Trapped

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Title: Trapped
Series: Private Justice
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 1, 2013
Pages: 400

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Laura Griffith’s life is altered when her sixteen years old half sister comes to live with her. They clash from the beginning, but when she runs off, Laura is determined to do anything possible to find her. Armed only with a brief note and a referral to Phoenix, Inc. Laura has no idea what she’s gotten herself into or what will happen because of her sister’s rebellion.

When James Devlin, a former ATF agent, is hired to find a runaway, he’s not prepared for the attraction he feels for Laura or the cold trail the teen leaves behind. With time of the essence, Dev does his best to find Laura’s sister before she gets into something worse than bad company, but with the trail going cold quickly, his hope is beginning to wane.

The deeper Laura and Dev dig, the more their forbidden attraction grows and the more their hope dwindles of finding Laura’s sister in time. However, Dev begins to suspect something sinister is at work with the girl’s disappearance and the more dangerous this man hunt gets. This situation might just be life or death and Dev doesn’t want to make a mistake that costs lives. Not again.

Can Laura find her sister before it’s too late or will her sister disappear never to be found again? Can Dev overcome his past and move on or will he forever hold onto his mistakes? What kind of trouble did Laura’s sister get into and will it cost her her life? Will Dev and Laura be able to date after they close the case or will their attraction fall apart under the pressure?
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Irene Hannon has done it again! Having read almost all of her books, I’ve come to expect a taut suspense with a sweet romance and that’s exactly what I got. This novel is by far my favorite of hers yet and it was something I hadn’t had in a very long time, if ever. Irene Hannon should be deeply proud of this book and I look forward to her next book on this series.

This suspense is in a class all its own. This book brought chills up my spine and was actually pretty creepy. What made it so creepy was how realistic it was and likely it is that this happens, the character that is behind the creepy seems somewhat quirky in public and them is a complete psycho in private. His younger life and his reasons for what he was doing did draw some compassion from me, though. Maybe it was just me, but there were times I just felt sorry for him. It also kept up an amazingly quick pace that actually made me stay up and extra hour just to finish it. I can’t divulge too much or it will ruin it completely but this is easily one of the creepiest books I’ve read in a long time, if ever.

The character development was impeccable. I felt each character was realistic in everything and the character that I was most able to feel for was Darcy, the runaway. I could feel her fear, apprehension, and joy like it was my own and that definitely notched up the chill factor of this novel. I also loved how Laura didn’t seem much like fighter until the chips were down. I loved the 180 from the character I thought I knew.

The romance was pretty good too. In most cases, one thing or another had to take the backseat to the main story and in Irene Hannon’s case that usually means that the romance is more of a back story the main one and this book was no different and that was a good thing for me. However, I did feel like this romance was more prevalent than some of her other novels and the parts that had romance were amazing. I loved it and I think this author’s getting better with her incorporation skills.

Irene Hannon has never ceased to amaze me with what she can come up with and this time is no different. This book was positively none chilling as I can’t wait to see how she’s going to top it in her next one. I’ve always been a fan of hers but with this one she has climbed the ranks and has marked her spot on my list. I love her work and she and this book come very highly recommended.

Overall, I loved this book. I have no complaints about the fast and scary pace, the characters or the romance. This book is perfect for people who like a like a little goose bumps with their suspense. This book is best left to the adults, but can be used as a very important message for children and adolescents. I give this book a five out of five.

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

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Small Town Girl

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Title: Small Town Girl
Author: Ann H. Gabhart
Publisher: Revell
Published: July 1, 2013
Pages: 400

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Kate Merritt’s life is changing. Her sister is marrying the man she’s loved since she was fifteen years old and her heart is breaking in two. Even the attentions of the best man, Jay Tanner, can’t draw her interest. But with rumors of war heating up and a warning from her brother-in-law about Jay, Kate just can’t seem to stay away. Even knowing he might leave at any moment.

Jay Tanner has never found a reason to stay in one place for long. He never gets involved and never let’s himself care, until now. Now he not only cares about an eccentric little girl with dark hair, but with her older sister that is the fixer. Despite everything Jay does, he can’t quite seem to stay emotionally uninvolved and he doesn’t know why. The last thing he wants is love but maybe this small town and the people in it will give it to him anyway.

As the two grow closer to each other, Pearl Harbor happens and their worlds are turned upside down. Jay starts contemplating joining up and begins to realize what he feels for Kate isn’t just an infatuation that will I away in time. Kate realizes that she’s ready to fall head over heels for the bad boy even if it means she might lose him to the war.

Will Jay enlist and if he does will he survive the war or will Kate lose him before she’s ready? Will Kate get over her infatuation with her sister’s husband or will she forever love him even though he’s unattainable? Will Jay and Kate find love or heartbreak? Will Kate give Jay her whole heart or will she snatch it away when he’s finally ready to grab it? Will Jay and Kate’s love survive WWII or will they lose everything including each other?
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I’ve read only one book by Ann H. Gabhart but I can tell you that I love her books. The emotional connection each character goes through but also how emotionally involved it makes the reader makes her books a joy to read and it makes me look forward to every new release she has. This one was no different. It tugged at my heart strings and was the perfect romance for me.

Having not read Angel Sister, I didn’t know if I would be able to keep up with this book, but thankfully, the author made it so that there was only a few references to the first book and I was overall able to keep up. There were a few parts where I was left behind but those parts are generally insignificant to this story. Though I must say those parts made me really want to read Angel Sister and maybe I will someday.

