Elusive Hope

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Title: Elusive Hope
Series: Escape To Paradise
Author: MaryLu Tyndall
Publisher: Barbour Books
Published: November 1, 2013
Pages: 320

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Magnolia Scott is a Southern Belle forced against her will into the forests of Brazil. With her overbearing father insisting on uprooting her family to escape the uncertainty of Southern life after the Civil War, Magnolia doesn’t have much of a say in the matter. As Magnolia sees her life full of suitors, parties, dresses, and beauty fade, she realizes she needs to find a way out of this horrid jungle, even if she has to run away to do it.

Hayden Gale had spent years seeking revenge against his scoundrel of a father. His search leads him to Brazil, where he’s believed to be helping colonize the jungle, and he plans to seek out his father and finish his search once as for all. With nothing to lose, definitely not a good reputation, Hayden keeps searching, but he didn’t think he’d have a companion particularly not the snooty Magnolia Scott.

As they journey to Rio de Janeiro, each for different purposes, they both try and use the other for their own purposes, but the more they travel together the closer they get and the harder the deception is to uphold. Magnolia begins to love the place she used to hate and Hayden begins to see a different side of Magnolia he never knew existed and both begin to feel differently towards each other with every step. One thing’s for certain, falling in love wasn’t in the plans.

Can Magnolia Scott learn to love the tropical land that is Brazil or will she leave to try and find love back home? Will Hayden get his revenge against his father or will he realize that revenge isn’t healthy? Can Magnolia an Hayden fall in love despite their differences or will their love be ripped apart by life and status? Can Hayden and Magnolia realize that the only One who truly matters in this life is Jesus?
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I love MaryLu Tyndall’s work. I have since the beginning and her first book, a pirate series that captured my heart. Since that first book MaryLu has definitely improved as an author and this book proves it. This book was eloquently written and heart tugging and I couldn’t get enough. Only MaryLu could make a book involving a con-man and a woman obsessed with her looks into a viable and romantic romance.

This romance is one of the best I’ve ever read! It had complexities and issues that made the romance feel realistic yet and kept my interest. This isn’t a hugely passionate romance, but neither is it stale. It has enough kisses and emotional connections to keep your attention without making it feel forced. The whole romance is just terribly romantic and plays on pretty much any historical romance buff’s fantasies. I absolutely loved this one!

The storyline of this novel is actually more than just a romance which definitely keeps your interest and because of the suspense of it, I actually stayed up until 2:30 in the morning to read it just because I couldn’t stop. There’s actually a really interesting secondary plot line that completely fascinates me and definitely makes me want to read the third book in the series. Without saying too much, it involves some creepy happenings and visions. It’s so gripping!

The setting of this book is gorgeous. I’ve never been to Brazil but MaryLu Tyndall’s description of this lush and green terrain creates a mental image that makes you feel like you’ve been there. In this book you really get to “experience” Brazil and because of that my opinion has kind of changed toward these colonists and their leaving America. This terrain has captured my heart along with the quirky mix of colonists that call it home.

MaryLu Tyndall captured me with her very first words in print and the inspiration for them, but this book captured me for a different reason and I’m glad I got the opportunity to see her grow into the amazing author she is today. This book is absolutely amazing and is definitely worthy rereading let alone reading. This author and all of her books come very highly recommended by me.

Overall, I loved it. It captured me from the beginning and I loved every second of the journey I got to go on. This book is perfect for romance lovers and lovers of the forest. This book is best left to adults and very mature teenagers. 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.*

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Memory’s Door

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Title: Memory’s Door
Series: A Well Spring Novel
Author: James L. Rubart
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: August 6, 2013
Pages: 368

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The four members of Warriors Riding have learned to wage war in the supernatural, to send their spirits into people’s souls, to battle demonic forces, and to bring deep healing to those around them. But their leader Reece struggles with the loss of his sight and his passion photography along with it. Brandon is being stalked at his concerts by a man in the shadows, Dana’s career seems to consume her, and Marcus starts to question his sanity as he seems to be slipping in and out of alternate realities.

