Our Reviews

Most Recent Posts First - Previous Reviews are listed under the Blog Archive on the right hand side.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Churn for the Worse by Laura Bradford

An Amish Mystery
Laura Bradford
ISBN: 978-0-425-27303-6
March 2016
In Heavenly, Pennsylvania, shop owner Claire Weatherly and Detective Jakob Fisher must work together to figure out a string of robberies and a murder in the Amish community. When an Amish farmer is found dead in his barn, his family believes it is God's will but Detective Fisher knows that the farmer did not hit himself in the head with the shovel found lying beside his body. And then a stranger appears at the farmer's home and money is now missing. Getting to the truth is difficult though because the Amish will not talk to the detective so Claire has to go with him to help.
A CHURN FOR THE WORSE is a good addition to the Amish Mystery series. Watching Claire and Jakob fall more in love, as well as Jakob's increasing contact with his Amish family makes the reader want to know what will happen next to bring them all together. Learning about the Amish way of life is interesting as well. Heavenly seems like a peaceful vacation spot and reading about it lets the reader forget their way of life for a bit. The plot flows nicely and the characters are well defined. A solid read for the series.

Reviewed by Kathy Fisher
Rating: 4

POISONOUS by Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan
ISBN: 978-1-250-066848
April 2016
Minotaur Books
Teen-aged internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and the only one that still cares is her mentally challenged eighteen year old step brother, Tommy. He is distraught and doesn't understand why his blended family is now falling apart. A year later, there are still no answers. Tommy thinks if someone could figure out what happened to his step sister, everything will go back to the way it was before so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn't the type of case Max usually takes on, but something in Tommy's simple honesty gets to her and she wants to help. She travels to Corte Madera, California with her assistant David Kane and is happy that the police are willing to let her be involved. But the more she digs into Tommy's dysfunctional family, the more she thinks this may be a case she cannot solve.
POISONOUS is a fast paced story that will hook you at the beginning and reel you in for the long haul. Each page brings more information to light until you feel like you are Max's assistant and trying hard to figure out what happened to Ivy. When things start going wrong, you will frantically turn pages to try to get to the end before someone else dies. When the ending does come, it is almost in slow motion as you cannot believe where this twisting road has led you. An excellent read! This book is a must for adrenaline junkies of all ages.

Reviewed by Kathy Fisher
Rating: 4

What We Find by Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1885-9
April 2016
Contemporary Romance

This newest book by Robyn Carr brings us the first in what I hope will be a new series. Living in Denver, Maggie Sullivan is a neurosurgeon whose world seems to be crashing down. The wrongful death suit brought by parents of a teen who died while under her care, the end of a long term romantic relationship, problems in her medical practice, and the sense that there must be more to life than working all create a crisis. Maggie retreats to her father’s campground and country store in Sullivan’s Crossing, Colorado. This place is her roots, in her family for generations, and she loves it and her father.

Maggie’s life has been complicated. Taken away from Sullivan’s Crossing as a young girl, when her mother divorced her father, she intensely missed the gruff and crusty man whom she adored. When her mom remarried a neurosurgeon her life became focused on the best schools, socially appropriate contacts, and getting into a top tier college. When Maggie found herself fascinated by her stepfather’s profession, she ended up in medical school and residency before becoming a respected and talented neurosurgeon.

Now Maggie has come home to take a break. Almost immediately her father suffers a cardiac incident that necessitates surgery and Maggie realizes that her short break needs to be extended. She’s not really sorry.

There are numerous points in this book when Maggie’s strength and gutsiness emerge and amaze. This is no wimpy intellectual who lives in her head. There’s a strong part of her character that harkens back to Sully and his earthy roots. I really liked that about this woman.

At the same time Cal Jones is taking his own break, getting ready to hike the Continental Divide Trail that bisects the campground. A mysterious, handsome man, he begins helping out at Sullivan’s Crossing and finds himself powerfully drawn to Maggie. Cal has many secrets of his own and must come to some resolution of his past before pursuing a more serious relationship with the complicated Maggie.

As a person who has read every book produced by this talented author I am pleased to say that this novel is well written and fantastic. There is a special ambience about Carr’s writing style that brings the reader into the affective lives of her characters. We understand these people through their dialogue and their multi-dimensional character development. Filled with passion and affect, this book, while not officially listed as such, looks like an excellent start to a new series. Certainly there are characters emerging in this book who could have their own novels. This book reminds me so much of the first Virgin River novel with its focus on real people, family relationships, and finding happiness! Excellent book!

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 4 1/2

Friday, April 01, 2016

STONE COLD COWBOY - a western romance sure to please!

Montana Men Series Book Three
Jennifer Ryan
ISBN# 978-0-06-243532-3
March 2016
Contemporary Western Romance

Rory Kendrick has been trying to find out who is stealing cattle from him and his brothers herd. Following a trail leads him straight into something so horrific, he can't comprehend it. Finding the beautiful Sadie Higgins bound and hung up from a tree with barbed wire both infuriates him and awakens something in him that is more than protective. Getting Sadie help, he figures out that she had been trying to stop the thieves because her brother was one of them. He vows to make whoever did this to her pay for more than the price of the cows.

Sadie tried to stop her brother Conner from stealing the Kendrick cattle, but she didn't count on the men he was running with, especially one they call the Devil, who strung her up. Even though she was lucky she didn't die, she knows that she can't protect her brother anymore. Rory makes her question what it is she feels for him, especially now that she is working at his ranch as a cook. At this close range, something is bound to happen. The romance simmers and then heats up rather hotly. The two are beginning to work on their future plans, what will happen once her brother and his buddies show back up for more?

I was glued to this book from the onset. Sadie is tough but not as mean as the man who nearly killed her. Conner is a typical drug addict, wasting everything and everyone around him, including his own family. I really had no patience with him and wanted to see justice served to them all. The other brothers play a small role in this book, as well as Luna, Sadie's friend. Looks like Colt and Luna may get their own story next!

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4