A Brush with the Beast by Richard Sones Review

bb

Synopsis: First book in a new series.

You will laugh, cry, and cling to the edge of your seat as you follow this thrilling, international adventure, and epic battle between the ultimate good set against the ultimate evil.

A brilliant and exceptionally talented IT executive, Nick Gooseberry, is at his wits’ end trying to rid himself of chronic debilitating pain. In desperation he turns to The Order, a shadowy organization that promises him freedom from pain and much more. With The Order’s help behind the scenes, Nick lies and blackmails his way into the highest levels of government while plunging into the blackest corners of hell until he sets his sights on ruling the world.

Sarah Johnson is a thirty-something ex-con that the system abandoned in a small town in Texas. As a dime store cashier, her biggest worries are what to eat and what to wear, but she’s always late for work. Her boss decides to get rid of her for good by sending her back to prison, enticing her with a shortcut to riches. She meets the Lord along the way and manages to escape from the authorities, but the fact that she’s pregnant attracts the attention of the Beast. After being whisked to the other side of the planet, her biggest worry becomes surviving.

A Palestinian schoolboy who witnessed the death of his parents grows into a world renowned terrorist driven by his thirst for revenge on his family’s murderers. He hates Israel and their number one ally, the United States. Known by his Arabic nickname, Fanak (the Fox), he orchestrates terror on every continent never realizing that he’s a puppet of the Beast.

The gripping plot, tender moments, plights and ambitions of each character will draw you in to this page turner you won’t be able to put down.

My Thoughts: Set in the end times, this story takes the reader all over the world as they journey with terrorists as well as those on the run from persecution. The reader also sees the antichrist rise to power in a terrifying and descriptive scene.

I always find books about upcoming Bible prophecy the scariest because these are things that are going to happen (maybe not exactly in the author’s interpretation but along the lines of them).

This book was well written and the author packed a lot of story into it. I never felt like the story was dragging, the pacing was great. I also loved the author’s descriptions, I was able to picture the scenes very vividly, which really contributed to my enjoyment of the story.

The book is filled with Biblical and spiritual content, and seemed to be Biblically accurate for the most part. I loved the overall message that Christians just need to trust God and follow his prompting and He’ll handle the rest, He won’t ever leave us.

My only issue with this book was that there were a few instances of cussing, which, although I could see the author’s purpose in using them, I never like to see cussing in a Christian fiction book.

Overall, I highly recommend this story and can’t wait for the next one!

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author to review honestly.

 

Advertisements

Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller Review

ow

Synopsis: The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

My Thoughts: I didn’t know a lot going into this book as the synopsis is vague and I think that makes the story more fun to read. This book falls into the trend of a virtual reality world that isn’t as benign as it may seem.

I loved the scenes in the VR world…they were very descriptive and I felt like I was transported to Otherworld with Simon as I was reading. The “real world” scenes were good but not as interesting or enjoyable to me as the Otherworld scenes.

I found this book to be unputdownable, it was easy to get into and I read it in 2 sittings as I was very invested in the story.

The plot was very interesting and I’m eager to find out what will happen next!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.

Murder in Disguise by Donn Taylor Review

About the book:
 