Now they have to prepare for war as the Wolf begins to hunt them, fulfilling the second part of the prophecy. His traps are set and he’s waiting to devour anyone who steps into it. His supernatural hate of all they stand feeds his mission and he won’t stop until he destroys not only their bodies but their souls as well. The Warriors Riding need the Armor and blessing of God to defeat their greatest enemy yet.

As the team tries to stay together and close to the Spirit, attacks are launched from all sides to try and separate them from their strength. On their own their powerless, but with Christ no enemy is too big and the team clings to that as their lives are turned upside down and decisions made that can alter their lives forever. The battle has begun and it’ll be the biggest one yet. The team will need their faith like never before if they ever hope to defeat the Wolf.

Will Reece see again or is his vision lost for good? Is Brandon’s stalker dangerous or friendly? Will Dana’s career be her undoing or will she be able to prevail? Will Marcus be stuck between realities forever or will he gain freedom from the confusion? Can the Warriors Riding defeat the Wolf or will they die trying? What decisions will each character make and will they be the right one?
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Having loved the first book in this series, I was excited when I got offered the opportunity to read this one as well. My expectations were high, and this book met some of them while others fell flat. I can’t really place my finger on one thing that made this book different, but for some reason it was. This book didn’t resonate the same way that the first did and even though I enjoyed it, something was different and it affected the structure of the story.

The story started kind of slow for about half of the book, there were some confrontations and confusions but overall it was a touch slow for me, particularly since the end felt too rushed and I wasn’t able to truly become engaged with the final battle before it was over. Pacing was an issue here but the story was nice and fairly easy to follow if you’ve read the first book in the series. If you haven’t read the first book I don’t recommend starting with this book, but starting at the beginning.

The message behind this book, though it can get mixed up in some fuzzing theology and ideas, is very solid and freeing. Jesus loves you for who you are and doesn’t want you weighed down by mistakes, regrets, or fear. That is the true reason why these books speak to me so much. I think every one of us needs to hear that every now and again when the lies and fear and regrets start creeping in again. Most other ideas broached in this book, other than The Lord speaking and spiritual warfare, I don’t believe for an instant (mostly soul travel) but part of me thinks it would be cool if some of it did exist.

The characters in this book have started to really develop nicely. Dana had really grown Into her role as the Leader very well and spiritually, I felt that she was the strongest one in this book. Reece was the character that took some steps back this book. He seems to question God at every run because of his lack of sight and the fact that it hasn’t been restored yet, but honestly I can’t l him blame him for questioning particularly since he knows it’s to be restored. That said it was still a bit disappointing to see him stumble like that.

This author captivated me with his first book in this series and though I never really believed soul travel existed it was still fun to say what if and read the message behind the blurred lines. This book was different somehow an I don’t really know how. Maybe the novelty of it wore of or maybe it’s something deeper. I don’t know. All I know is, I’d didn’t enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the first. I recommend this to a select audience.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first but still enjoyed it. This book is perfect for fans of speculative fiction. This book is definitely best left to adults only. I give this book a three out of five.

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

When The Clouds Roll By

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Title: When The Clouds Roll By
Series: Till We Meet Again
Author: Myra Johnson
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Published: September 17, 2013
Pages: 352

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Annemarie Kendall, a potter, is ecstatic when the armistice is signed ending World War I. Her fiancée Lt. Gilbert Ballard can finally come home to Hot Springs, Arkansas and marry her. If only his letters made it seem like he wanted to. So, Annemarie isn’t surprised, but still hurt, when Gilbert ends their engagement. Now Annemarie has to try and become who God wants her to be and try and save Gilbert while managing to save her heart from his friend.

Army Chaplain Samuel Vickary has befriended Gilbert to try and uplift his spirits. When, Gilbert breaks it off with Annemarie, Sam tries to convince him he’s making a mistake but he can’t deny that he feels an attraction for her too. But tormented by his decisions and his mistakes and the memories of war, he doesn’t feel worthy for love by Annemarie or God, let alone grace and he needs Annemarie to show him that he does deserve it.