The romance in this novel was impeccable. It had the perfect amount of emotional involvement and physical affection. I loved the fact that they fell in love despite the warnings that he won’t stick around from Mike. I also liked the whole good girl, bad boy angle. I feel like Kate jumped to some conclusions without hearing him out in the book, but if I had grown up the way she had, I can’t guarantee that I wouldn’t do the same. Which made her character really realistic and relatable. I loved this romance.

The storyline was also spot on, along with a cast of quirky and eccentric characters. Books like this make me wish for small town living and a close-knit community. I loved the way the story played itself out, the only thing that I wish I could change would be the conversion of Jay. I wish it were a bit more dramatic or heart-tugging but even though it wasn’t I still enjoyed this story and how it played out. The characters also helped make this story into a memorable one and made me wish that maybe the author will make another sequel.

This author captured my heart with Words Spoken True and now has held my heart hostage with her line of lovable and amazing characters. This book is part of the reason I love reading so much and want to write someday. This book is amazing and I highly recommend it and this author. I will eagerly anticipating her next release and will try and snatch it up when it becomes released.

Overall, I loved his book. My only complaint involves the conversion of Jay, but that isn’t such a big detail to really hurt the story. I highly recommend this to historical romance lovers and people who love a book filled with amazingly real and quirky characters. I think this book is perfect for adults and is singly teens but younger readers should avoid it for a while. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

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

Prophet

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Title: Prophet
Series: Books of the Infinite
Author: R. J. Larson
Publisher: Bethany House
Published: April 1, 2012
Pages: 352

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Seventeen year old Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She has a bad temper, is undignified, and she would be the first female prophet to come out of Parne. Worst of all, as the saying goes, a grey haired prophet has failed. All of the prophets before her have died young and she won’t be the one to break that tradition. But she can’t live without His presence.

She’s determined to follow the Infinite’s voice and commands, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent away from her family into a nation torn apart by war. Her mission is to bring the Infinite’s word to their polytheistic life and hopefully alter a horrendous prophecy. If only it were that easy. The Isthaardians want nothing to do with her or the Infinite. They mock and try to murder her at every turn, making her feel like a failure.

Kien Lantec is a young Traceland ambassador sent to bring peace, but now he’s determined to bring justice to his oppressed people. He fights the king at every turn and lands himself in prison, where he meets the beautiful prophet, Ela. As they form an unlikely partnership, they begin feel things that threaten to unbalance their lives for good. As her feelings grow Ela must somehow determine a balance between her heart and the Infinite.

Will Ela succeed with her job as prophet or will she live to have gray hair? Will Kien convince Ela that they can be together or will Ela determine that only the Infinite has her time? Will the king listen to the prodding of the Infinite or will his whole kingdom crumble because of his stubbornness? Will Ela die young or die an old woman?
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This was my first real jaunt into the fantasy genre and I didn’t know what to expect or how I was going to feel after I flipped the last page. However, I have an opinion now. I feel like this book was the perfect transition from reality to fantasy. It had just enough realism to make it believable, but also just enough fantasy to remind you that it hasn’t nor ever will exist. If this is how fantasy is, then I’m definitely a fan. This book also got me out of my shell and makes me want to read other fantasy books both this author’s and others.

I think the thing I liked most about this book and kind of wish we had in reality was the destroyers. Massive war horses that are extremely loyal to the point of being ridiculous. In fact, a lot of the humor in the book comes from Pet/Scythe and him tearing up stuff to get to his master. These destroyers are more like a dog or cat as far as expression goes, but is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to war, definitely making this book a lot better because of it.

I think another reason why I loved this book so much was because of how similar to the biblical fiction I love. It seemed like it was close to Bible stories we all know and love as well as being similar in timeframe. I also loved the female prophet angle, it’s not one you see very often, but it’s one that I enjoyed. I don’t know if I would enjoy it as much as I did if it wasn’t so rare but because it is, I felt it was yet another aspect that I could love about this book.

The author also did something completely perfect for this book, created a romance that didn’t get completed in this novel. She wanted to add a little romance, but she didn’t want to force it into the story. So she made an open ended romance that fit so perfectly I have no complaints. Even with the lack of romance, she captured my heart and made me content with what she gave. It’s a sweet innocent romance that made me want more.

The descriptions in this book are a must. It made me feel like this area was real and I was walking alongside Ela at every turn. Also, the descriptions of the dangerous, deadly animals in this world made me a little thankful that the monsters in this story weren’t walking the earth with us. This author knew how to describe without over describing and she described the battle scenes all while leaving out the majority of the battle scenes, a detail most will be ecstatic over.

This genre is a first for me and the author, but if this book is any indication, both I and the author will be back with more fantasy. Me because I found a new genre that satisfies my curiosity and the author because I believe that she has truly found her niche. For a debut in a new genre, this book is the epitome of fantastic. It’s perfect for lovers of biblical fiction and fantasy fiction. I can’t wait to read more in this series and from this author. The author has opened a door into this genre that can’t be closed, so stay tuned for more fantasy reviews in the near future.

Overall, a great fantasy book for beginners in the genre or people who have been reading in it for years. It’s perfect for teens and Tweens alike an parents can rest easy that it isn’t to ridiculous like some of the fantasy books can get. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

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