wyvern owes a great debt to the man who saved his life--especially since Major Richardson lost his own life in the process. The best way to honor that hero's dying wish is for Wyvern to escort the man's grieving fiancΓ© and mother safely to a new cottage home by the sea. But along the way, he learns of another obligation that has fallen on his shoulders: his uncle has died and the captain is now the Earl of Rothwell.

When he and the ladies arrive at his new manor house in Devon, they discover an estate in need of a leader and a gaggle of girls, all wards of the former earl. War the new earl knows; young ladies and properties he does not. Still wishing to provide for the bereaved Lady Sophia Haverly, Charles proposes a marriage of convenience.

Sophie is surprised to find she isn't opposed to the idea. It will help her care for her betrothed's elderly mother, and she's already fallen in love with the wayward girls on the Rothwell estate. This alliance is a chance to repay the captain who has done so much for her care, as well as divert her attention from her grief. When Wyvern returns to his sea commission, she'll stay behind to oversee his property and wards.

It sounds so simple. Until the stalwart captain is arrested on suspicion of smuggling, and Sophie realizes how much he's come to mean to her. Now she'll have to learn to fight, not only for his freedom but also for his love!


My Honest Toughts:

I am so grateful to be a part of the release tour for The Indebted Earl by @ericavetsch, thanks to @justreadtours and @audrajennings, from whom I received complimentary copies of this book.

This is the third and final book of the Serendipity and Secrets historical/regency fiction series. Although I personally recommend reading this series in order, The Indebted Earl can also be read as a stand-alone.


This book features Lady Sophia Haverly (the younger sister of Marcus Haverly from The Gentleman Spy) and Captain Charles Wyvern, and their marriage of convenience that gradually buds genuine feelings for one another.  These characters are very likable and well-matched, and I enjoyed reading their stories. I also really love the way faith is weaved into this book. The Indebted Earl is very well written and an excellent conclusion to its series!



Giveaway #1:



Erica Vetsch is celebrating the release of 
The Indebted Earl by giving away a Kindle Fire HD8. You can enter to win this giveaway here: https://www.ericavetsch.com/giveaway.html.

Giveaway #2:



1 winner will receive a print copy of both #TheLostLieutenant & #TheGentlemanSpy, as well as an original Mockingbird Art and Design Pemberley Drawing. You can enter to win this giveaway here: at 
https://justreadtours.com/2021/03/31/welcome-to-the-indebted-earl-takeover-tour-giveaway/.

About the Author:

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate. 

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
 
A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.
 
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).


"UNKNOWN THREAT" BY LYNN H. BLACKBURN

"Unknown Threat" by Lynn H. Blackburn


πŸ”Book Blurb:

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He's an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she's assigned. She's been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke's life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it's hard to know how to fight back when you don't know who the enemy is.

As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn pulls out all the stops in this brand-new romantic suspense series that will have you holding your breath one minute and swooning the next.

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πŸ”My Thoughts:

I just read the first chapter of this newly released (March, 2021) suspense/thriller fiction book and I get the feeling I’m going to love it! Unknown Threat opens with just enough details, mystery, intrigue, and action to spark my interest in learning more about the characters and what on earth could be happening. Also, the writing has great readability, pacing, and clarity. I am really looking forward to finishing this book and will update this post when I do.


Note: I received a free copy of this book from Revell, for which I am extremely grateful, and these are my honest thoughts.

My ⭐ Rating: TBD

Credits: The book blurb and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"THE LOVE NOTE" BY JOANNA DAVIDSON POLITANO


"The Love Note" by Joanna Davidson Politano


πŸ”Book Blurb:

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words. 

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

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πŸ”My Thoughts:

I am currently reading this book, which was highly recommended to me by a close friend. This is the first book I have ever read by Joanna Davidson Politano, and so far, I am really impressed with her writing.

With a setting of 1865 England, this book starts out with an aristocratic party scene, in which the main character, Willa Duvall is receiving her fourth unwanted marriage proposal. She is now at the age and in the time where women are expected to become primarily housewives, and having come from a wealthy and prestigious family, Willa is expected to marry an arranged suitor of similar status, however she has other hopes and dreams for her life that no one seems to acknowledge or understand. Willa has a heart for the broken and desperately needy and saving lives, working alongside her beloved father, the doctor. I love this about Willa, that she cares more about serving the less fortunate than her financial or societal status.

