Tuesday, July 5, 2022

The Deadly Shallows (Coastal Guardians #3) by Dani Pettrey



CGIS Agent Noah Rowley is rocked to the core when several of his valued team members come under fire on his Coast Guard base. He and his remaining team race to the scene and end the attack, but not before innocent lives are lost. Furious and grief-stricken, he vows to do whatever is needed to bring the mastermind behind the attack to justice.

Stunned by the ambush, Coast Guard flight medic Brooke Kesler evacuates in a helicopter carrying the only surviving gunman. The gravely wounded man whispers mysterious information to Brooke that immediately paints a target on her back.

As Brooke and Noah race to uncover answers, emotions between them ignite. Noah struggles to protect Brooke at all costs and to conceal the secret that prevents him from becoming what he longs to be--the right man for her.

Everything is at stake as a horrifying truth emerges. . . .

The attack wasn't the end game. It was only the beginning.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

When you decide to read this book, you should block out a solid chunk of time because you aren't going to want to put this book down.  It's fast paced and full of danger, action and mystery.  I love romantic suspense and this author does it so well.  

This book starts out in the thick of the danger and the plot grows with intensity and scope throughout the book.  The bad guys are obvious to the reader but not the characters, so that gave me anxiety.  haha.  The tension was strong and I was reading so quickly I had to purposefully slow myself down and remind myself to savor and enjoy.  It didn't really work. 

Brooke and Noah are friends.  They both want more but neither of them is laying it on the table in the beginning. Then, all the bad things happen and that sure has a way of changing how you look at relationships and life.  I love the way Noah shifted to protector mode.  He is smart and loyal and good.  The same can be said of Brooke.  They both jump into danger to protect people and they have an awesome team of friends and coworkers around them to assist them in this.

This is the third book in this series and I would recommend reading it in order because I think you will be happier if you do.  Characters from previous books are in this book so it will make those personal connections even better.

Content:  peril, violence, death.  Torture mentioned but not describe in great detail.  Kissing.  Christian elements.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Not Dead Yet (Guardian #6) by Traci Hunter Abramson

Cassidy Edgemont has been dead for four years. At least, that is what the world has been led to believe. After becoming unwittingly entangled in a group called the Coalition, known for using fake news to generate political unrest in the United States, Cas was offered a devastating choice: stage her own death and join her rescuers, the guardians, or risk the wrath of the organization she betrayed. She chose death.

As an invisible government operative, Cas has been living in Paris with no complications—until her family pays an unexpected visit to the European city, changing everything. They think Cas is dead, and she has to keep it that way. But when a bomb is detonated nearby and fake news incites riots in the city, Cas recognizes the mark of the Coalition.

Donovan, a fellow guardian, is summoned to join her in Paris to attempt to untangle the intricate web linking Cas’s past with the recent bombings. But as the threat level escalates, Cas must again make an impossible decision: face possible exposure to her family in her race to uncover the truth or risk the loss of innocent lives.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

Wa-hoo!  I feel like cheering because we finally have another book in the Guardian series!  I love this series so much.  Romantic suspense!!  This book is just good entertainment in reading.  Danger, suspense, and a bit of romance.  Smart, strong characters.  What more could I want?  Well, I always want more as a reader, especially from this author writing in this genre.  I'm greedy like that.

Cas and Donovan have both given up so much.  Life is lonely for them both and I just felt so sad for them, especially as we got to know more and more of their backstories.  My heart really wanted a happily ever after sort of beginning for them.  They worked well together and I loved how their friendship grew each day.  It was a gentle sort of romance that took a backseat to the plot driving the story forward but I sure do love driving plots.  So exciting!

I also want to go to Paris and eat all the food.  Also, I was so glad to see old friends from previous books popping up in this story, giving this series the feeling of family.

I loved this book!  It's a great addition to this series, which is one of my favorites.  Go grab it, curl up with it and be entertained, beginning to end.  Thank me later.  😉 

Content:  peril, mild violence, kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Friday, June 24, 2022

Sunburst (Sky King Ranch Book #2) by Susan May Warren


When former Navy SEAL and lifelong bachelor Ranger Kingston is called upon to take part in a rescue mission to save his brother Colt, who has been kidnapped by terrorists in Nigeria, he is shocked to find among the hostages a woman he knows and could never forget.

