Book Review | The Watson Girl by Leslie Wolfe

the watson girl

This was an interesting thriller!  The second in this series, Special Agent Tess Winnett is seen again (previously in “Dawn Girl”), and this time, she is returning early to work, to interview the “Family Man”, a death row inmate who is slated for execution.

The book, however, does not open with Tess as the main character, it focuses on the killer from fifteen years earlier, on the night of a murder, and after taking out an entire family, realizes he missed one member who is still alive!  Laura Watson is indeed now a young woman in a relationship with her boyfriend, unaware that the killer on death row, may not be the man who murdered her family.  Could there be a copycat?  If so, who, and why?

Tess and her team investigate, interrogate and keep pressing until they get the answers she feels from the beginning of the book.  And switching perspectives between the killer who has a field day “feasting” and taking women’s lives, to Laura who is afraid to undergo regression therapy to see if she can remember anything, to Tess who is convinced of Laura’s imminent danger, this book keeps moving like a runaway train.

You’ll begin to theorize certain people as the book progresses, only to eliminate them as one by one, people are revealed to be not whom they appeared to be.  The book ends with a shocking reveal that threw me for a loop!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  And now, onto book three with Tess Winnett, “Glimpse of Death”.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Italics Publishing and Leslie Wolfe. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | A Margin of Lust by Greta Boris

margin of lust

The first in a seven-book series on the seven deadly sins, A Margin of Lust, focused on strictly that- LUST.  Gwen Bishop is a real estate agent who lists her dream home and can’t wait to sell it.  She loves real estate and the long-term goals she’ll be able to accomplish with the sale of homes.  Her husband is a school principal who is very focused on their family and his career as well.  As distance comes between Art and Gwen, enter a killer, who has a tie to the house Gwen is trying to sell, with agendas of his own.  Soon after the listing for the multi-million dollar home goes on sale, a body is found in the house, and Gwen is part of the clean-up crew, as well as the next target.

Lust manifests in many shapes and sizes in this book, and it was a suspenseful quick read, with well-developed characters and a strong plot line. It makes you question every person that Gwen encounters, and with chapters written from the perspective of the killer, the story pulls you in until you reach the very end.  Can’t wait to read The Scent of Wrath, Greta’s second book in the series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Fawkes Press and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html&gt; : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

lies she told

This book was one that I could NOT.PUT.DOWN.  It was a little slow at the beginning, but it took off within the first five chapters. If you are a reader who doesn’t mind shifting perspectives, this suspenseful book takes turns like no other.

Your main character is Liza Cole who is an author with a deadline for a new book.  Liza is married to David. Recently, his partner from work, Nick, goes missing, assumed dead in a local river. Liza begins writing her story about a woman who is named Beth, who also is married and a new mother. Beth catches her husband, Jake, cheating with a coworker of his, named Colleen.  And as Liza writes, we learn more about Beth, her complicated life, and Liza herself.

I didn’t mind the perspective shift from reality to the fiction book.  It was believable, and made me question motives, realities, and conversations between characters.  The best part is about midway through when you begin to realize that these two perspectives will align and when they do, WOW!!  This was my first book by Cate Holahan, but since I have The Widower’s Wife in my Kindle app, I’ll dive into that one in 2018.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Crooked Lane Publishing and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review | The Switch by Joseph Finder

the switch

This was a fun and fast-paced novel! Michael Tanner went through LAX airport and unfortunately after the TSA check, picked up the wrong laptop.  No big deal, right?  Just switch back with the original owner.  However, the original owner is Susan Robbins, a US Senator with some very confidential information on her laptop, with password protection, encryption… oh, and a sticky note with the password written on it inside of the laptop case!  When Will Abbott realizes his mistake, he is frantic to get it back!

Abbott, the chief of staff, is in charge of retrieving the laptop, and there is definitely an intense need to get the laptop back. What exactly is on it that people will die to protect? You’ll have to read to find out.

Tanner’s life turns upside down as Abbott sends people after him and he goes on the run. I thought the story was easy to follow, I loved the suspense and Tanner is a likable character. There are some extreme moments and I love how the author kept the pace fast. If you like government fiction, grab this!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Penguin Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Book Review | The Unexplainable Church by Erica Wiggenhorn

unexplainable church

The Unexplainable Church is incredible! It’s a ten-week study, or fifty-day journey into the book of Acts, starting in chapter 13 and continuing through 28. Wiggenhorn’s first Acts study is called An Unexplainable Life and focuses on Acts 1-12.

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Erica begins the study with a divine invitation for us to listen to the Holy Spirit. He calls in Acts 13:2, to “Separate yourself for the special work I have planned for you.” And from there, we chronologically work through the rest of Acts. I found the workbook format to be easy to read, each section is timely spaced, and engaging for groups or individual study. I liked the detailed questions and areas to reflect. I would highly recommend it for groups or individual believers who are looking for a deeper study that makes you think, makes you dig deeper into God’s Word and ignites a greater understanding of the Holy Spirit’s insistence on the urgency to share the truth of the Gospel.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Moody Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and I appreciate the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy to do so. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review | Daring to Hope: Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken by Katie Davis Majors

daring to hope

BOOK NOW AVAILABLE!  ON SALE AS OF OCTOBER 3, 2017! GET YOUR COPY NOW!