Caught in the middle and confused, Annemarie must make a choice which man she will give her heart to. She also tries to save two men from themselves and it seems like she’s drowning. With Sam and Gilbert’s relationship destroyed over her and her heart broken by Gilbert, all three of them must try and put the war behind them and cling to the only One who can make things okay, God.

Who will Annemarie choose? Will Gilbert change his mind about Annemarie or will he never regret his decision to give her up? Will Sam fall in love with Annemarie despite his attempt to not or will his attempt be successful? Will Sam be able to leave his demons behind and trust in God or will he be tormented do the rest of his life? Will Gilbert be able to be a peace with his circumstances or will he become bitter and spiral downhill?
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Before this one, I had never read a book by Myra Johnson before and, after reason this book, I’m not sure why. I do know, though, that I loved this book and was surprised at the amount of drama and how emotionally charged it was. I’ve never read a love triangle this dramatic before, shockingly. Myra Johnson definitely captured how I imagine a love triangle would play out.

The romance in this book is kind of fast. Though I enjoyed it, there seemed to be something missing, maybe it’s the doubt both of them feel about their feelings or maybe it’s because of the slight lack of deep emotional connections. However, I do think that despite that it was a nice romance and had some very romantic moments that made me go, “aahh”. This romance wasn’t awful or even bad it just wasn’t the best I’ve ever read.

This story is very emotionally driven. It’s full of tears, anger, love, pain, and forgiveness. It really got your emotions involved whether it be pity, empathy, love, joy. I really had strong feelings towards a few characters in this story and because of that I would love to see Mary and Gilbert again in the next book and hopefully see a resolution to their issues and maybe a romance between them? This story was definitely a heart tugged and engaged me front he beginning.

The characters in this story had son real issues to work through during the course of this book. Particularly Sam and Gilbert. Some characters seemed a bit stuff and cardboard-like and had to figure out but the usually weren’t very important to the story and didn’t hurt the story too much. Annemarie’s struggles seemed realistic to me. I mean if I started falling for a guys weeks after I got dumped I question my feelings too. I think the struggles the characters went through were realistic and heart-rending.

Myra Johnson definitely made me a fan. Though this book wasn’t perfect, it was enjoyable and I did enjoy this read. In fact I devoured it and didn’t want to put it down. I don’t know how many books this author has but I intend to see if I can get my hands on any of them. I think this author has a great flair for drama and great storytelling abilities. This book comes highly recommended by me.

Overall, I loved this book though it did have some hitches. I enjoyed how realistic and gritty it was and watching each character coming to the realization that God loves them just as they are. This book is perfect for fans of love triangles, dramas, or WWI novels. This is best left to the adults. I give this book a four out of five.

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

The Brotherhood Conspiracy

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Title: The Brotherhood Conspiracy
Author: Terry Brennan
Publisher: Kregel
Published: June 4, 2013
Pages: 368

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Tom Bohannon has just watched in shocked horror as his archaeological find along with the entire Temple Mount was destroyed. Now he questions what it was all for and whether this find was worth the loss of his colleagues. He just wants to forget but outside forces make him remember and the phone call from the president asking for his help doesn’t help with his mission either. Now he must make a decision risk his life again or stay and keep letting his enemy win.

The President needs Tom Bohannon and his team to find something that both Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood are looking for, the Tent of Meeting from Exodus. Israel wants it to make a permanent claim of the Temple Mount the Muslim Brotherhood wants it to destroy it. The President wants it to prevent WWIII and he needs Tom to do it.

Tom is hesitant to accept another mission that puts him, his team, and his family in risk, but with the urging of his friends and colleagues and the adrenaline rush he gets when he even thinks about it, he decides to take his team and put themselves in the crosshairs of the Prophet’s Guard again to yet again change the course of history. If they can manage to stay alive while doing it.

