Category Archives: Fiction

A Dangerous Legacy

A Dangerous LegacyTitle: A Dangerous Legacy
Author: Elizabeth Camden
Publisher: BethanyHouse
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1881-1

“She had to believe she was doing God’s will. She and Nick were making the world a better place, even if it meant she had to fight dragons like her uncle along the way,” Lucy realizes in Elizabeth Camden’s novel, A Dangerous Legacy.

~ What ~
The first in the series, this three-hundred-fifty-two-page paperback targets those who like historical fiction with suspense and romance during the early 1900s in New York City. Its topics of verbal abuse, mental institutions, and effects of war may not be appropriate for immature readers. A historical note, discussion questions, sequel information, author’s biography, and advertisements are included.

Set in 1903, twenty-eight-year-old Lucy Drake excels in being a telegraph operator for the Associated Press in New York. Involved in a forty-year-old family feud regarding ownership rights of a plumbing valve, she and her brother do all they can to stay one step ahead of their controlling uncle, even if it is illegal.

When she meets Sir Colin Beckwith who is the new administrator of rival Reuters, she makes a deal with him to protect her and her brother’s financial interests. Colin, a shell-shocked reporter who is looking for a wealthy heiress, must also learn what is the most important in life.

~ Why ~
I enjoy historical romance stories where I learn something new, and this one offers details about the telegraph, Morse code, insane asylums, homing pigeons, and plumbing devices. The bantering between the two main protagonists is entertaining and spirited. The majority of the writing is concise and the characters are well-developed.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not want to read about a family feud dragging decades long or tire of stories about greed and personal wealth to gain status in society. Others may not like the use of a slang word, but it is only used once. There is little Christian influence mentioned in the story.

~ Wish ~
While I found the Panama Canal and Morse Code fascinating to read about, I was disappointed in the last quarter of the book that felt rushed and a bit unbelievable regarding Colin and Lucy being able to access people and situations with ease. Having read another book by the author, I found this one to be less interesting and engaging.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a historical Christian fiction dealing with overcoming resentment and anger due to inherited burdens one is given, this first one in the series may interest you, but I was not overly impressed.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

A Brush with the Beast

A Brush with the BeastTitle: A Brush with the Beast
Author: Richard Sones
Publisher: Richard Sones
ISBN: 978-0-692-8161-2

“God always takes care of his people, even in the middle of persecution,” Sarah is told in Richard Sones’s novel, A Brush with the Beast.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-ninety-two pages, this paperback is a story about good versus evil between God and the Devil through three main characters who are living during the end times. With profanity, taking the Lord’s name in vain, alcoholism, drug abuse, pagan worship, and other adult situations, it may not be appropriate for immature readers.

This tale involves business mogul, Nick Gooseberry, and his chronic pain that disappears when he agrees to be part of the Order, a demonic sect that controls the world, its politics, and its religions. While a young Muslim man takes his vengeance out on destroying America, a female methadone addict is set up and chosen to be one of several who help promote the Antichrist’s coming to power. Mentioning the mystical, microchipping, loss of constitutional rights, and the Queen of Heaven, it gives the author’s viewpoint of the future Tribulation.

~ Why ~
Those who are fascinated with the end times and how Christians will be punished and tortured while the Antichrist takes over the world may like this read. Readers will root for the protagonist who realizes God is always in control as she finds comfort quoting and reading Scripture. Others may be interested in the international expanse of terrorism and hatred toward Christ, yet they know the final blessed outcome of our Savior as King.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personable relationship with Jesus Christ may avoid this book. Some, like me, may be disturbed by the profane and occult content. Others who know prophecy in the Bible will find the book anticlimactic as the ending is open-ended, with little closure. I found the writing to be scattered with too many stereotypical characters and unexplained loose ends. The plan of salvation is given, but there is little mention of Christ dying on the cross and shedding His blood for our sins and the rapture of the church (I am a pre-trib believer; the writer may not be).

~ Wish ~
There were many grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling errors; the book should be professionally edited. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a fast-paced story of one author’s viewpoint of the coming Tribulation, this may be a quick read, but I cannot recommend it mainly due to the profanity.

Rated 2.5 of 5 stars

Thanks to the author for this book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ** Think Twice - I Didn't Like It, Christian, Fiction

Vengeance

VengeanceTitle: Vengeance
Authors: Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley
Publisher: Center Street
ISBN: 978-1-4789-2304-6

“Besides, there’s nothing like hatred and a need for revenge to motivate someone. I want Major Grant on our KTB team,” the president of the United States demands in Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley’s novel, Vengeance.

~ What ~
The third in the series, this four-hundred-and-thirty-two-page hardbound targets those who enjoy current-day political fiction with intrigue and covert planning. With light profanity, sexual situations, torture, and murder, it may not be apropos for immature readers.

