Slow Moon Rising

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Title: Slow Moon Rising
Series: Cedar Key
Author: Eva Marie Everson
Publisher: Revell
Published: June 1, 2013
Pages: 384

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Cedar Key has long been a place of rest, healing and release for the Claybourne family. But it’s also the birthplace of a dark secret that’s tearing their family apart from within. Everyone in this family had unique struggles and secrets that they keep and each have a journey they must go through to conquer their secrets and be released from the darkness haunting their lives, but the journey to that point is long, hard, and filled with many tear along the way.

Join the strong Claybourne women – Anise, Kimberly, Jayme-Leigh, Heather, and Ami as they face heartbreak, misunderstandings, and pain to bring reconciliation with each other and renewed love into their lives. Cedar Key had long been a place to turn to in times of confusion, loss, and hurt. They go their to get their spirits renewed and their hearts restored. Cedar Key is part of their journey and not all of it is easy.

As these women start down their journey, none could have anticipated how hard it would be or how much yet would lean on their family to help them through their times of trial. No one could’ve anticipated how hat those trials would’ve been or how much healing would happen along the way, but one thing thy do know is that a family isn’t made up of the secrets but how you survive them.

Can Anise win over her new family or will she be forever shunned? Can Kimberly overcome her husband’s choices or will she forever be scarred by her husband’s choices? Will Jayme-Leigh recover from a life altering disease and decision or will she be resentful about it forever? Will Heather’s journey help her heal from a problem or will she end up similar to her mother? Will Ami be able to forgive her dad and herself or will the guilt engulf her until she dies?
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The one thing I love about Eva Marie Everson is that she is a master at creating characters that captivate and capture your heart. These characters were no different than the last book in this beautifully heartbreaking series. She manages to create such realistically broken characters and create a story that’s heart wrenching yet hopeful and full of healing too in every story she crafts and I love the complexity and uniqueness of every story she weaves.

Each character had their own set of struggles to overcome and I could relate to every character in some way. Even when I couldn’t relate I still felt for every character in the story. Each struggle was something that became real for me. I felt the weight of the secrets they carried and felt their frustration and sorrow. I have no idea how the author manages to do it but it amazes me every time I read one of her lovingly painful books.

The setting is perfect too. What a better place for healing and peace than a place like Cedar Key. It sounds like an idyllic small town and the perfect place to go if you need some time and space to think or even to just be. I can imagine what the town might look like and how many people have found healing there. I don’t know if this place exists but it’s my wish to find a place that I can escape to just like Cedar Key.

The storyline is a mixture of problems ranging in severity and duration but each is special and a common problem. Though there was possibly too many characters I never felt too confused as to who was who (except for the husbands, those were hard to keep track of), but I did find that the amount of characters made some of their journeys shorter than I would’ve liked. It’s also written in first person, but in this book’s case it fit so perfectly that I actually enjoyed it.

This author captured me with her amazing characters with the second book in this series and I had to come back for more. This story is no different and made the characters real for me. I love this author’s gift for characters and that’s why I will be reading more from her in the future ad hopefully enjoy them as much as this one.

Overall, this is a great book about struggles and family. There was a but too many characters which cut all their stories a bit short but I still enjoyed it and recommend it. I recommend this to people who like books that are more about family secrets and the drama that comes with them. Keep this book away from your kids, teen and children alike, and leave this one strictly for the adults. I give this book a four out of five.

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

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The Breathe Of Dawn

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Title: The Breathe Of Dawn
Author: Kristen Heitzmann
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: November 1, 2012
Pages: 448

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Quinn Reilly did the right thing four years ago and put a man away in jail. Now after years of running and staying as anonymous as possible, the man her testimony put away is getting out of jail and is coming for her to exact revenge for what she did to him. Despite all her efforts, he knows where she is and she’s not the only one involved any more. She now has to worry about the kind family that reached out to her and the handsome widower and his child as well as herself. She doesn’t know how far he’s willing to go to exact revenge, but she isn’t willing to find out.

Morgan Spencer, corporate turnaround specialist and success guru, is still recovering from the death of his wife and the only thing keeping him going is his daughter, Livie. When Morgan meets the beautiful and aloof Quinn Reilly he’s intrigued and can’t stop thinking about her. But his counterproposal to her illegal request has both of their thrown upside-down and neither is sure if they made the right choice in their decisions.

The closer this couple gets and the farther they get away from the revenge stricken man straight from prison, the danger seems to shrink but neither realize just how far he will go to get back what he feels belongs to him. This couple has to run from a determined madman as well as heal from wounds long ignored, but it seems that their luck is running out and it’s now time to fight against a criminal with nothing to lose.

Will Quinn be able to win against a madman bent on revenge or will his revenge do more damage than she thought? Will Morgan be able to protect Quinn or will this man getting her despite his efforts? When Morgan realizes the full grip of this guys power will he abandon Quinn or put his life on the life to save her? Will this couple be able to survive one man’s determination or will it destroy everything?
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At first glance, this book, at 448 pages, is intimidating. The sheer volume of this book definitely made me reluctant to start it because of how huge it was. However, being from an author that I’ve enjoyed in the past I dove right in and I’m glad I did. Though not as good as some of her previous works, this book is better than your average romantic suspense and I really liked this new installment from one of my favorite authors. I also liked the direction that this book took. Don’t let this book’s size keep you from enjoying a great suspense.

Being a romantic suspense there will naturally be romance and I enjoyed this romance because of the cuteness of it and I enjoyed the fact that they worked through all that happened together. However, I would’ve loved to have had more romance and more of those emotional connections between the main characters. They were there I would’ve just enjoyed to have them more prominently there. But, my theory is that if you have suspense and a romance in one book one of them is going to suffer and I would rather it be the romance than the suspense.

The suspense in this book is classic Kristen Heitzmann. It’s nail-biting, gritty, and the determination of the stalker is just purely chilling. Though it kind of feels a tad bit unrealistic or at least a bit extreme, I enjoyed how the author formed the suspense and made it into something that you had no idea how it was going to end. This suspense really drags you into the story and makes you not want to put down this book until the very end. I guarantee that if you do start this book, you will finish it and will try to finish it in one night.

The characters in this book felt real to me, at least most of them did, I felt that I knew the by the time that this book ended and I wanted to travel down to their ranch and have a cup of hot chocolate with them. They also made me like them because they did almost anything to help and protect their families and supported their family through everything. Some of the characters, obviously, conjured up less than friendly feelings and some just seemed a tad unrealistic in their extreme beliefs and dislike of the main character. Also, there were times that the main character felt flighty, but mainly I felt that she was a tough lady put into a scary position. This book’s was definitely improved by the colorful characters.

Having been a fan of this author for years I have learned to expect huge books with a complicated plot and realistic characters and suspense. This book definitely kept up with that, though it wasn’t the best that I’ve read from her, it was still a book worth reading and it hasn’t ruined my love of her books. I fully intend to read more from her and I highly recommend this author to any reader who is a new or old fan of suspense. This is definitely an author that should be on anyone’s book shelf.

Overall, this is a good book, though not the best this author has put out and its huge size can be a bit intimidating. This book is perfect for those who love romantic suspense or for those who like a suspense with a little romance. I don’t recommend this for younger readers but for older teens and adults it’s perfect. I give this book a three and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through The Christian Manifesto in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*