Can Tom and his team manage to stay alive or will their predators manage to catch them this time? Will the Israelis, the Muslims, or Tom and his crew reach the tent first? Will Tom and the President be able to hold off World War Three or will it happen despite their best efforts? Will Tom have to lose another teammate or will he be the one that is lost?
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This book was a book that I picked up on a whim and didn’t really expect much out of it. I didn’t quite get what I had expected as far as plot goes but what I got was full of intrigue and mystery. However, this book wasn’t my style and seemed too unrealistic for it to even be remotely plausible. Also, I think the fact that I didn’t read the first book of this continuation means I spent quite a bit of time playing catch up and was left behind.

For me, the idea that the Tent of Meeting, being close to 2,500 to 3,000 years old, would still be there let alone usable is just ridiculous. The temple under the Temple Mount seems more plausible but still unlikely and that’s what the entire story hinges on, making it difficult for me to get into this story. I just didn’t believe it and that made me wanting to just skip to the end to see what happens.

The characters in this book were at an outrageous number and made it so hard for me to follow because it seemed like each character had two names and had other people with similar names. Not to mention there are people, probably from the first, who just show up and I now have to try and remember them too. All of this made character development and growth almost nonexistent. I didn’t see much change in any of the characters and I was saddened by that because it’s one of my favorite parts of a novel.

The plot, minus an excess of characters and unbelievable target, wasn’t that bad and all the action and mystery would’ve been enjoyable if it weren’t for the target and characters. Although I find it really hard to believe an ordinary citizen could escape a well trained assassin, I will admit that it added intensity and danger to the book and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the effort. If this author works on his characters his stories would probably be pretty good and enjoyable.

This author failed to capture my interest but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy him and his books. I think with a bit of work and growth this author’s books wouldn’t be half bad and I might even be a fan later on. However, right now I’m not, but I will be keeping my eye open for more and seeing if I enjoy anything else by this author.

Overall, not my cup of tea and I had a hard time with plausibility, character development, and plot. I think this is perfect for people who want a different kind of suspense book. I think this book is best left to the adults. I give this book a two 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.*

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.*

Claudia, Wife Of Pontius Pilate

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Title: Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate
Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
Publisher: Revell
Published: June 15, 2013
Pages: 336

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Claudia’s life didn’t start easily. She’s the illegitimate daughter of Julia, reviled and exiled daughter of Caesar Augustus, and she spends her childhood in a guarded villa with her mother and grandmother. When Tiberius, Julia’s ex-husband who hates her, takes the throne, Claudia is ripped away from her family to be brought up in the palace in Rome. Her life is spent feeling adrift – until she meets Lucius Pontius Pilate and becomes his wife.

Claudia’s life finally has meaning. She finally has her anchor she needs, but everything he’s ever known and wants is tested when Pilate is appointed Prefect of the troublesome territory of Judea. She does what she’s always done and tries to make the best of it, but unrest is brewing on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. Riots begin and the stubborn people refuse to give in, threatening Pilate’s job before it’s even begun.

Claudia soon finds herself embroiled in controversy and rebellion. Little does she know the impact her husband will have on the world as we know it and what his part in it means for our salvation. Claudia becomes interested in this man who brings peace, love, and healing to anyone who comes near and she can’t help but see what’s different between him and the prophets for her gods.

Will Claudia find peace and healing in the mysterious Jewish Rabbi everyone seems to be talking about or will she forever think him a false prophet? Will Claudia become a Christian because of her husband or will bitterness be too deeply rooted? Will her husband understand her fascination with Jesus or will he think that she’s fallen off the wagon?
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Having read Diana Wallis Taylor’s last book about Mary Magdalene, I was excited to get the opportunity to read another book by her, particularly since it is about the wife of Pontius Pilate. However this book was a bit of a disappointment for me because of the creative liberties she had to take in order to make a story out of a woman who was mentioned once, possibly twice, in the Bible. I also think that some of the liberties she took were a bit unrealistic an unlikely, which made this story that much harder to read.

The best part of this book was the tiny bit about Judea and Jesus. The descriptions the author uses to describe Judea really allows you a vivid picture of what it looked like back then and how gorgeous it was. I also really liked the ability to have a different look a Jesus and his miracles. The outside looking in view was unique and something that I actually really enjoyed.

