Threads Of Suspicion

This book by: Dee Henderson is the second book in the Evie Blackwell Cold Case series. Evie is on the Missing Person’s Task Force along with several other capable team members. She is paired with David Marshal to work on two unrelated cases in Chicago. Evie is investigating the disappearance of a popular college student and David is investigating a missing private investigator. As they pursue the leads in each of their cases, it becomes clear that there is more to the cases than they had originally anticipated…including some personal ties. The search for truth is their top priority. Evie also has to deal with some personal issues that cannot take a back burner any longer. With the help of her new friend of David, she starts to come to terms with where her personal life is headed.

Dee Henderson books have always been among my favorites. They include mystery, suspense, romance, and spiritual truths. This one did not disappoint. Although the second in the series, I was able to read without having previously read the first book in the series. As always, Henderson incorporates several characters known from other books she has written. I love how Henderson does this because it is fun to learn what former characters are doing in the present time-frame of her stories. Although some suspense, I thought that this book focused more on the personal side of the characters than it did of the solving crime aspect. I admit, I was a little disappointed in how some of the character relationships played out. I am hoping that future books in the series might expand on those relationships so that their story resolves in a way that makes more sense. Anyone who likes suspense, romance, and spiritual conversation and reflection would like this book (as well as any book that Dee Henderson has written).

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Threads of Suspicion #2

By Dee Henderson / Bethany House

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A Note Yet Unsung

This book by Tamera Alexander is the third installment in her Belmont Mansion series. Rebekah Carringtion returns home to Nashville, Tennessee after a ten year stay in Vienna. As a master violinist, she desires to be in an orchestra even though it is rare for women to be allowed in orchestras no matter what their skill. Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is the new orchestra leader of the Nashville Philharmonic. He is tasked with composing his symphony and training his orchestra before opening day of the new opera hall. His time is split with his rigorous responsibilities and returning to his childhood home to care for his dying father; all while dealing with recurring headaches, buzzing, and dizziness. Even though he recognizes her skill and talent, Tait turns down Rebekah’s request to be in the orchestra due to public opinion. Rebekah takes a job tutoring Adelicia Cheatham’s daughter at the Belmont Mansion and secures room and board there. As Tait’s deadline gets closer, he asks Rebekah to assist him with his symphony.

This is the first book that I have read by this author and I am impressed and anxious to read more from her! I absolutely loved this book! Being that it was the third book in the series, I do not know what connections the storyline and characters have to the previous books. Even so, I easily read it as a stand alone book. I loved the musical content of the book. I have always loved music even though I am not at all talented when it comes to instruments! The author provides a link so that readers can look up and listen to all of the music numbers mentioned in the book. There is some adult content worth mentioning… Rebekah’s stepfather tried to rape her when she was younger which is why she was sent away to Vienna. When she returns, he repeatedly refers to the incident and eventually attempts to do it again. There are mentions of drinking and making moonshine, murder, slaves, and a few other things that may offend some people. The Christian content of trusting God, praying, scripture, etc. was strong throughout the story. It flowed well with the story. I feel that this book was very well written and I will be purchasing the previous two books in the series so that I can read them as well! I recommend it to anyone who loves music, instruments, and historical romance!

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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A Note Yet Unsung #3
By Tamera Alexander / Bethany House

206230: A Beauty So Rare #2

A Beauty So Rare #2

By Tamera Alexander / Bethany House

206221: A Lasting Impression #1

A Lasting Impression #1

By Tamera Alexander / Bethany House

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Step By Step

This book by Candace Calvert is the second book in the Crisis Team series. Taylor Cabot is an ER nurse and apart of a crisis team. Three years after her husband’s death, she is on her way to completing her “survival list.” In the process of moving on… she is (sort of) dating a handsome plastic surgeon, decides to leave the crisis team, and comes to grips with the fact that her beloved dog is living his last days. Seth Donovan, a crisis team chaplain and Taylor’s friend, comes to town and finds himself falling in love with Taylor. When crisis hits close to home, Taylor has to face unknown truths, confront fears, and let herself grieve in a way she had not done before.