Official verdict: Suicide.
But why would that vigorous department chairman kill himself? To avoid disgrace? Those rumored ventures on the dark side? Some other secret life? Visiting professor Preston Barclay wonders. But his questions bring no answers, only anonymous threats. He has enough problems already, proving himself on a strange campus while radical faculty do all they can to undermine him. Worse yet, that sexy siren assigned as his assistant complicates his courtship of the beautiful Mara Thorn.
While Press keeps asking questions, Mara’s research reveals a cancer of criminal activity that permeates the community and even the campus itself. The more Press questions, the more dangerous the threats against him become, and the more determined he grows to clear his friend’s name.
But can Press and Mara’s stumbling efforts prevail against the entrenched forces of the police, the campus radicals, and an unseen but powerful criminal organization that increasingly puts their lives in danger…?
About the author:
With a PhD in English literature (Renaissance), Donn Taylor taught literature for 18 years at two liberal arts colleges. Now retired, he has published suspense novels, mysteries, and poetry. His historical novel Lightning on a Quiet Night was a finalist for the 2015 Selah Awards. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences. In a prior incarnation, he led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. He now lives in the woods near Houston, TX, where he writes fiction, poetry, and essays on current topics.
Find out more about Donn at http://www.donntaylor.com.
My Thoughts: This book was a very fun mystery but also an interesting look at universities  and how they view Christianity, history, and truth. The mystery was engaging and the story moved quickly. There were several twists and turns that were surprising.
The main character, Preston Barclay was extremely intelligent and witty, but I also found him to be slightly arrogant, condescending, and frustrating at times. I went back and forth between liking him and disliking him. I also wasn’t fond of his love interest, Mara…she never seemed to be happy with Preston and it got a bit tiring.
My only other issue was that there were a lot of characters to keep track of and many of them had very strange and unusual names.
Despite all of this, I couldn’t put the book down…I had to know the answer to this mystery. I also loved when Preston described his classes and the things he had taught. I would love to be a student in one of his classes. There were some very good quotes and observations in this book…one in particular that I read out loud to my husband.
I would definitely pick up another book by Donn Taylor, I enjoyed his writing style and the subject matter was extremely interesting.
My Rating: 4 stars
I received this book from Litfuse to review.

Secret Keeper Girl: The Power of Modesty for Tweens by Dannah Gresh Review

skg

Synopsis: 

Is your tween prepared for what’s ahead?

It used to be that middle school was the time to talk to kids about topics like modesty and body image. Unfortunately, the at-risk demographic for distorted views on the body is now girls ages 8–10. Fortunately, Dannah Gresh has provided a resource for this need.

Secret Keeper Girl is geared to helping tween girls understand their dignity in Christ. It features a creative self-help text format that includes sidebars, quizzes, games, exploded quotes, and graphics to help them absorb the message.

Here’s what author Dannah Gresh has to say about the motivation behind the book: “My past fifteen years of studying at-risk teen and tween behavior has over and over again led me to good news: girls who are exposed to an age-appro­priate, Bible-based understanding of beauty and fashion between the ages of 8-12 tend to be less likely to engage in early sexual activity or have body image issues. They are also more likely to have healthy friendships, excel academically, and become positive social contributors in their com­munities, all while expressing their beauty and value appropriately.

“It’s not rocket science. It is social science paired with a whole lot of prayer and Bible study. We can change what tween girls see when they look in the mirror by changing what’s inside their hearts.”

This is the heart behind Secret Keeper Girl:a desire to teach tween girls how valuable they are and how to honor their God-given dignity. Ultimately, it’s about grounding girls in their identity in Christ so the tumultuous teen years don’t uproot them.

This book pairs with Secret Keeper Girl Mom-Daughter Devos, allowing moms a helpful resource for walking through this formative time with their tween girl.

My Thoughts: As the mother of an 11 year old girl, I was thrilled to get this book. This is a harsh world to grow up in as a young lady and this book guides girls in how to dress but also stresses the importance of seeing ourselves the way God sees us. This book is a great resource for not only girls in the “tween” age but was also a nice read for this 37 year old girl. I still find myself looking at my flaws with sadness or frustration and this book reminded me that true beauty comes from the inside.

Broken down into several “secrets” of true beauty and modesty, the book is easy and very fun to read. Each secret includes a biblical reference and Dannah Gresh really breaks each concept down in an easy to read, fun way that is relateable to young girls.

The book is full of colorful pictures and visual aids that make it very inviting and fun to read.

Gresh illustrates sin in a way that I have never seen before and it was a great way to analyze the “grey areas” of our lives (like the clothing we choose to wear). I also loved how Gresh emphasizes that we should be looking to glorify God and not ourselves, which more and more is the opposite of what the world tells us.

I highly, highly recommend this book to all girls, ages 8 and up. It would be a great book for mothers and daughters to read together. It would also make a great Bible study or Sunday School curriculum. This is such an important topic that doesn’t seem to be addressed enough.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Moody Publishers to review.