I very much look forward to reading more of this story and will update this post when I finish this book.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, for which I am very grateful.

My ⭐ Rating: TBD

Credits: The book blurb and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"POINT OF DANGER" BY IRENE HANNON


 "Point of Danger" by Irene Hannon


πŸ”Book Blurb:

Hate mail was one thing. This was quite another.

Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews. But now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can’t find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he’s convinced they’re connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve’s voice silenced—permanently.

But unless he can track down her elusive foe, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes—and who is swiftly winning his heart—may not survive.

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πŸ”My Review:

The catchy 1st line of Ch. 1: “The package was ticking.”

Irene Hannon became a favorite author of mine with the books in her "Private Justice" trilogy, which are quite different from "Point of Danger."

This book has a strong focus on conservative political views with its main character, Eve, hosting a radio talk show highlighting some of the most controversial subjects of today's right and left winged groups. This made the suspense and dangers in this book feel very real and current, which I found both stressful and inspirational to read.

I love this author’s writing style and really enjoyed the way the characters and plot were developed in this book, with great pacing, and gripping surprise twists that kept me guessing and made it difficult to put this book down.

I now look forward to reading the next book in this “Triple Threat” series.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Revell/Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review, for which I am very grateful.

My ⭐ Rating: 4 stars

Credits: The book blurb and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"THE RED RIBBON" BY PEPPER BASHAM

"The Red Ribbon" by Pepper Basham

I am so grateful to Barbour Publishing, @justreadtours, and NetGalley for sending me free physical and digital copies of “The Red Ribbon” by @PepperBasham to read and help promote! It has made me very happy to be a part of the launch team for this true crime mystery novel! 😊

Published October 1st, 2020, this is the eighth book in the amazing "True Color" Series -- a collection of historical stories that can each be read as a standalone, with themes of romance and true American crime.
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πŸ” Book Blurb:

An Appalachian feud blows up in 1912...

In Carroll County, a corn shucking is the social event of the season, until a mischievous kiss leads to one of the biggest tragedies in Virginia history.

Ava Burcham isn’t your typical Blue Ridge Mountain girl. She has a bad habit of courtin’ trouble, and her curiosity has opened a rift in the middle of a feud between politicians and would-be outlaws, the Allen family. Ava’s tenacious desire to find a story worth reporting may land her and her best friend, Jeremiah Sutphin, into more trouble than either of them planned.

The end result? The Hillsville Courthouse Massacre of 1912.
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I very much look forward to reading this book, and will update this blog with my review when I do. 😊

"NINE" BY RACHELLE DEKKER


"Nine" by Rachelle Dekker

Synopsis:

Zoe Johnson spent most of her life living in the shadows, never drawing attention to herself, never investing in people or places. But when a wide-eyed, bedraggled teenager with no memory walks into the diner where Zoe works, everything changes. Now, against her better judgment, Zoe, who has been trying to outrun her own painful memories of the past, finds herself attempting to help a girl who doesn't seem to have any past at all. The girl knows only one thing: she must reach a woman in Corpus Christi, Texas, hundreds of miles away, before the government agents who are searching for her catch up to them.

My Review:

Reading and thinking about this book is keeping me awake at night. I've found it difficult to put down and hard to sleep without knowing what happens next. From its first pages it really grabbed my attention with an intense situation, two females frantically running for their lives in the woods while being chased by a large group of armed pursuers with ill intentions. The older of these females is rescuing the younger one from...

I don't want to spoil anything here. I'll just say that if you enjoy an eerie mystery/suspense/thriller story that's fast-paced, with an action-packed theme of good versus evil and a hint of science fiction, I highly recommend picking up this book.

My only complaint is that there is a little too much violence in this story for my liking.

Thank you NetGalley and Revell for sending me this book to read and review!