Because Claudia is only really mentioned on in Scripture, the author had very little to work with as far as biblical and even historical accounts, thus forcing her make most of it up. The author is banking on the fact that the Claudia mentioned in 2 Timothy is the same Claudia as Pontius Pilate’s wife. Personally I have my doubts that Claudia was saved by the acts of Jesus, but I hope that she was and would love for that to be true.

I also think the story kind of lost its focus closer to the end. It started out strong but after the death of Jesus the story slowly starts to go downhill. Then, when the story has only a few chapters left, it spirals out of control like a airplane plummeting to earth. It went from plausible to unbelievable and from has focus to “I have no idea where this story is going”. Even though I appreciate the author’s attempt to lighten up the story, I wish she would’ve left it a dismal ending like I assumed it would have. I think that some of you will love this book and I appreciated the new perspective it gave me, but this book just wasn’t for me and was only a disappointment.

I loved this author’s story about Mary Magdalene and wanted to like this story about Claudia, but I felt that this story was abut of a stretch. However it was inspirational and showed a different side to Jesus’ ministry than I’m used to seeing. I still plan on reading more from this author, but I hope next time she picks a little less controversial and iffy topic.

Overall, not my style and I find most of it hard to believe but some of you will probably like it. I think people who like books loosely based off people will like this one. I think this book is best left to adults because of so adult content, for Christian fiction, and because this book needs some good biblical discernment. Overall, I give this book a two 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.*

The Next Target

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Title: The Next Target
Author: Nikki Arana
Publisher: David C. Cook
Published: June 1, 2012
Pages: 400

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Austia Donatelli is young, recently widowed and lives her life to help the Muslim community she lives in. She runs a career center to help them find jobs and she teaches a ESL ( English as a second language) class for women. When someone shows interest Austia even shares her faith with the student, but when her student and new Christian ends up murdered, Austia knows it’s an honor killing. A killing by family to regain their family honor and Austia is scared they’re going to come for her next.

Zaki ben Hassan’s mission is to watch Austia and report what he finds. He doesn’t understand his boss’s interest in Austia and her center and he wants to find out. He’s determined to not feel after losing everyone he’s ever loved from various crimes. Austia draws him despite his efforts to remain neutral and his urge to protect her threatens to destroy everything he’s ever worked for.

As the jihadists get closer to Austia, she begins to fight for her life and the lives around her. She has no idea who to trust or where to turn. Zaki is trying to finish his mission but he can’t let Austia fight alone, even if it means destroying years of progress. In the fight of good against evil, no one is safe and no one is able to win without God on their side.

Will Austia be able to survive a determined jihadists leader’s long reach or will she just be another innocent casualty in this ongoing fight for our freedom? Will Zaki be able to protect Austia without putting his life on the line or will he have to choose between the woman he could love and the cause he needs to be a part of? Will Austia give up her calling of helping Muslims or will she be even more determined to help? Will Zaki be able to forgive and move on from all he’s seen and turn back to God or will he live his life anger and bitter over his circumstances?
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This book is a little hard to form an opinion of. I loved the concept and all that I learned about Muslims and their customs and beliefs, but I don’t know if the suspense was executed the right way. I really liked the effort the author put in to show the difference between moderate and extremist Muslims and she gave me a perspective that I’ve never had before. Usually I read books only involving jihadist Muslims so it was nice to see the moderates get some of the attention and I enjoyed learning the differences between the two.

I can’t put my finger on it but something about this book didn’t sit right with me. It could be the suspense, I find it a little unbelievable that a powerful jihadist leader would be intimidated by one woman running a career center and occasionally preaching to interested women. It could also be that throughout the entire book, including the end, I couldn’t really form an opinion of Zaki. I can’t decide if I like him or hate him or whether or not he converted to Christianity. I feel like the author didn’t put enough thought into that major character of her story.

There is romance in this book, sort of. It’s a little hard to say that considering that Austia didn’t trust and was actually scared of Zaki for most of the book and Zaki didn’t really get to spend much time around Austia or really talk to her before he feels that he’s in love. That brought a little disappointment for me, but it’s always difficult to meld a romance into a suspense well and I feel like this author needs a little practice in that.

