Dangerous Illusions by Irene Hannon Review

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Synopsis: Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death–and puts Trish under police scrutiny–her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn’t certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge–and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn’t just dangerous . . . it’s deadly.

Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps–and figure out what they missed!

My Thoughts: This story was just okay for me. The plot was interesting but I found it kind of predictable. I also felt like it was too heavy on the romance and a bit too light on the suspense.

The romance, although cute, was extremely rushed and felt very forced. I’m not a fan of romance in books so this is never an aspect that I enjoy in stories.

I did find the twist to be clever but I predicted it far before it had been revealed. The mystery didn’t have enough pizzazz for me to get invested in the story or the characters.

Overall, I found this story to be worth reading but I don’t see myself continuing with the series.

My Rating: 2.5 stars

I received this book from Baker Publishing Group to review.

Brave Girls Confidential Review

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Synopsis: Join Brave Girls Faith, Hope, Glory, Gracie, and Honor as they discover how much they are loved and they learn what it means to live godly lives in their homes, schools, and communities.

Faith, Hope, Glory, Gracie, and Honor are five regular girls with regular lives. They have frustrating siblings and friends who fight sometimes, even though they love each other a lot. They have strong subjects in school, but they have struggles too. They love Jesus, and sometimes they have questions about Him. They’re just like you!

Brave Girls Confidential is a collection of stories meant to encourage and inspire. Through tales of what it means to be brave, strong, and faithful in everyday life, the Brave Girls show young readers how exciting faith can be. With engaging stories, strengthening scriptures, and takeaway discussion points to encourage meaningful conversations, Tommy Nelson’s Brave Girls Confidential has something for every girl who longs to live brave.

The great content and beautiful full-color design make Tommy Nelson’s Brave Girls Confidential wonderful gift for any young girl.

My Thoughts: There are so many things to love about this book. It has a very inviting cover with sweet illustrations. The characters are delightful, each one different with their own unique personality and challenge to face.

Broken down into several stories, it follows the 5 “Brave Girls”, a group of friends who go to church together and meet together for a small group. Each story highlights a challenge the girl is facing (rejection, fear, divorce, fitting in, etc) with a prayer and Bible verse that relates to the story.

Each character is different and the reader should be able to relate to one or more of the girls in the book. I would have adored this book when I was a tween…the girls are fun and real, and face normal struggles of girls today. These girls reminded me a bit of my old fictional friends, the members of The Babysitter’s Club…they each were different and shared a great friendship.

The book is full of beautiful illustrations and the cover is very visually pleasing. There’s even a cute cupcake on the spine that would look adorable on a bookshelf. Little touches like these make me happy. My 10 year old self would have definitely gravitated to this book by looks alone.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any girl ages 8-12…it would make a great gift.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Booklook Bloggers to review.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen Review

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Synopsis: Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.

My Thoughts: Wow! What an adventure this was! This book had me hooked from the first page to the last page. It covered a lot of genres…sci-fi with a bit of a dystopian feel, a lot of action and adventure and some mystery thrown in as well.

There are a lot of characters that are introduced quickly but they all were described in a way that made them easy to distinguish from each other. This book was full of diversity…the characters came from all over the world and spoke many different languages.

I appreciated the fact that there was very little cursing in this book. I would be comfortable letting my 11 year old read it because the content was appropriate.

There were a few surprises that had me gasping…one in particular that I would have never seen coming. The story ended abruptly and I will be one of the first in line to buy the next one when it comes out!

I highly recommend this book for fans of The Hunger Games or Illuminae.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books to review.

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano Review

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Synopsis: When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.

When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance–and perhaps even her father’s death.

Author Joanna Davidson Politano’s stunning debut set in Victorian England will delight readers with its highly original plot, lush setting, vibrant characters, and reluctant romance.

My Thoughts: This story had so many components that I loved…richly developed characters, a slightly creepy setting with a gothic feel, a mystery, and some twists and turns.

The plot is complex and would be difficult to describe but I feel that it would be best to read without knowing a lot about the story. The main character, Aurelie, was adorable…I related to her in many ways…she was very self conscious of what others thought of her and escaped into books. Her faith was admirable and honest.

I found some revelations of this book to be very surprising as it didn’t follow the “happy ending, sugary sweet” cliche that Christian fiction often tends to fall into. I was pleased with this as life doesn’t always give us the happy endings that we hope for.

I loved the characters in the story…Politano described them in a way that I was able to picture each of them very vividly and had strong feelings towards all of them.

The setting was also perfect…most of the story takes place in Lynhurst Manor, an old mansion in England with many empty rooms and dark corridors. I truly felt as though I was walking the halls with Aurelie throughout the story.

