Saturday, 3 February 2018

A Dangerous Legacy

Back Cover

Telegraph operator Lucy Drake is a master of Morse code and has made herself a valuable asset to the Associated Press news agency.  But the sudden arrival of Sir Colin Beckwith at rival British news agency Reuters puts her hard-earned livelihood at risk.  Colin is talented, handsome, insufferably charming - and keeping a secret that jeopardizes his reputation.
Despite their rivalry, Lucy can't deny that Colin has the connections she needs to give her family an edge in the long legal battle they've been waging over their rightful inheritance.  But when she negotiates an unlikely alliance with him, the web of treachery they dive into proves to be far more dangerous than they ever could have known.


What another great historical novel by Elizabeth Camden!  I'm always amazed by the depth of her research that she puts into each of her novels.  She picks such interesting topics to expound upon that it's like getting a history lesson at the same time (but in a good way!).  In A Dangerous Legacy, she expounds upon the rivalry between the Associated Press and Reuters, carrier pigeons, the world of telegraphs, insane asylums (believe it or not!), and Panama Canal.  She masterfully weaves all these different facets together to create a story that is immensely fascinating and difficult to put down. 
As for the characters, Lucy is a spunky girl with a lot of pluck and determination.  She has a razor-sharp focus on winning a long-standing family court battle so that justice can be accomplished.  Her fierce devotion to her brother as well as her quick wit, has endeared her as one of my favourite heroines to date. 
Colin is an affable British fellow who is tenacious and goal driven with his eyes firmly set on marrying a wealthy heiress to bring his family estate out of disrepair.  He truly has a "nose" for news, and enjoys reading the newspaper front to back - including the cricket scores.  I loved the fact that he raises carrier pigeons as it added a wonderful aspect to the story.
Together, Lucy and Colin make a smashing pair, trading insults, and are equally matched in their determination for their own pursuits.  As circumstances take dangerous turns, they are forced into an alliance that tests their budding friendship.  I greatly enjoyed reading their story and am looking forward to Lucy's brother's story, A Daring Venture - hopefully coming out soon!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

The House on Foster Hill

Back Cover

Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death.  When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious demise 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, resurrecting painful memories and forcing a reunion with the man who broke her heart.  Can Ivy unravel the mystery and find a renewed hope before any other lives - including her own - are lost?
A new author on the scene, Jaime Jo Wright, blasted through my expectations with a spine-tingling mystery.  Jaime has deftly written two tales that cross time periods with the "house on Foster Hill" bridging the gap.  There is plenty of drama, loads of intrigue, and many interesting characters fleshing out this story.  And because there are two stories, it also means double the romance - a huge win in my books!

When you first start reading, don't despair: the story may start as a slow simmer, but it gradually builds tension to an out-of-nowhere climax that explodes across the pages like a firecracker at a Fourth of July picnic.  Ivy lends herself as a complex character whereby grief and hopelessness weigh heavy on her shoulders.  Similarly, Kaine, struggles with feelings of self-doubt, guilt, and her own grief as she attempts to make a new life for herself, as well as atone for her past actions.  Combined, the two leading ladies also show courage and determination in getting to the bottom of the mystery surrounding the house on Foster Hill.

The House on Foster Hill is a novel not to be missed.  It has made my favourites list, and is one of the few stories I will definitely be reading again.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Dangerous Illusions

Back Cover
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart.  When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death - and puts Trish under police scrutiny - her world is once again thrown into turmoil.
Detective Colin Flynn isn`t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during this investigation.  Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake, or is there more to the case than meets the eye  As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge - and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn`t just`s deadly.
I was nearly giddy with excitement when Dangerous Illusions arrived in my mailbox.  Being one of my favourite authors, Irene Hannon never disappoints.  The worst part about reading her stories is that they eventually end...leaving me to wait in eager anticipation for her next work.
In Dangerous Illusions, Irene has crafted an intriguing mystery.  This book kept me up late as I had to read `just one more chapter`!  Taut with tension and threaded with delicious romance, Irene has written one of her best novels yet.  And the plot twist...!  It came right out of left field and had my head spinning. 
In short, I love, love, LOVE this book!  And I`m so happy to see it`s the start of a new series, `Code of Honor`. 
Thank you Graf-Martin for this book!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