The suspense was intense yet a little unrealistic, at least to someone who doesn’t have much knowledge of Muslims. I felt that the suspense was a little far fetched yet, somehow realistic too. I guess I could see this happening just not this extensively. The amount of manpower this man put on watching one woman was the thing that seemed unrealistic and extreme. You would think this woman was preaching to every man, woman, and child that walked into that place. I did like the action scenes and bravery that were displayed in the suspense, though, and I feel like the author nailed making me afraid along with our heroine. That was a huge plus for me.

Before this book, I’ve never read anything by this author and though I wasn’t completely happy with what I got from her, I do intend to read more from her. I enjoyed her knowledge of Muslims and their customs and I enjoyed how she was able to get my heart pumping over the suspense. Though, I feel she needs to improve on her realism for the suspense and her romances, I feel like she is a good author and if she improves on those things can stand out and possibly become a best seller. I’m going to keep my eye on this author and I recommend you do the same.

Overall, this book is great if you want some knowledge on the Muslim religion and if you want a heart pounding suspense but not so great if you want a realistic romantic suspense that makes perfect sense. Also, this isn’t the book for you if you want a light quick read. This book is dark and gritty and it won’t leave you feeling happy and hopeful at the end. I recommend this book to those that prefer the more dark and gritty suspense books or those that like books involving Muslims and Christians. I don’t recommend this book for anyone younger than an adult or a mature teenager. I give this book a three out of five.

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

With Every Letter

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Title: With Every Letter
Series: Wings of the Nightingale
Author: Sarah Sundin
Publisher: Revell
Pages: 432
Published: September 1, 2012

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Lt. Nellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. However, she is not looking forward to writing an anonymous letter to a man she never met, even if it is to build morale among the men. Being weird and shy means that she’s a loner who just wants some friends, but has no idea how to get them. Maybe this letter thing won’t be so bad after all. Maybe she can have a friend after all.

Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the anonymous correspondence. Without his pen pal knowing his very infamous namesake he can finally fully open up and let someone see the real him, not the him he tries to hide behind smiles and jokes. As he struggles with being a leader and not turning out like his father, he finds that he is very attracted to his pen pal and begins to want to see her as her.

As their friendship grows, so does the affection and attraction for each other. But with paths so different yet so alike, both wonder if it’s worth it to meet in person and face utter rejection. With pasts ruling their lives and a delicate friendship, both must make a decision that could change their lives forever. All they have to do is take the plunge into the unknown, sounds easy right?

Will Mellie and Tom ever meet in person or will they chicken out? If they do meet will they face an overwhelming attraction or will they face utter rejection? Will Mellie ever gain friends or will she be a loner forever? Will Tom ever gain control of his platoon or will he forever be considered a friend instead of a leader?
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Having read a book by Sarah Sundin, I had an idea of what to expect, but she went above and beyond her previous books and created a story that made me fall in love with the characters, and genre all over again. Sarah Sundin is one of my favorite WWII genre authors because she has a true passion for the era and it shows in every page of her books, making this genre an easy favorite of most if not all readers. In fact, this is one of my favorite genres because of her.

This author’s history is spot on and her attention to detail is perfect, making the reader feel like their in the trenches with Tom and his platoon or in the air-vac helicopter with Mellie and her crew. This book also taught me a few things about this iconic war, which I always love, and made me wish for a time machine so that I can be one of the courageous people that nurses and fought for the cause. Very few books that I’ve read have made me crave the invention of time travel and for that this author has solidified her spot as my favorite author in this genre.

The romance in this novel was probably very tricky to formulate, but it didn’t show. It’s easy to see that two people of the opposite sex would fall in love after six plus months of sharing your heart and soul on paper. This author navigated smoothly what should’ve been a clunky romance and created something that I will definitely remember for years to come. It was uniquely sweet and extremely romantic, making me want a romance similar to this one.

