Severed Trust

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Title: Severed Trust
Series: The Men Of The Texas Rangers
Author: Margaret Daley
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: October 15, 2013
Pages: 320

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Sadie Thompson, a high school teacher, is thrust into the issue of drug abuse after a beloved student dies under suspicious circumstances and everyone feels the sting of his loss. She becomes more aware of the ever growing problem of prescription drug abuse by teenagers and is determined to help eradicate the problem to help current and future students be safe in school. Because of her determination to stifle the problem, she’s put in the crosshairs of some nasty pranks and she might need help if those threats ever come true.

For Texas Ranger Ethan Stone this wasn’t the case he wanted after just moving back. However, the case becomes personal when Ethan’s niece, Lexie, is drugged in an attempt to silence her of what she knows. After this Sadie joins up with Ethan and they discover that the drug ring goes way deeper than just Sadie’s high school. They also must work together to help Lexie piece her life back together from the betrayal and hurt that has been piled on her.

Progress is made until Lexie’s best friend commits suicide, or so it looks to the authorities. When Lexie confides in Sadie about her doubts about her friend’s death, Sadie tells Ethan and they work together to stop abuse and a murder before they have another crime scene on their hands. Their closeness brings them together and their digging puts them in danger but they’re not going to stop until they stop the drug ring completely.

Will Ethan and Sadie be able to find out who’s responsible for all the deaths or will they lose another person before they figure it out? Will Ethan and Sadie be able to have a relationship or will circumstances and a brother keep them apart? Can Lexie help find her friend’s killer and help stop another from dying or will she keep information to herself? Can Ethan and Sadie stop the drug ring or will it still go strong?
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I believe this is the first book I’ve ever read by Margaret Daley and I must say that she did a very good job at making a very believable storyline and mystery. Her choice of topic is an interesting one and one I don’t think many know even exists let alone is a big problem in our culture. She did an amazing job at capturing the severity of the topic and forming a believable suspense from it. It really asks the question how far would you go to keep your secret?

Like most suspenses written by women, this boom has some romance to it. Also like most suspenses, the romance takes second stage to the actual mystery and that’s how I like it. Actually I got two small romances out of this novel, but the main focus was on Sadie and Ethan, their investigation and romance. I thought that their love was sweet and made sense and I loved it.

The suspense isn’t very intense which means that the majority of the book is spent with threats and secrets and not much action which can make the book drag on a bit at points. However, the action points are nicely handled and the end if the suspense was a perfect end to the mystery. The author also chose to make the murderer almost impossible to figure out as they are only really mentioned once or twice throughout the book. I was actually a bit surprised at the author’s choice for the killer and their motive. The killer was handled excellently.

I think the topic of this novel is one we should all pay more attention to, our prescriptions and potential abuse. People think that their child would never take their pills but peer pressure is very strong and you never know what your children might decide to do with the right coaxing. That’s why anyone that has a child that lives at home needs to be aware of their medications, even ones that seem harmless or ones that don’t seem desirable. Keep track of how many you actually have and if you have medication that you don’t use anymore, properly dispose of it instead of letting it sit in your medicine cabinet ready for the taking. If every one of us does this maybe we can at least deter substance abuse, at least in our own homes. This book carries a heavy cautionary tale that we should all take seriously.

The author is a new one for one but this book, even though it wasn’t the best I’ve ever read, definitely made me want to read the other three in the series and see what other serious and fatal topics that this author broaches. The fact that she chose a topic that isn’t widely known or light made me a fan an gives her major points in my book. If all of her books are like this you can expect to see more reviews for books of hers popping up on this website.

Overall, even though this book wasn’t perfect, the topic made this book memorable and because of that I gave it more points than I normally would’ve given it. This book is perfect for fans of Margaret Daley and suspense or people who want fiction novel that will show them the dangers of prescription medication abuse. This book is definitely best left to the adults but teenagers could read this to show them what could happen if they start taking medication that isn’t theirs. I give this book a four out of five.

*I reviewed a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

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Mistaken

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Title: Mistaken
Author: Karen Barnett
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: July 2, 2013
Pages: 384

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Laurie Burke’s family has been criminals because of alcohol and the Prohibition and because of that she resolves to find at least one honorable man to fill her life. Even though she tries to find an honest man, she is a criminal magnet. Her bad run with men seems to be over when she meets federal agent Samuel Brown, because a man of the law can’t be a criminal, right?

Daniel Shepherd moved from Seattle to his hometown to help run his grandfather’s drugstore and to run away from his past. He’s interested in Laurie, but unbeknownst to him, she believes he’s rum-running with her brother and isn’t interested in getting involved with another criminal. He’s trying to win her over but with missteps and misunderstandings running abound it’s hard to get her to like him.

With Laurie showing an interest in Samuel Brown, Daniel must try and show her that he might not be who she thinks he is and show her that he might be worth her attention. As they grow closer Laurie tries to hide her brother’s illegal smuggling and her father’s drunken ways, and Daniel’s past begins to close in on him. Neither feel worthy of love but maybe God has other plans.

Can Laurie finally find one honorable man or will she spend her life surrounded by criminals? Can Daniel show her that he’s not a rum-runner or will she always think the worst? How will Laurie react when she finds out about Daniel’s past? Is Samuel Brown who he says he is or is there a lot more about him then he appears? Can Laurie and Daniel’s budding relationship survive the prohibition or will it be crushed under the weight of the secrets they carry?
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Karen Barnett is a new author for me, but I must say that I’m glad I found her. I was first drawn to this book because of the cover and the era in which it was set. Once I found out what it was about I was all in and ready to read this book. My expectations when starting this book were pretty high and I so excited to see how this book turned out. This book not only met but exceeded my expectations and blew them out of the water.

This author’s true talent lies in her impeccable characters. All of her characters are fallible and misguided in some area and all, well most, are lovable and easy to relate to. I couldn’t believe how well each character was formed or how deep each characters feelings went. I found myself feeling along with the character and that is a rare thing for me. I loved absolutely every second of watching these characters try and get out of the mess they had gotten themselves into.

Her storyline is also incredible. It has just the right amount of suspense, romance, and secrets. I never expected to be ripped into the storyline so quickly or fully and I enjoyed it so much I actually finished this book in one night. I actually stayed up late trying to finish this one and see how it would end. It was a real joy to see the story progress with a wonderful pace, incredible characters, and a beautiful love story. I think this story is my favorite of the year so far.

Even the romance in this book is awesome. I got the perfect mixture of emotional connection as well as physical. Daniel is willing to do almost anything for Laurie and she can’t seem to stay out of trouble. I loved the whole set up an result and I loved to see their love in action throughout the book. Needless to say that I was impressed with the way this romance evolved and I don’t think I’ll forget it any time soon.

The topic is set in history, during the Prohibition era, but I think there’s a lesson in there for all of us. Not only does this book show that God is better than anyone or anything and is always willing to forgive, but I also think it shows that alcohol can be a dangerous thing to tangle with. I also think the author did an amazing job depicting so accurately what alcoholism is, how it starts, and how to cure it. Her colorful and accurate depiction of an alcoholic made this story come alive and held me until the end.

If I were this author, I would be so excited and proud of this book. This book not only is an amazing story and romance but it’s also and incredibly accurate depiction of alcoholism and I can’t imagine how many lives this might save or change. This book was so fantastic that this author and book just skyrocketed up to the top of my “favorites” list and aren’t coming down. This book comes very highly recommended.

Overall, absolutely amazing book. I loved it so much I have not complaints. This book perfect for those who want a romance set in the Prohibition era and want a but of suspense as well. I think this book is good for adults and possibly teens. I give this book a five out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*