Other Credits: The synopsis and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"THE EDGE OF BELONGING" BY AMANDA COX


"The Edge of Belonging" by Amanda Cox

Synopsis:

When Ivy Rose returns to her hometown to oversee an estate sale, she soon discovers that her grandmother left behind more than trinkets and photo frames--she provided a path to the truth behind Ivy's adoption. Shocked, Ivy seeks clues to her past, but a key piece to the mystery is missing.

Twenty-four years earlier, Harvey James finds an abandoned newborn who gives him a sense of human connection for the first time in his life. His desire to care for the baby runs up against the stark fact that he is homeless. When he becomes entwined with two people seeking to help him find his way, Harvey knows he must keep the baby a secret or risk losing the only person he's ever loved.

In this dual-time story from debut novelist Amanda Cox, the truth--both the search for it and the desire to keep it from others--takes center stage as Ivy and Harvey grapple with love, loss, and letting go.

My Thoughts:

"The Edge of Belonging" comes highly recommended by my friends who have read it, and from what I’ve heard about it, along with its first couple of chapters I read, my star prediction for this book is four, maybe five stars. I love this book's adoption and redemption themes.

I've added this to my list of books to read as soon as possible and I'll update this blog post as soon as I finish reading it and collect my thoughts on it.


Thank you NetGalley and Revell for sending me a complimentary copy of this book to read and review!

Other Credits: The synopsis and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"UNTIL I MET YOU" BY TARI FARIS

 


"Until I Met You" by Tari Faris

Synopsis:

When she hears that the small town of Heritage, Michigan, is looking for a new librarian, Libby Kingsley jumps at the opportunity. Little did she know the library is barely more than a storage closet stuffed with dusty, outdated books. What the community really needs is a new building. But the only funds available are those being channeled into the new town square, and the landscape architect in charge of the project wants nothing to do with her plans.
All Austin Williams wants to do is get the town square project finished so he can do right by the family business and then extricate himself from the town that reveres the brother who cost him so much. But the local media and the town's new librarian seem to be conspiring against him at every turn. Will the determined bookworm find her way into his blueprints--and possibly even his heart?


My Thoughts:

With its small town charm, a bookworm/librarian main character, dog lovers, and a story premise of opening up a new library, “Until I Met You” seems to be a book after my own heart!

From what I’ve heard and read about this book, as well as its first couple of chapters I previewed, I’ve added it to my list of books to read as soon as possible, and I have a strong feeling that I am going to love it. 

I'll update this blog post once I've finished reading this book and have collected my thoughts on it.

Thank you NetGalley and Revell for sending me a free copy of "Until I Met You" to read and review!

Other Credits: The synopsis and cover seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"TWO REASONS TO RUN" BY COLLEEN COBLE

 Welcome to the Takeover Tour for Two Reasons to Run by Colleen Coble, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Two Reasons to Run
Series: The Pelican Harbor Series book 2
Author
: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense

Gripping romantic suspense from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol.

A crisis looms. 

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged. 

A killer targets her son. 

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good. 

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays?


PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Colleen Coble is a USA TODAY bestselling author and RITA finalist best known for her coastal romantic suspense novels, including The Inn at Ocean’s EdgeTwilight at Blueberry Barrens, and the Lavender Tides, Sunset Cove, Hope Beach, and Rock Harbor series.

CONNECT WITH COLLEEN: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of One Little Lie plus Two Reasons to Run by Colleen Coble!

 


Be sure to check out each stop on these tours for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight September 17, 2020 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on September 24, 2020. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only, void where prohibited by law or logistics.  For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

  

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

"THE HOUSE ON FOSTER HILL" BY JAIME JO WRIGHT

"The House on Foster Hill" by Jaime Jo Wright

Synopsis:

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide.

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--including her own--are lost?

My Review:

Wow! The House on Foster Hill is my favorite kind of escape! This is, without a doubt, one of the best mystery/suspense books I’ve ever read, largely due to the author's amazing writing style. This story is quite gripping from beginning to end, and one that will undoubtedly stay in my thoughts for some time. I really enjoyed its dual-time mysteries, interesting characters, and overall eerie atmosphere. Also, this book's cover is gorgeous and fits its story perfectly!