Rescued Hearts by Hope Toler Dougherty Review and Kindle Fire Giveaway!

rh

Her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy-so is her heart. In Hope Toler Dougherty’s new novel, Rescued Hearts, children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Brett forsakes his three-month mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind . . . and then Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more.

 

My Thoughts: First of all, this cover is really appealing to me. I love the contrast between the creepy house and the kitten. I also love the font and colors used on the cover. This story focuses on Mary Wade, who is kidnapped and them rescued by an undercover agent, Brett. The reader follows their adventures as they work to avoid the villains. As time passes, Mary Wade and Brett develop feelings for each other.

The relationship between Brett and Mary Wade was sweet. I loved their sarcastic banter and how they slowly opened up to each other about their issues. I also liked that each of them were flawed…it added to the realness of the story.

The action was good and there were some suspenseful moments that kept me guessing. I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first half, as the beginning felt a bit rushed.

Overall, this was a fun story that I would recommend to readers who enjoy clean suspenseful stories with a touch of romance.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group to review.

Cozy up this fall with Hope’s new book and enter to win a Kindle Fire!

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Rescued Hearts
  • A Kindle Fire 7

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 13. The winner will be announced November 14 on the Litfuse blog.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry Review

lbs

Synopsis: The enchanting story of a bookshop, its grieving owner, a supportive literary community, and the extraordinary power of books to heal the heart

Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village, is a dream come true for book lovers–a cozy haven and welcoming getaway for the literary-minded locals. But owner Emilia Nightingale is struggling to keep the shop open after her beloved father’s death, and the temptation to sell is getting stronger. The property developers are circling, yet Emilia’s loyal customers have become like family, and she can’t imagine breaking the promise she made to her father to keep the store alive.

There’s Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor, who has used the bookshop as an escape in the past few years, but it now seems there’s a very specific reason for all those frequent visits. Next is roguish Jackson, who, after making a complete mess of his marriage, now looks to Emilia for advice on books for the son he misses so much. And the forever shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant for two in her tiny cottage–she has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section, but can hardly dream of working up the courage to admit her true feelings.

Enter the world of Nightingale Books for a serving of romance, long-held secrets, and unexpected hopes for the future–and not just within the pages on the shelves. How to Find Love in a Bookshop is the delightful story of Emilia, the unforgettable cast of customers whose lives she has touched, and the books they all cherish.

My Thoughts: The cover of this book immediately drew me in. Any book lover knows the joy that a bookshop brings and to find a book about a book store is a treat. I loved the many references to various books throughout the story.

This is definitely an “escape” book, I left my current location when reading this and found myself in the little English town with the colorful cast of characters, enjoying each moment.

The characters were each very developed and the reader gets to know them all. Although there are a lot of characters, it was fairly easy to keep track of them all. I adored the main character, Emilia. She grows a lot through the story as she is not only grieving a loss but also taking ownership of a failing business, all the while trying to keep a promise that she made.

This was a delightful and very fun contemporary story. I would recommend this to anyone who loves books about books.

My only issue with the story was the adultery that was included. I never like reading about adultery and wasn’t a fan of that story line.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey Review

bls

Synopsis: FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands their lives.

My Thoughts: This is book 3 in the Chesapeake Valor series. I read the first 2 books and was eager to pick this one up. Each story focuses on a man in a group of childhood friends who all work together in the FBI. This story focuses on Declan, a serious and tough agent with a gentle heart. I enjoyed getting to know Declan better and seeing his relationship grow with Tanner.

I adore the characters in this book. If I were able to choose a group of fictional characters to “hang out” with, I would choose these characters. Each one of them loves Jesus, live lives of integrity, and are always there for each other. They also manage to have fun despite the dangers they face.

The mysteries in this book were intriguing. One of the mysteries was carried over from book 2 and the other one began and was resolved in this book.  I liked this aspect because it left me wanting more but didn’t end on such a cliffhanger that I felt unsatisfied when the book was over.

I really enjoy Dani’s writing. I find myself flying through the pages and riding along on the adventures while on pins and needles, because of the suspense.

The faith content in this book is also great. The characters let their lights shine and “walk the walk”.

I highly recommend this book for fans of suspense and thrillers.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers to review.