Noemi Sutton was attempting to return a young girl to her family in Boko Haram territory when she and the girl found themselves taken hostage, along with several others.

And while Ranger Kingston may be able to get the hostages away from their captors, he'll need Noemi's help if he ever hopes to get out of Nigeria alive.

Her solution? Pose as husband and wife. But when her uncle discovers the union, he insists on a traditional Nigerian wedding--binding Noemi to a man destined to break her heart. Worse, she's discovered the real reason she was kidnapped, and anyone around her is bound to be caught in the cross fire. Including her so-called new husband.

She'll need to figure out a way to leave the man she loves if she wants to save his life.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Romantic suspense anyone?  It's one of my favorite genres and this author does it really well.  Sunburst is book two in this series that really needs to be read in order.  Each book builds on the storyline with the main focus shifting to different characters.  Just trust me and read this series in order.  😉

Right out of the gate we are thrust right into a dangerous hostage situation.  Well, first the prologue, which was very sweet and set things up romantically between Ranger and Noemi.  Then the dangerous situation.  It started in Africa and ended in Alaska, if you can imagine that.  The danger is pretty much a constant in this book as you start to feel the plot and the "bad guys" converging.  I love that we still have the whole Kingston family starring in this even as Ranger is in the spotlight.  Ranger.  So tough.  So tortured by things past and present.  So honorable.  I loved him.  Of course I did.  

Noemi?  Probably equally as tough as Ranger.  She's definitely no stranger to loss and hurt yet she doesn't give up.  I loved the glimpse into the heritage and tradition of Nigerians.  It was so interesting.

I loved the momentum of this book because it just didn't let up.  It was either run for you life or emotional connections and that kept me invested the whole way through.  This book ends in an emotionally satisfying way for Ranger and Noemi but in a plot hanger, if you know what I mean.  The plot is still ongoing and I can only hope that these Kingston brothers can stay alive to see it all to the end!  They are smack dab in the middle of a very dangerous game.  I'm SO looking forward to the next book!!   Now to bring my heartrate back to normal. . .

Content:  peril, violence, death. Christian elements.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Praying with the Enemy by Steven T. Collis


Based on the true story of an American POW during the Korean War and a North Korean soldier who become unlikely allies united in their shared faith in God during a daring escape to freedom.

When pilot Captain Ward Millar is forced to eject over enemy territory in North Korea, the ejection explosion snaps both of his ankles. Unable to walk, he is easily captured by North Korean and Chinese soldiers who interrogate, threaten, and starve him for strategic wartime information. He feeds the enemy false information while plotting his escape. But it's only a matter of time before they discover his lies. He knows it will take a miracle to gain his freedom, but his previous self-reliance on his own capabilities has never included appealing to a higher power. If only he had faith like his wife, Barbara, whose firm belief in God can move mountains.

North Korean soldier Kim Jae Pil was raised to believe in the power of prayer, but, knowing the Communist Party's views on religious groups, Kim and his family must keep their Christian faith secret. He is desperate to escape the army, return to his family, and then flee to South Korea.

With Millar imprisoned and unable to walk, and the North Korean army increasingly suspicious of Kim's actions, it seems impossible that either man will find the freedom they so desperately desire. But when these wartime foes cross paths, they find in each other an unlikely ally. Despite speaking different languages, Millar and Kim find common ground in their fragile faith and must rely on each other to undertake a daring escape.

 * Amazon * Goodreads * Deseret Book *

This book really highlights two of my favorite things when reading.  Historical fiction and based on a true story.  I love when those two genres meet!  I haven't read a lot about the Korean War- some, but not a lot.  I know the basics but this story really brought home the feelings of that war and what all the people affected by it must have felt.

I enjoyed the differing perspectives- mostly Ward Millar and Kim Jae Pil, but we also got Ward's wife and a couple others.  This story was engaging and easy to settle into.  I read through it quickly.  The pictures at the end of the book were awesome- I love getting to see the real people!  Ward Millar and Kim Jae Pil were both so courageous, so smart.  They were always thinking, always trying to overcome the poor circumstances they were dealt.  