Minutes before Marine Major Brooke Grant’s can say her wedding vows, she and her daughter become the only survivors of a Washington D.C. terrorist bombing. Recruited to be on the elite but subversive KTB team to eliminate her zealot nemesis, the Falcon, she joins a Saudi intelligence officer and an Israeli Mossad agent to find the diabolical killer who plans on detonating a “nuclear sword” on America.

~ Why ~
Having read one of the prior books in the series, I like that the protagonist is challenged deciding when killing someone crosses the line of hatred and vengeance versus self-defense. The well-written scenes involve a bitter reporter, African billionaire, and serial murderer being tracked by a determinedly focused female, aloof assassin, and questioning woman of motives.

~ Why Not ~
If you do not like fiction with minor profanity, adult situations, religious differences, and scenes of torture and murder, pass on this one. This is another book that has an ending that leaves the reader a little frustrated in not tying all the loose ends, offering the avenue of a future story. I found the survivorship of a couple of characters questionable.

~ Wish ~
While I appreciated the book’s explanation of the differences between Christianity and the Muslim religion, I wish all pronouns of the Almighty God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like political intrigue with a protagonist struggling between right and wrong in a world of good versus evil, this page-turner will have you pondering how realistic an another assault on American soil could be.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group for offering this book to review for my honest opinion.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Fiction

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

Title: The Dishonorable Miss Delancey
Author: Carolyn Miller
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4452-4

“For how could a humble sailor ever hope to win a viscount’s daughter?” Ben ponders in Carolyn Miller’s novel, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey.

~ What ~
Third in the Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace series, this one-hundred-and-ninety-six page paperback targets those who enjoy Christian romance in the historical setting of England in 1915. With topics of alcohol use, physical and potentially sexual abuse, and death, the book may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning has a modified family tree, and ends with author’s note, acknowledgments, and advertisements.

When twenty-five-year-old Clara DeLancey is tainted by scandal, she and her penniless viscount’s family move to Brighton, trying to forget the societal past of gossip, innuendo, and shame. On a dark windy night of the cliffs of Brighton, the once toast-of-the-ballroom is rescued by an injured navy captain, Benjamin Kemsley.

As both deal with their paths of guilt and misunderstandings, they wonder at the possibility of finding true love in each other in spite of their financial and social status upbringing.

~ Why ~
With a detailed explanation of the London season with the elite ton, Prince Regent’s Pavilion, and the beauty of the land, the story focuses on learning how to forgive and trust that God is in control and with us always. Miller does an excellent job showing the societal norms, insistence on family honor, and faith in the Almighty.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not like the Christian influence the book offers. In an era where gossip, name-dropping, and up-one-man-ship were rampant, the story sometimes gets bogged down on frivolity, yet that was the protocol of the day.

~ Wish ~
With this being the third book in the series, there may be those who may not remember some of the characters previously written about, especially since there is not an extended character list of them.

~ Want ~
If you like historical fiction during the nineteenth century in England when name and lineage matters significantly, this would be a good series. It would be best to read the prior books first to understand the updated story.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Cherished Mercy

Cherished Mercy (Heart of the Frontier)

Title: Cherished Mercy
Authors: Tracie Peterson
Publisher: BethanyHouse
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1329-8

“Well, I suppose the biggest reason I no longer hate them is that I learned to forgive and give all of my anger to God,” Mercy explains in Tracie Peterson’s novel, Cherished Mercy.

~ What ~
The third and final in the Heart of the Frontier series, this three-hundred-twenty-page paperback targets those who like historical fiction with suspense and romance during the mid-nineteenth century in Oregon. Its topics of abuse, death, and war may not be appropriate for immature readers. The author’s biography and advertisements for other books are included.

Set in 1855, the youngest Flanagan sister agrees to travel from Oregon City to the Rogue River Valley to help pregnant Elitta Browning, a dear friend of the family who has been ill. Eletta and her husband have raised as their own Mercy’s sister’s bi-racial child, who was violently conceived during the Whitman Massacre that Mercy also had to endure.

When the twenty-one-year-old woman arrives at the Browning Mission, Mercy has compassion for the Tututni Indians, the native tribes who are being hunted and killed by white militia being paid to do so by the government. When she meets Adam, Eletta’s brother-in-law, she tries to understand why he keeps avoiding her. By trusting that God knows the outcome, she has to depend on her Maker as well as the man she has learned to love for her and others’ survival.

~ Why ~
I find stories fascinating that show the heartbreaking battle among humans between hatred and love. This one is detailed, showing the frustrations of not being accepted based on race or color, especially of those who are bi-racial. Laying out the territory of Oregon is well described. The plan of eternal salvation and praying to God for deliverance are covered.

~ Why Not ~
Some may not want to read about a horrible time in history when man is paid to kill man to acquire land. Others may find the topic of war and killing sad and emotional. Those who do not believe in God may not appreciate this story.