I have not previously read any of this author’s books. I was drawn to the book because of the medical drama theme. I love medical dramas on television and I used to work as a nurse. To be honest though, I had a hard time engaging with this book. I prefer books that hold my attention so much that I do not want to put them down. I also felt that there were far too many character story lines to keep track of. I assume that some of them were in the previous book, so it may have helped to read that one first. However, this was okay as a stand alone book being that it was mostly from Taylor’s perspective. Towards the end, I was able to start engaging more. I like how the author addressed the grieving process. I felt like I was going through it with Taylor. Also, the crisis that occurs at the end of the book was unexpected and left the reader hanging to find out more (which I hope will be revealed in the next book of the series). I do plan to read the previous book and the following book in the future.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Tyndale House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Step by Step
By Candace Calvert / Tyndale House

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The Reluctant Duchess

This book by Roseanna M. White is the second in the Ladies of the Manor series. Lady Rowena Kinnaird is the heiress to a Highland earldom, but due to her father’s harshness and abuse she has never felt worthy of her future role. After the man she was intended to marry attacks her in the most vicious way, she finally has the courage to stand against her father’s wishes. In an effort to rescue a broken woman, Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, offers to marry her on impulse. Rowena accepts but after they are married she is reluctant to become intimate because of her fear of men. Faced with the possibility of carrying her attacker’s child, she is forced to rely on the good graces of her husband. When she finds that her husband has secrets involving precious jewelry and sketchy people, she is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery… even if it means betraying her husband’s trust.

Until now, I have not read anything from this author. This book was able to be read as a stand alone even though there is a previous book in the series. Many of the characters obviously have connections from the first book but it was easy to understand the limited explanations in this book. Rowena faces several dark plots including: childhood abuse from her father, rape from her suitor, threats and rage from her attacker, nightmares and fear following the trauma of her attack, etc. She is portrayed as a weak and fearful woman. The rape is explained but not too much detail (I have read much worse rape scenes in other books not from this author). I can understand why some people may be unable to handle this type of scene though. The patience and understanding that Brice has with Rowena is refreshing but I’m not sure is completely believable. He honestly seems way too good to be true. Since it is a fiction book, I can look past that. Brice also has a strong relationship with God. He seems to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and recognizes when he fails. He is a man who prays a lot. Rowena slowly comes out of her shell and recovers emotionally due to her husband’s love and security. One thing that I did not really like was the strong Gaelic accent and wording that Rowena and the other Highlanders have. It took me awhile to get used to it. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction, romance, suspense, and intense plots.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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#2: The Reluctant Duchess
By Roseanna M. White / Bethany House

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Playing the Part

This book by Jen Turano is actually the third book in the “A Class Of Their Own” series. Lucetta Plum lives in New York City and works as an actress. She is well loved by fans but one of them takes their obsession too far and tries to blackmail her into becoming his mistress. Lucetta’s friend and self proclaimed matchmaker, Abigail Hart, takes her to the Ravenwood estate owned by her mysterious grandson, Bram Haverstein. Lucetta experiences strange happenings during her stay at Ravenwood. Bram has always admired Lucetta as an actress and is surprised to find that she is completely different in person than what he imagined her to be. She is independent and head strong… almost to a fault. However, when unfortunate events occur, she quickly learns that sometimes it is okay to rely on others.

Until now, I have never read any of Turano’s books and I enjoyed this book. I found myself laughing out loud at various humerous parts but the book still maintained a sense of mystery and seriousness. My favorite character was Bram. He has a kind and chivalrous, mysterious, and funny personality. There are several odd and interesting characters! This book is not labeled as being a part of a series so I did not realize that it was until I was reading it. There are characters in the book that obviously have had history explained in previous books. However, I was able to enjoy the storyline without having read the stories that came before it. I am planning to read them in the future though since I really liked this book! I would recommend Playing the Part to anyone who enjoys light hearted humor, romance, historical fiction, and mystery.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Playing the Part
By Jen Turano / Bethany House

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The Painter’s Daughter

This book by Julie Klassen is about the complicated relationships between Sophia Dupont and the Overtree brothers, Stephen and Wesley. Sophie assists her painter father in his studio and pursues her own passion for art. She meets Wesley who, as an accomplished painter himself, uses her as his muse. Their friendship starts out above board but eventually she allows herself to submit to the passion building between them. When he leaves abruptly for Italy with little more than a note, she is left devastated and confused as to how to handle her situation which is sure to bring scandal to her family. Captain Stephen Overtree, meets Sophie while on a quest to locate his brother and learns of his brother’s betrayal and Sophie’s condition. He offers her a proposal of marriage to save her from scandal. Sophie accepts his proposal with little time to think of any consequences because the Captain has to soon return to battle and she could not risk waiting for whenever Wesley decided to return. Stephen and Sophie spend their honeymoon time living a facade since they were married “in name only.” When Stephen returns to battle and Wesley returns, Sophie is torn between her love for Wesley and her commitment to her marriage vows. 

I am never disappointed with Julie Klassen books and this one was no exception! The cover is beautiful! The regency setting is always a favorite of mine. The author does a great job of weaving secrets, scandal, mystery, and romance into a story. Biblical gospel is shared and discussed between some characters but not in a way that is overwhelming or intimidating to someone who is not a Christian. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, and unconditional love are carried through the story line. There are a couple of passionate scenes that were very tastefully written. I read the majority of this book in one sitting (staying awake until 2 am to finish it!) and it left me wanting to read more! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves regency era romantic fiction! 