Overall, for me, this was a great read.  I really love historical fiction and this author did a good job of setting the story up beautifully in my head.

Content:  war time violence, POW experiences, peril.  Talk of God, praying and faith.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, June 6, 2022

Places We've Never Been by Kasie West


A sweet and swoony contemporary Young Adult novel about a cross-country family road trip that puts one girl and her childhood best friend on an unexpected road to romance!

Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they'd talk all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer.

But when Skyler finally arrives, he seems...like he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks.

An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more?

I don't read a lot of YA books but author Kasie West is an author whose books I never miss.  She really has a way of making characters and situations feel realistic.  This book is about reconnecting with old friends, building new connections and dealing with life's tough moments.  It's family and it's friends.  It's learning to trust again.  It's adventure!

Norah and Skyler have a bumpy road back to friendship from all misunderstandings.  But, as per usual, once they started communicating and stop fighting, they figured it all out.  All the characters were easy to settle in with and I enjoyed them all.

I loved the two family road trip and the different places they went.  I've been lots of those places too so it was easy to imagine where they were and what they were doing and seeing.  The story felt very age appropriate and it made me smile. This is a book I would have easily passed off to my daughters when they were teenagers.  They would have loved it.

Content:  kissing

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Orphan Circus by Jane Redd


Some chances happen only once in a lifetime.

For Rook, it’s either the circus, or stay at the orphanage.
And become nothing. Stay nothing.
For Mari, she will follow Rook. For now. Until she can escape her own past.

* Amazon * Goodreads *

I first started reading this book as part of the Kindle Vella program but I didn't finish it.  I'm glad I finally had the chance to read the whole things from beginning to end.  It's a really fast read, novella in length, so it didn't take long at all.

Rook and Mari are the underdogs for sure.  I was firmly in their corner, rooting for them from the very first pages.  They are endearing and so deserving of all things good.  What I loved most about them is the way they stayed together and took care of each other.  Especially Rook.  He's so good to Mari.  I absolutely loved him.  

I wish this story had been longer.  It ended too soon for me and I wanted more.

Content:  mention of whippings, a fight, mild peril, a sweet kiss.  

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Turn to Me (A Misty River Romance #3) by Becky Wade


His promise will cost him far more than he imagined.

Guilt has defined Luke Dempsey's life, but it was self-destructiveness that landed him in prison. When his friend and fellow inmate lay dying shortly before Luke's release, the older man revealed he left a string of clues for his daughter, Finley, that will lead her to the treasure he's hidden. Worried that she won't be the only one pursuing the treasure, he gains Luke's promise to protect her until the end of her search.

Spunky and idealistic, Finley Sutherland is the owner of an animal rescue center and a defender of lost causes. She accepts Luke's help on the treasure hunt while secretly planning to help him in return--by coaxing him to embrace the forgiveness he's long denied himself.

As they draw closer to the final clue, their reasons for resisting each other begin to crumble, and Luke realizes his promise will push him to the limit in more ways than one. He'll do his best to shield Finley from unseen threats, but who's going to shield him from losing his heart?

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Ooh, I loved this book.  I'm pretty sure this is my favorite of the series but maybe that's because I've been waiting so long to get Luke's story?  The buildup was definitely worth it because this story had it all.  Romance, Mystery (who doesn't love a treasure hunt?!), Danger and Dogs!  😍

Luke is a tough nut.  He's been through a LOT and man, he's rough around the edges.  Finley is his exact opposite and also exactly who he needs to soften up those rough edges.  Finley is quite determined to rehabilitate Luke just like she does the dogs she rescues.  Luke can't run away because, well, he made a promise and funny thing, he really likes Finley.

I loved the slow build of friendship for Luke and Finley.  The growing intensity of feelings was spot on as both of them adjusted the way they viewed themselves and their lives.  Luke's protective nature was attractive and as the danger became clearer to me as a reader, I became so invested in every move, every detail that was happening with the characters.  It was one of those books that has lots of layers and lots of growth.  Mostly for Luke as he reconciles with his family, his friends, and himself.  I loved all of it.

Content:  Christian Fiction elements, mild peril, mild violence.  Kissing.

- I received a complimentary copy of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.