Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Words Spoken True



Back Cover

Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father’s newspaper offices.  With ink in her veins, she can’t imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters.  Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855.

When Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over a competing newspaper, the battle for readers gets fierce.  After Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore.  Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune’s future.  Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story—and the girl.

Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold you in its grip until the very last page.

Review

I really enjoyed this novel.  Adriane Darcy is a feisty, quick-witted woman who lives and breathes for the next story.  Blake Garrett is a passionate man who is determined to make his newspaper number one.

Adriane and Blake meeting are like two comets colliding.  Sparks fly, words exchanged, and wit evenly matched.  Add to that spicy encounter an upcoming election with controversial candidates and touchy issues such as immigration, and you have a recipe for drama – and lots of it.  All these elements kept me thoroughly entertained and wanting more. 

Issues such as trust, loyalty, love, honour, and betrayal are raised and grappled with by the characters.  Their inner struggles are revealed and deftly handled and the ending was very satisfying.

This is one novel that did not disappoint!


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Chasing Mona Lisa



Back Cover

August 1944.  Paris is on the cusp of liberation.  As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country and steal countless pieces of irreplaceable art.  In fact, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring will stop at nothing to claim the  most valuable one of all—the Mona Lisa—as a postwar bargaining chip.

But the woman with the mysterious smile has some very determined protectors.  Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action and intrigue, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh Swiss chateau, the race is on—and the runners are playing for keeps.

Review

This novel had a very intriguing plot.  It was a very interesting setting to read how World War II affected France, and as this particular story took place towards the end of World War II, one reads about the country’s citizens struggle to regain their country back from the grasp of the Nazis.

With the Third Reich losing power, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring sees the Mona Lisa as his ticket out of France and away from the ever-multiplying French resistance groups and the coming Western Allies.  The Mona Lisa is one of the most revered paintings in the world and for it to be stolen would severely shake the fragile confidences of the French peoples.  Consequently, Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler will stop at nothing to ensure that Goring’s plans are thwarted.

The plot was at times a bit slow, perhaps due to the constantly shifting viewpoints in the story (there were at least seven different viewpoints).  The focus of the novel was completely and wholly on the plot itself, and there was little to no character development or insight.  However, Chasing Mona Lisa was rich in historic detail, something I greatly appreciated.  And I never knew that the Mona Lisa was stolen at one time on August 21, 1911!

For those who enjoy an interesting, historical read, Chasing Mona Lisa would be a good pick.


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Sixty Acres and a Bride



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With nothing to their names, young widow Rosa Garner and her mother-in-law return to their Texas family ranch.  Only now the county is demanding back taxes and the women have just three months to pay.

Though facing eviction, Rosa falls in love with the countryside and the wonderful extended family who want only her best.  They welcome her vivacious spirit and try to help her navigate puzzling American customs.  She can’t help but stand out, though, and her beauty captures attention.  Where some offer help with dangerous strings attached, only one man seems honourable.  But when Weston Garner, still grieving his own lost love, is unprepared to give his heart, Rosa must decide to what lengths she will go to save her future.

Review

This book was a pleasant surprise.  As you learn from the prologue, it is a Texas twist on the classic, unforgettable story of Ruth and Boaz.  Being a native of Mexico, Rosa has a hard time fitting in – from what to wear, how to talk, and how to act around men.  Rosa was a great, colourful character, often labeled “scandalous” for her exuberant and playful ways.  (I don’t think you would see very many ladies of society in 1878 climbing trees for fun.) Her counterpart, Weston, is a strong protector, the one who will stand up first to assist those in trouble.  Their interactions were always enjoyable to read.

I have to give credit to the author for making this novel come to life and the characters, their reactions, and different situations so believable.  It is a mark of a great author when your readers can connect to the story and the characters.

Sixty Acres and a Bride is a debut novel for Regina Jennings, and after reading this book, I cannot wait until she writes another!


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Monday, 20 February 2012

When the Smoke Clears



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After a brush with death due to equipment failure, smokejumper Alexia Allen is ordered to take time off while the incident is under investigation.  She makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother’s home and attend her high school reunion.  Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she is confronted with murder, arson—and a handsome detective.

But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past.  As she struggles to accept and forgive her family’s past, she must also decide if the secret she’s been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension you’ve come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

Review

I have read the other series by Lynette Eason, “Women of Justice”, and quickly became a fan.  I love her crime dramas that are saturated with suspense and sprinkled with romance.  I eagerly looked forward to reading When the Smoke Clears, given the mystery and danger-laden write-up on the back-cover.

When the Smoke Clears definitely had all the elements it advertised for, however, a little watered down.  My biggest disappointment was that I had figured out “who-done-it” about a quarter of the way through the book (when you’re not supposed to know until the last few chapters).  I did, however, love the fact that the main character, Alexia Allen, was a fire-fighter who had a traumatic experience earlier in her life with fire – an interesting contradiction, but completely believable.

While at times predictable, the story did have a few good twists and turns with suprise moments and the characters were quite dynamic.  When the Smoke Clears is a good light read for when you are curled up on the couch on a snowy, Sunday afternoon.


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Surrender the Heart



Back Cover


On the brink of the War of 1812, Marianne Denton must marry to unlock her inheritance.  Without the money, her mother can’t receive medical care and her sister will be destitute.  But Noah Brenin needs to sail his cargo to England before the war commences in order to prove his worth to his father and make enough money so he won’t have to marry at all.


 When Noah walks out on their engagement party, Marianne chases him down and ends up on his merchantman out at sea.  The situation worsens when Noah’s ship encounters a British man-of-war and the couple is impressed into the British navy.


While a young lad’s prophecy of destiny looms over them both, Marianne and Noah are forced to face their darkest fears at they desperately try to escape and fulfill their destinies – destinies that could change the course of the war and history forever.


Review


I’ve read a number of MaryLu Tyndall’s (also known as M.L. Tyndall) books prior to reading this one.  MaryLu has a fascination with pirates, and from what I can see, she is a bit of a break-through author in that particular genre.


 Surrender the Heart is the first in a trilogy entitled “Surrender to Destiny”.  This book was highly interesting and an exciting read.  MaryLu deftly weaves suspense and romance into a tight-knit novel that makes it difficult to put down.  I work full-time and also have other activities after work, but somehow, I managed to finish Surrender the Heart in two days.  I was caught right up with Marianne and Noah as they sailed on the high seas and then were captured by the British.  I sympathized when they struggled with their inner demons and cheered for their victories.  I especially felt for Marianne, who believes she is just an ordinary girl, not destined to any greatness, who will live a simple, normal life.  Everyone feels ordinary at times in their life, but it just takes one individual to make you feel like the most special person in the world.


One thing that I’ve come to really appreciate in MaryLu’s novels is her recurrent theme of a character that has strayed from God, yet through the course of the story, surrenders wholeheartedly back into His arms.  It is an encouraging theme for any Christian and brings a strong message of hope.