~ Wish ~
Since I live in Oregon, I found Peterson did a wonderful job in explaining the tragic history of Indians and those trying to protect them. I wish there were more historical landmarks or features that could be weaved into the tale.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a historical Christian fiction dealing with the clashes between Indians and settlers in the Oregon Territory while trying to make peace between them, this final book in the trilogy shows how God is in control and knows the hardships and blessings we are given.

Thanks to Bethany House for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

All She Left Behind

All She Left Behind (Sep) [Paperback]Title: All She Left Behind
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2700-0

“But she couldn’t seem to set aside her sense of urgency to accomplish all she could for her patients, her family, her late-in-life response to choose joy,” Jan Kirkpatrick writes of Jennie in her novel, All She Left Behind.

~ What ~
Based on a true story, this three-hundred-and-fifty-two-page paperback targets those interested in the lives living on the Oregon frontier in the 1870s. With no profanity, topics of alcohol abuse, illness, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a list of characters while the ending has the author’s acknowledgments, notes, reader’s guide, an excerpt of another novel by the author, bibliography, biography, and advertisements.

In this tale, Jennie finds herself divorced with a young son in Salem, Oregon, where women are rarely allowed to dream or make life choices of what they want. Into natural homeopathic healing with herbs and oils, she does her best to prolong a woman’s life while she works to pay off a debt. When the lady passes, Jennie’s life is once again set in limbo, while she feels guilt for the past as she ignores her dreams of the future when she falls in love with a much older man.

Through her missteps and betrayals, she must learn choices are made that she cannot control, but she can change her self to overcome the guilt and sadness. As she focuses and fulfills her life-long dream, she also becomes an advocate for those addicted to alcohol and drugs.

~ Why ~
Since we have lived in Salem for over twenty-five years and our two sons graduated from Willamette University, I thoroughly enjoyed reading descriptions of the streets, places, and people in our town that have been stamped into its history over a hundred years ago, and some still exist today. I appreciated the strength of the main character when facing sex discrimination in society and employment. The author’s arduous attention to detail shines through explaining the era and societal norms.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like stories of women’s rights and the harm of alcoholism will avoid this book. Although Biblical references are mentioned throughout the read, it may not be of interest to those who do not believe in God. Some may think the romance appears to be cut and dry.

~ Wish ~
To me, Jennie seemed somewhat self-absorbed at times in accomplishing her goals. I felt the ending seemed rushed and abrupt. Including a map of the area may be considered. I also wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you like historical fiction based on actual Oregonian characters from over a hundred years ago, this would be an engaging read.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart

Title: Gobi: A Little Dog with A Big Heart
Author: Dion Leonard
Illustrator:  Lisa Manuzak
Publisher: Tommy Nelson
ISBN: 978-0-7180-7529-3

Maybe you will be my forever friend, Gobi thought as she nuzzled Dion and drifted off to sleep,” Dion Leonard writes in his children’s book Gobi: A Little Dog with A Big Heart.

~ What ~
This thirty-two-page oversized hardbound targets four to eight-year-olds who enjoy stories about a dog finding a friend. With no scary scenes, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers. The bright and bold illustrations grace both sides of the pages with an easy-to-read font.

Based on a true story, Gobi is a scrappy dog living in the desert. When he sees a group of runners, he follows them, hoping to make new friends. The dog befriends Dion, one of the runners in the race who is determined to focus on winning. When the man backtracks to get his faithful follower, the canine knows he has a forever friend.

~ Why ~
This is a charming tale about finding and keeping a friendship. I like how the dog seeks out the runner and sticks close to him, waiting for a sign of acceptance from the man. The drawings are descriptive and expressive.

~ Why Not ~
Some readers may not care for books about dogs. Beginner readers may struggle with some of the tw0- and three-syllable words.

~ Wish ~
Although the book does show the love between a man and his best friend, it does not show a young child the responsibility of having a pet dog.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a short, happy read about a dog who finds a lifetime friend, this is a keeper.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for this complimentary book that I am evaluating by choice.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Animals / Pets, Biography, Childrens, Fiction

The Soldier Who Killed A King

The Soldier Who Killed a King: A True Retelling of the PassionTitle: The Soldier Who Killed a King
Author: David Kitz
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4485-2

“I have a future for you,” Marcus Longinus hears the words in David Kitz’s retold novel, The Soldier Who Killed a King.

~ What ~
At two-hundred-and-eighty-eight pages, this paperback is a rendition of the last week of Jesus Christ’s life on earth, told through the eyes of a veteran Roman centurion. Dealing with demons of his own, the soldier in charge of many witnesses the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem to the aftermath after our Lord is risen from the dead. Due to topics of torture, crucifixion, and death as well as using the word hell once as a swear word, the story may not be apropos for immature readers. With italicized quotes from Scripture taken from the NIV, CEV, MLB, NKJV, and TEV versions of the Holy Bible, the ending has notes of listed chapter verses.