I liked the characters in this book as well. I didn’t feel like they were too shallow or abnormally deep. They drew me in and made me want to find out what made them tick, including the “mean girls”. The author managed to create an enemy that I didn’t feel outright dislike for them. Don’t get me wrong I hated how they treated Mellie but I couldn’t help but think that there was something else behind the mean girl act. Never before has that ever really happened to me and I absolutely loved it.

This author captured my heart with her previous works but she managed to steal it completely with this one. I absolutely cannot wait to see who else gets to fall in love in this series and I can’t wait to see how she is going to do it. Also, I can’t express how ecstatic I am that it was a series. If it had been a stand alone I would’ve been sorely disappointed. This author will truly capture your heart and never let it go as she spins tales that touches on the romantic in all of us.

Overall, fantastic book that made me really love this genre again. It will capture the heart of almost any reader. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves books in this genre and want an emotional and touching book. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are mine.*

The Reunion

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Title: The Reunion
Author: Dan Walsh
Publisher: Revell
Published: September 1, 2012
Pages: 304

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Aaron Miller knows about loss. He lost love, dignity, and second and third chances. He lost his wife and kids over a decision he doesn’t feel like a hero for. He was once honored for his heroism, then hated for his participation, he now lives alone, in near obscurity, working as a handyman in a humble trailer park. No one knows what he’s done and he wants to keep it that way.

Dave Russo lost his father during the Vietnam War when he was very little. Without being able to mourn properly because of the hatred surrounding the war, Dave has spent most of his life without proper closure. He decides to write a book about this iconic war to say goodbye to his father properly and to bring him closer to the father he never really knew.

When he gets to interview a Vietnam vet, he gets an offer he couldn’t refuse, find the savior to him and his two buddies and enough money to he it done, then some. He’s now searching for the elusive hero, Aaron Miller. The search leads him to Karen Miller, Aaron’s daughter. As that relationship grows, Dave is determined to find Aaron, Karen, however, doesn’t want to see the man that abandoned her as a child.

Will Dave find Aaron or will his search hit a dead end? Will Dave and Karen’s attraction grow or will it fizzle out after time? Will Aaron accept a near irresistible offer to be thanked for his heroism or will he deny the offer of gratitude? Will Dave finish his book and lay his father to rest or will he give it up before it’s finished?
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Having read previous rings from Dan Walsh, I kind of felt like I knew what to expect. However, the author surprised me and mixed it up a bit and made the book set more in the present, unlike his previous book. However, he stuck to his usual impeccable sense of detail and historical accuracy. Not to mention, the end of this book will literally bring you to tears.

Like I said before, the author changed up the whole story-in-a-story thing and made it more of a singular story with different characters or at least a story-in-a-story with both story lines in the present. This was a change I didn’t expect and would’ve probably preferred a story more like The Discovery, but I don’t see how that would’ve worked out with the story line the way it was.

One thing that the author stayed the same in was his historical accuracy and attention to detail. It’s one of the reasons I love him as an author. He makes sure everything is accurate and makes books that are unexpected and completely awesome. I particularly loved this books setting. I always wanted to read a book based in the much hated Vietnam War. It was something I was happy to read about because there isn’t enough out there about it unlike World War I and II.

Like his last one, there was a romance. This one was about a couple in their forties which I don’t usually enjoy, however this one was cute. I don’t know how to explain it but this one was actually my favorite out of all the later-in-life romances I’ve read. I don’t know how he managed to do it, but the author made this romance adorable and totally believable somehow, considering how little time the couple knew each other before saying “I love you”. It was a major plus for this book.

This author is a fantastic author who makes a book both men and women can enjoy all while making it a book-in-a-book and with historical accuracy. The more I read from this author the more I enjoy what he gives readers. I look forward to reading more from him and seeing what other great stories he can come up with. I also can’t wait to see how else he can tug at my heart strings and make me smile along with the characters.

Overall, this book is a little different from the usual but nice nonetheless and a book men and women alike can enjoy. I recommend this for anyone who wants a book about Vietnam vets and a little romance as well. I give this book a three out of five.

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