Katie Majors is the author of “Kisses from Katie” and the founder of Amazima Ministries in Uganda.  She adopted 13 girls and made them a family.  And her second book details her life in Uganda, heartache when children are taken away to live with biological parents, friends and loved ones die from disease, and endings don’t go as planned.  I don’t want to share any details, simply because I wouldn’t do them justice.

I grabbed a box of tissues and curled up on the couch, only to weep, read her words and have my heart break with her.  But her story isn’t all sadness and despair.  Her words of truth in describing death and pain draw us nearer to our Heavenly Father and point us to Jesus and the hope that HE is for us.  You just have to read it for yourself.  Allow your heart to break, to hear the Lord’s voice, to see the Lord move and to find a renewed sense of faith in Him.

I am grateful to be a part of Katie’s launch team as she publishes her second book, brings awareness to another part of our world we’d much rather not focus on, and shares the pursuit of hope.  Thank you to Waterbrook/ Multnomah for the Advanced Reader Copy and the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.  Keep Katie on your list for future publications.  Her eloquence and wisdom is necessary for today’s journey with Jesus.

Book Review | Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

are you sleeping

Whoa…talk about suspense!  Twins who grew up together shared a very sad secret for years, but it looks like it has finally caught up to them.  Josie and Lanie’s father was murdered, and a man has been in prison for over ten years, due to Lanie’s eyewitness account.  But when a woman who runs a podcast begins to question if the right person is serving time, it shakes the remaining family members to the core.  Did Lanie tell the truth?  If she didn’t, who killed their father?

The sad truth too, is that Josie, unable to trust her twin, moved away after the murder and has no relationship with her sister.  When their mother, who had run off to join a cult commits suicide, they are brought together to unravel the lies, determine the truth and shut down the suspicion of the podcast following.  Their interactions are believable (I have a sister) and I was able to relate to Josie very easily.

I loved the book, enjoyed the characters and appreciated the outcome.  Very well written first book!  I would gladly read another book by Kathleen Barber.

Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery, Threshold and Pocket Books for the advanced reader copy and the opportunity to read and review this book honestly.  It is a privilege and an honor.

Book Review | The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards (and I mean, THE Mark Edwards)

devil work

Oh, how I love Mark Edwards’ suspense novels!!  This one did not disappoint!  Sophie Greenwood is the main character who finally begins her dream job at a publishing firm, only to realize after she is hired that she has a connection with an employee’s family member.  She keeps it secret, thinking it has nothing to do with her current position, but as she begins to work there as a replacement for another employee who went missing, she begins to see that things aren’t exactly what they seem.  Workers seem to be keeping tabs on each other, a dear friend gets beaten up almost to the point of death, and she ends up getting locked in the building one night working late.

The story is told well through her perspective, and to give insight into what is really happening, it jumps back to her past which shares a lot of detail, but still keeps you guessing until the end. I had some ideas of who was behind a few of the events, but I only got one of them right!  And I don’t know about any other readers, but I couldn’t help thinking how I wanted to search the whole publishing firm building myself!

Bonus: As someone who has read multiple thriller novels by this author, I loved his nod to the draft of “The Devil’s Work” that the publishing company was reading and editing, as well as the reference to the neighbors, Lucy and Chris from his book “The Magpies”.  And he included a magpie in this book.  It felt like an inside joke between the author and his loyal fan base. 🙂

If you love suspense and reading about workplace craziness, this is a book anyone can relate to, and will keep you on the edge of your seat.  Highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, Mark Edwards and Thomas & Mercer for the advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.  I will definitely read another book from this author and am anxiously awaiting it.

Book Review | The Girl Before by JP Delaney

the girl before

Cannot wait to see how the movie directed by Ron Howard turns out! This book was definitely psychological! From the very picky architect who “screens” applicants to stay in his intricately-detailed home in London to the quirky applicants themselves who take the chance to live there, this book was quite a ride.

Edward Monkford has specific (and I mean, specific) ideas for the tenants who reside in his pristine home, and only after the applicant meets the requirements is SHE allowed to stay. At the beginning of the novel, I thought it was odd at first, but as I read on, the reasons why he has such high standards begins to unfold, and to say that the owner of the home is narcissistic is an understatement.

The story jumps back and forth between Jane who lives in the home now, and Emma, who lived there before, hence the title. Similarities begin to emerge in their personalities, and interactions between the owner and others who notice the women living in the home begin to shed light on what is really happening inside of the four walls. I loved the suspense and the ending. I was annoyed with Jane at some points, because her strength seems to get stripped away as the book moves forward, however it is essential to the plot line. Some of it was predictable, but some of it wasn’t, and to me, that makes for a fun read! I would read from this author again.

Thank you to NetGalley, JP Delaney and the Random House Publishing for the opportunity to read this advanced reader copy.

Book Review | To Have and To Hold (Autumn Love Stories) by Betsy St. Amant, Katie Ganshert, and Becky Wade

to have and to hold

‘Tis the season for pumpkins, spice, leaves falling, love in the air!

First and foremost, thank you to the authors for allowing me to be an “influencer” of these novellas. These were quick reads, but with amazing depth.  Each story was rich with romance, uncertainty in how to reach out to love, silly faux pas that ensued with each of the believable main characters, humble lessons learned and believable end results! It was the first time I’d read from each of the three authors, but I would definitely read them again.

In each of the three stories, I could see myself, a woman who has been scorned once before, but is ready to accept fault and try again. And each of the characters developed nicely throughout their stories. I loved these and recommend these to any reader who loves Hallmark movies. These stories could easily fall into those feel good, happy ending scenarios!