~ Why ~
If you are interested in the Passion week and the story of Jesus dying on the cross and rising after three days, this detailed book focuses from a first-person viewpoint. I liked how the writer molded and shaped a loyal soldier who was broken from his past and questioned why the “donkey king” had to die. His portrayal of Herald the Fox, Pilate the Badger, and Caiaphas the Weasel showed the power play of the three for political positioning by sending Christ to the Skull. While explaining Jesus’s miracles, personality, and love, the novel hones in on dealing with guilt, forgiveness, and eternity.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have or want a personable relationship with Jesus Christ may avoid this book. Some may not like such an iconic story being retold. I felt the ending was a little odd involving the main character’s conversion.

~ Wish ~
Since the author did take ample liberties involving the centurion in many facets of Christ’s miracles and His crucifixion, it may confuse readers of documented Biblical passages, especially regarding a young boy.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a reminder story of what the Son of God did for you and me by shedding His blood on the cross for our sins told through the eyes of a confused soldier who is called for a purpose, this will keep you thinking hours after finishing.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

Thanks to Kregel Publications and the author for this book that I am reviewing freely.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

The Assault

The Assault (Harbingers): Cycle Two of the Harbingers SeriesTitle: The Assault
Authors: Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-2975-7

“Maybe you can tell me why we should think we are a team just because a pack of liars and deceivers from another universe say so,” the professor explains in Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky’s novel, The Assault.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-sixty-eight pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy supernatural suspense with Christian overtones. Including using words like heck and hell as slang, topics of paranormal, dying, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending contains a chapter of the upcoming ninth episode.

Cycle two in the Harbinger series, this book is divided into four tales, each by a different writer, with all written in first person by one of four characters contained in each story. Being a part of a series, the stories in order involve the same four plus a ten-year old boy searching for The Gate, a mysterious group from an altered universe trying to control our world.

With the first story focusing on a tattoo artist who draws the future, she helps find Hitler’s powerful Spear of Destiny in Rome; the second one involves the professor having to trust when it comes to a plague of phytoplankton in Florida. The next has his assistant being hypnotized due to her connection to a non-carbon based life form orb, and the last finds an ex-football jock learning about change while fog creatures vie to take over a California high-rise building. As the team works together in their bizarre circumstances, they realize they have been brought together by their handlers to find and conquer The Gate.

~ Why ~
With four authors blending each of their diverse characters into one story, the good versus evil theme shows how disbelief reigns and the future can be changed. The first person dialogue is interesting as it contains only one viewpoint. I like how each tale could be a stand-alone yet linked together as if a television series. Although some of the experiences the team faced seemed unrealistic, they were written with detail and purpose.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like mystic, supernatural books may skip this read. With four individual stories, the book may confuse some readers. Readers may be frustrated with the disjointedness as one story ends and the next begins.

~ Wish ~
I wish there were more cohesiveness between the ending of one tale to the next although there is minor backtracking, but it is understandable being written by four different writers.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for supernatural suspense by four Christian authors, this series of four quick reads may entertain and interest you, but you may find some confusion between its pages.

Thanks to Bethany House and the authors for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Book Review, Christian, Fiction

Fault Lines

Fault LinesTitle: Fault Lines
Author: Thomas Locke
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2437-5

“He had no idea who his opposition was or why they were after them,” Charlie reflects in Thomas Locke’s novel, Faith Lines.

~ What ~
First in its series, this four-hundred-page paperback targets those who enjoy contemporary fictional thrillers involving knowing the future. With no profanity, topics of abuse and murder may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending has the first chapter of the next book in the series.

A prior Ranger, Charlie Hazard is always watching his back working for a risk-containment business. When he agrees to go with beautiful Gabriella, he experiences an out-of-body ascension where he visualizes the future. By protecting the woman, he gets involved in a global cat-and-mouse game of protecting scientists from the Combine, a worldwide group whose profit, greed, and power want to dominate the spatial and temporal shift technology.

~ Why ~
With multiple players who want to know the future, the read is quick and engaging while focusing on Charlie and his captivation with Gabriella. I liked the blending of other characters such as a teen surfer, retired police woman, and an Italian bailiff.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like suspense stories involving rogue protection agencies and exploration of the possibility of foreseeing the future may want to pass on this story. Some may find it too technical regarding the teleporting process into the future, but it is discussed briefly.

~ Wish ~
With Charlie being an astute Ranger, it was surprising he would go willingly with Gabriella without questioning and become so loyal to her.

~ Want ~
If you look forward to anything written by this author, you will find this tale a page-turner and engaging, making you want to ascend into its pages to find out what happens next.

Thanks to Baker Publishing for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Book Review, Fiction