Overall, this was a wonderful story that I highly enjoyed and would definitely recommend. I am eagerly awaiting Politano’s next release!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Baker Publishing Group to review.

 

Out of the Ordinary by Jen Turano Review and Giveaway!

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About the Book

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Name of book: Out of the Ordinary

Author: Jen Turano

Genre: Christian historical

Release Date: November 7, 2017

“With all the charm of a Regency romance, the humor of a drawing room farce, and the swoonworthy delight of a fairy tale, Turano’s first Apart from the Crowd historical absolutely sparkles.”–Publishers Weekly on Behind the Scenes

Working as a paid companion may be quite commonplace, but Miss Gertrude Cadwalader’s eccentric employer makes her job unpredictable, to say the least. She finds herself carrying out an array of highly unusual tasks, including wearing peculiar outfits and returning items the woman pilfered. But when the wealthy Mrs. Sinclair catches Gertrude sneaking around the Sinclair yacht with some of the missing items in her possession, she immediately jumps to the wrong conclusion.

Shipping magnate Harrison Sinclair is caught in the middle of a misunderstanding between his mother and Gertrude, but he can’t help coming to his friend’s defense. Even as he hopes their friendship might become something more, Harrison is unprepared for the outlandish escapades that seem to follow the lovely, anything-but-ordinary Gertrude at every turn.

“The second installment of Turano’s Apart from the Crowd series is laugh-out-loud enjoyable. The foibles of the characters, balanced out with a light-hearted yet meaningful love story, is a true treat. . . . All of the threads are tied together in the end, even the small mysteries and side stories. It makes for a very satisfying read when the last page is turned.”–RT Book Reviews

My Thoughts: This was my first experience reading a book by Jen Turano and I’m now eagerly looking forward to picking up another one. I wasn’t sure if her books would be my style but I think she could easily become one of my favorite authors.

Filled with wittiness, humor, drama, and great clothing descriptions, this book was a ton of fun. The characters in this book were some of my favorites. I particularly loved Gertrude and Harrison. Gertrude didn’t always conform to everyone else and she had a very sweet spirit. I also adored Harrison, who seemed a bit clueless at times, which causes some funny moments. His personality is very sweet and endearing, even though some of his gestures result in unplanned results. There are also some side characters who really added to my reading enjoyment.

The plot was original and the fact that a portion of it was set on a yacht made it very fun. I was surprised by some tender moments that brought tears to my eyes. There were also some moments that had me laughing out loud, one scene in particular that I described to my husband because I thought it was so funny.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed every moment I spent with this book and I would definitely recommend it. It is book 2 in a series (Apart from the Crowd series) and even though I hadn’t read book 1, I was easily able to read and enjoy the story.

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Rating: 5 stars

I received a free copy from the author. No review, positive or otherwise, was required — all opinions are my own.

About the Author

Jen Turano, author of nine books and two novellas, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at http://www.jenturano.com.

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Blog Stops

Vicky sluiter, November 11

Bookworm Mama, November 11

cherylbbookblog, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Lane Hill House, November 12

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 12

C Jane Read, November 12

The Power of Words, November 12

Smiling Book Reviews, November 13

Moments Dipped in Ink, November 13

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 14

Faithfully Bookish, November 14

BigreadersiteNovember 14

Mommynificent, November 14

All 4 and About Books, November 14

Just the Write Escape, November 15

allofakindmom, November 15

Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, November 16

A Baker’s Perspective, November 16

To Everything A Season, November 16

Neverending Stories, November 17

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Christian Bookaholic, November 17

A Reader’s Brain, November 18

Karen Sue Hadley, November 18

The April JournalNovember 18

Cafinated Reads, November 18

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 19

Blogging With CarolNovember 19

Mary Hake, November 19

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 19

Baker Kella, November 20

Rachel’s Back Talk, November 20

Texas Book-aholic, November 20

Joy of ReadingNovember 21

Blossoms and Blessings, November 21

Remembrancy, November 21

The Fizzy Pop Collection, November 22

Splashes of JoyNovember 22

The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate, November 22

amandainpa, November 22

Inspiration Clothesline, November 23

Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 23

A Greater YesNovember 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 23

Radiant Light, November 24

Fiction, Faith, and Fun, November 24

Raining Butterfy Kisses, November 24

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate the tour, Bethany House is giving away a grand prize of Two Jen Turano Novels and a $20 Starbucks Gift Card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4664b04914/

 

 

 

A Brush with the Beast by Richard Sones Review

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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.

 

Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller Review

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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.