An Inconvenient Beauty

Back Cover

Griffith, Duke of Riverton, likes order, logic, and control, so he naturally applies this rational approach to his search for a bride.  While he's certain Miss Frederica St. Claire is the perfect wife for him, she is strangely elusive, and he can't seem to stop running into her stunningly beautiful cousin, Miss Isabella Breckenridge.

Isabella should be enjoying her society debut, but with her family in difficult circumstances, she has no choice but to agree to a bargain that puts her at odds with all her romantic hopes - as well as her conscience.  And the more she comes to know Griffith, the more she regrets the unpleasant obligation that prevents her from any dream of a future with him.

As all Griffith's and Isabella's long-held expectations are shaken to the core, can they set aside their pride and fear long enough to claim a happily-ever-after?


I have been eagerly anticipating An Inconvenient Beauty, which encapsulates the story of Griffith, the oldest sibling of the Hawthornes.  Well, to be honest, anticipating, and also dreading, as with this story, it spells the end of the Hawthorne House series, a series I have been thoroughly enjoying from the first novel, A Noble Masquerade.

Kristi Ann Hunter has brilliantly written another unforgettable historical treat.  Griffith's character was everything I was hoping him to be: the tall, strong, silent type who measures his words and actions to the utmost detail.  It is because of his more stoic, commanding personality that he requires a bit more fun in his orderly life...enter Isabella who has a knack for causing Griffith to laugh and appreciate the small things around him.  And while their personalities may be different, there is a trait that they share in common: a strong sense of duty towards their family's well-being.  While admirable, it is also the one thing that threatens to keep them apart...

With many appearances from the series' past beloved characters, An Inconvenient Beauty was a joy to read.  The interactions were at times highly amusing, and the story did not disappoint.  I'm sad to say goodbye to the Hawthorne House series, but know it is one that I will revisit many times.  In the interim, I will be eagerly awaiting Kristi's next masterpiece!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

The Assault

Back Cover

In Invitation, four beloved and bestselling suspense authors introduced supernaturally gifted characters on a race to stem the tide of growing evil.  Now Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky return with the next cycle of fast-paced and riveting tales.

In Bill Myers's "The Revealing", the team finds themselves in Rome trying to retrieve the mystical spear HItler once stole.  The task will take them from hidden chambers inside the Vatican to a mysterious seaside cave with unexpected and dangerous powers.

Frank Peretti's "Infestation" tells of a microscopic plauge unleased on the world that deceives, blinds, kills, then spreads and kills again.  The Harbringers team must confront this faceless evil bent on seducing and destroying humankind.

In "Infiltration" by Angela Hunt, a seaside respite intended to buy time for the wounded team turns deadly when misplaced trust leads the Harbingers into dangerous waters.

Alton Gansky's "The Fog" reveals a supernatural mist unlike any other, filled with vicious monsters that kill whatever they find.  When one team member realizes the only way to stop the fog is to enter it, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.


Draw the curtains and hide under the blanket covers with a baseball bat and a flashlight - the Harbringers are back!  And with it, another set of four dark, twisted, and suspenseful stories that will make your skin tingle and your hair to stand up on end.  

I can't add anything to the back cover's synopsis of each story, but wanted to touch on the authors' writing itself.  With this many authors involved in one piece of work (albeit, they still write four separate stories), I was initially worried that the stories would be stilted and choppy as the authors write each other' character(s).  I'm happy to say that while the authors each have their own unique voice, they do a superb job of staying true to each character's personality, making the flow from story to story seamless.