“Death had a way of creeping up on a soul, and Ivy Thorpe was determined that when it visited her, she would not be surprised…”

My heart really went out to Ivy — the main character in 1906 — with the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one, feeling so alone in and misunderstood by the world around her, and being stalked and preyed upon by a mysterious and evil man. Kaine — the main character in present day — is dealing with the same types of experiences. I love the ways in which these two women are connected over time, and how they both evolve throughout their stories.

The only problem I had with this book is that I have a difficult time reading about anything having to do with human sex trafficking and/or rape, which is in this book, however, I really appreciate that this is minimal with no real detail given of these criminal acts. Overall, the crime in this book is creepy, but clean.

As what I believe is Jaime Jo Wright’s debut novel, The House on Foster Hill proves she is a masterful storyteller, and I will gladly read any book she ever writes!

My  Rating: 4.75 stars (rounding up to 5 stars)


Note: I gratefully received a free digital copy of this book from its publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Other Credits: The synopsis seen in this post is courtesy of Amazon.com.

"ACCEPTABLE RISK" BY LYNETTE EASON

"Acceptable Risk" by Lynette Eason

Synopsis:
Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when her convoy is attacked and she's taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander--Sarah's imposing father--to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.

Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she's discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother's suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah's career--if she can survive long enough to write it.
My Review:

"Acceptable Risk" is a military/romance/suspense fiction book that is well written with intense scenery, giving great detail on subjects I find difficult to read at the moment, including gruesome war/terrorist attacks, as well as serious depression, anxiety, and suicide.

In its opening chapter, a woman named Helen Craft is suffering from severe PTSD after experiencing unspeakable war crimes resulting in the death and dismemberment of many children at an orphanage. As a doctor on the scene, Helen did all she could to save the surviving children, but many of them died of their injuries anyway, resulting in 60+ child deaths. This causes Helen to lose her will to live, and she commits suicide, right in front of her sister.

This scene was gut-wrenching to read.

The second chapter opens with Sarah Denning sitting in an Afghani prison cell, "fighting the fear that had been her constant companion" since the previous day—when the Taliban attacked the school where she was a guest teacher, and captured her with plans to "use her and kill her."

The terrorist attacks, at least in the beginning of this book, seem to be primarily targeting children, which is quite disturbing.

With all that has been going on in the world recently, and the steady bombardment of negative news, I can't bring myself to read a book like this right now. That being said, from what I did read of this book, it appears to be very well written and Lynette Eason seems to be quite a good storyteller, so I will keep this book on my shelf to revisit some time in the future.

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts, for which I am very grateful.

Other Credits: The synopsis and cover image seen in this post are courtesy of Amazon.com.

"THE KEY TO EVERYTHING" BY VALERIE FRASER LUESSE

"The Key to Everything" by by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Synopsis:

"After WWII and a family tragedy, Peyton Cabot seeks connection with his troubled veteran father by retracing the trip he'd taken from Savannah to Key West at the same age. The adventure forces Peyton to come to terms with his identity and decide how much he's willing to risk for the girl he loves."

My Review:

I enjoyed reading this book so much more than I thought I would!

It is set in Georgia and Florida in the 1940s, with some backstories earlier than that. It follows the very wealthy Cabot family--“one of the richest clans in Georgia”-- in which most of its members are greedy, selfish, pretentious, and treat those outside of their family like total dirt.

The main character, a 15-year-old boy named Peyton Cabot, along with his parents and grandfather, are not at all like the rest of the Cabot family--they believe in working hard for an income, not having everything handed to you, and dedicate much of their lives to helping the needy.

These differences in personalities cause conflict in the family. I especially enjoyed the scenes where certain characters are put in their place for their unkind words and actions.

The story mostly follows Peyton. This is a wonderful young boy that I really loved getting to know, seeing how he handles different life situations, and following his adventurous travels from Georgia to the Key West, where he met some really fascinating and lovable characters along the way. Peyton's great Aunt Gert (not a Cabot) turned out to be one of my favorite characters in this book.

Overall, this is a beautiful story that I can see myself revisiting again in the future.

My  Rating: 4 stars

Note: I received a copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for my honest review, for which I am very grateful!

Credits: The book cover seen in this post is courtesy of Amazon.com, and the synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.com.