In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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*****

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The Painter’s Daughter
By Julie Klassen / Bethany House

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Taken

This book by: Dee Henderson is another one of her Romantic Suspense novels. Shannon Bliss escapes the crime family who abducted her 11 years ago. She tracks down Matthew Dane, a former cop who experienced the roller coaster of his daughter being abducted and found. Matthew makes contact with a circle of safe people who can help Shannon reintegrate into a normal life and who can help bring the crime family to justice. Shannon’s buried memories are brought to the surface as Matthew reads her diaries from the past 11 years. Secrets are brought to light and danger is around the corner. Matthew and Shannon grow to be close friends in a short amount of time. Shannon is a strong capable woman who wants to build a photography career and get married in the future. Matthew starts to open his heart to the captivating woman who needs his support and encouragement.

Dee Henderson is one of my favorite authors! In this book, there are familiar characters who have appeared in previous books: Ann & Paul from Full Disclosure and Charlotte & Bryce from Unspoken. All three of these books are stand alone and can be read as such, but it is nice to see familiar characters and already know their some of their backgrounds. The suspense of this book comes from not knowing Shannon’s full story until she reveals information or until Matthew discovers the pieces to the puzzle. While the story time line is over a short amount of time, this book is not as fast paced as some of the author’s other books. The hint romance comes from the growing friendship and deep conversations between Matthew and Shannon. The author does a wonderful job of incorporating the character’s faith in God. The conversations about God or religion in general is thought-provoking and realistic. I would recommend this book (and any of Dee Henderson’s books) to anyone who loves suspense and romance combined into a thrilling story.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Taken
By Dee Henderson / Bethany House

 

210890Full Disclosure
By Dee Henderson / Baker Books
Top FBI cop Paul Falcon knows Ann Silver is one of the most respected homicide investigators in the Midwest. So when a supsicious death causes their worlds to collide, he hopes she’ll be a useful colleague. He never expects to be smitten! Still, he wonders . . . Why does everybody trust her? What secrets is she keeping?

211713Unspoken
By Dee Henderson / Bethany House
Once the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago history, Charlotte Graham changed her identity and moved away—taking a dark secret with her. Now a family issue has brought her back to the Windy City, where she meets coin dealer Bryce Bishop. Will a crime the police thought was solved become an open case again? 400 pages, softcover from Bethany.

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Deadly Echoes

This book by: Nancy Mehl is the second book in her Finding Sanctuary series. Sanctuary is a small, quiet, town which was founded by Conservative Mennonites. Now the town smoothly combines the modern culture with the simpler Mennonite ways. Sarah is the school teacher at the local Christian private school. She finds out that her sister Hannah is murdered and that she will now be the care taker of her niece Cicely. Her sister’s murder is eerily similar to the murder of their parents that occurred 20 years ago. There were white orchids found at both murder scenes. The Kansas City Police Department does not seem to be taking Sarah’s concerns seriously. Sarah and Paul, the deputy of Sanctuary, both try to uncover the mysteries and start to realize the danger they could be in because of their digging. Meanwhile, Sarah tries to help Cicely work through the trauma of loosing her mother and learns how to difficult it is to be a parent. Sarah fully relies on God to help her through the trials she is facing and leans on the help of her Christian friends.

I have not read the first book in the series but this book seems to be a stand alone story. Although, there are some references to what I assume was a storyline to the previous book. I was attracted to this book because of the murder mystery theme. I am a huge fan of crime dramas on tv and the suspense genre of books but I found this book moved way to slow for my taste. I also thought that it was very predictable. It is labeled as a Romantic Suspense, however, there was barely any romance or suspense. I also felt that some of the reactions and responses throughout the book were somewhat unrealistic. For example, Sarah was consistently calm, never showed anger, and barely seemed to grieve (except for the initial shock) even though her sister was murdered. She did show frustration and did grieve a little bit but everyone I know who has lost someone they love go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, denial, depression, acceptance) in various ways and intensity. Once Sarah gets over the initial shock she jumps straight to acceptance. There is a constant Christianity theme throughout the book which for some people is a good thing but could come across as preachy or overwhelming to others. For me, this book was boring (and I am not really persuaded to want to read more of this author) but I know several people who would love it.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

*****

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Deadly Echoes, Finding Sanctuary Series #2

By Nancy Mehl / Bethany House

*****

Also in this series:

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Gathering Shadows, Finding Sanctuary Series #1
By Nancy Mehl / Bethany House

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