Each story was creepy and tense (and very good!), my "favourite" this time around was Alton Gansky's "The Fog".  He plays on what has got to be one of the scariest types of nightmares whereby a thick rolling fog is full of man-eating monsters out for blood.  It was a story that had my toes curling and flipping the pages as fast as I could to find out what happens next! 

This series reminds me of dark chocolate - dark and intense, yet incredibly addicting and oh, so good.  The next book can't come soon enough! 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Threads of Suspicion

Back Cover

Eve Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's Missing Persons Task Force.  With so much public fanfare surrounding the launch of this elite investigative team, the political stakes are high, and the team will have to produce results - and quickly. 

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different.  As Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighbourhood over the disappearance of a college student, David searches for a private investigator whose last case involved a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth.  But the questions that lie just beneath the surface in Evie's personal life are also begging for answers.


Dee Henderson has crafted another top-notch mystery in this sequel to Traces of Guilt.  Evie is now on her second case involving the Missing Persons Task Force and it is an equally as twisting and mind-boggling as her first.  While I've always had a strong appreciation towards those in the criminal justice system, The "Evie Blackwell Cold Case" series has given  me an even higher esteem for the detectives who work long, exhausting hours in their search for truth and justice.  And sometimes, despite the countless hours and research, a case is never solved - leading to disappointment and heartache not only for affected family members and friends, but understandably, also for the law enforcement who worked the cases.  It's sad we live in a world whereby law enforcement is needed, but I'm so grateful to those who take that career path in efforts to make the world a better place.  

In all of Dee Henderson's crime novels, she approaches the subject matter with tact and respect.  Her main characters - (the good guys) - are always these amazing men and women that are rather awe-inspiring.  I've really enjoyed Evie's character so far - she's strong, intuitive, yet has a hint of vulnerability that makes her feel more relatable!  (haha)  In Threads of Suspicion, there were hints at some secrets in Evie's past that I'm hoping will be delved into more deeply in the next story.  The introduction of David Marshal made for a wonderful counterpart to Evie's character and his backstory brought even more depth to the novel.

As a side note: one of Dee's trademark styles a lot of dialogue to develop the characters and plot.  It makes for a slower read, yet still highly engaging at the same time.  This isn't a fast-paced novel with multiple points of conflict, but the type that simmers along building tension until it hits the major explosive climax.  All in all, Threads of Suspicion was a great read that has my fingers already itching to hold the next instalment!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Heart on the Line

Back Cover

When danger arrives, it's more than just her heart on the line...

Grace Mallory is tired of hiding.  She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper's Station have found.  But when the man she believes responsible for her father's death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority.

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity.  His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion.  For months, their friendship - dare he believe, courtship? - over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him.  However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.


Heart on the Line is a lighthearted read, with very tongue-in-cheek similarities to the modern world of online dating.  But in the case of Grace and Amos, the computer has been traded for a telegraph machine and emails for dots and dashes.  As I myself have been one of the many who have braved the scary realm of online dating, I found the inferences (whether intended or not) rather amusing in the "I totally understand" way - right down to the main worry of whether the person you come to know "online" is who they say they are in real life.  Their personality could be completely different in person - and are they really the age they say they are??

Online dating similarities aside, the characters of Grace and Amos were just wonderful.  Grace has pluck, determination, cleverness, and is a very classy lady.  Amos is incredibly endearing with his chivalry and protective nature towards Grace, preferring to use his wits rather than his fists in tense situations.  They were the perfect couple to navigate the dangerous scenarios that are encountered in the book. 

I greatly enjoyed returning to Karen's series, "Ladies of Harper's Station".  I wasn't even a chapter in when I paused my reading and came to the realization that it is novels like Heart on the Line that fostered my passion for reading wonderful fiction.  This novel had all the right elements with spot-on characters held together by some terrific writing.  I really, really cannot wait for the next instalment!!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.