Love's Awakening

I really enjoyed reading Love's Awakening by Laura Franz.   This is the second book in the Ballantyne Legacy.  The first book, Love's Reckoning told the history of Silas and Eden Ballantyne, while this one follows their daughter, Elinor.  

Elinor Ballantyne returns home to Pittsburgh after four years of schooling in Philadelphia.  She returns to many changes and new dangers.  On the final leg of her journey home, she is caught in a storm.  Jack Turlock, from the notorious Turlock whiskey family helps her home.  When Elinor starts a day school, Jack's sister, Chloe, wants to be her student despite the tension between the families.  Jack and Elinor both struggle with what they are feeling for each other, knowing that a future together is impossible.  

Set against the backdrop of slavery and abolition, the plot is full of excitement and adventure.  I fell in love with the characters, even some of the secondary ones.  My only was complaint was that I wanted a little more detail on Jack's growth. I wish we had seen when he made his decision to change.  Other than that, I loved this book and it's predecessor.  I would definitely recommend this to all!  

I did receive my copy in exchange for my honest review.  

Fired Up by Mary Conneally

Fired Up is Mary Conneally's second installment of her Trouble in Texas series.  I read and reviewed Swept Away in the spring.  You can read that review here.  In this book, someone is after Dr. Dare Riker.  In the midst of this danger, Dare is battling his feelings for Glynna Greer.  Glynna is trying to start a new life and determined to do it without the help of another man in her life.

Fired Up has great characters and relationships, as well as danger and drama.  It is a quick, easy, and fun read.  I look forward to reading the next book, which I guess is about Vince and Tina!!  I can't wait to find out!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  


The Invention of Sarah Cummings

The Invention of Sarah Cummings is the third book in the Avenue of Dreams Series. The first two books are The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow.  Sarah Cummings is a parlor maid who aspires for better things.  When she sees the chance, she poses as Serena Cuthbert.  As the deception progresses, she must decide which life she wants.

  Olivia Newport adds rich historical detail to her novels. The character development and growth is strong.  The motivation behind their actions is clear.  The settings and relationships are real. It is a well-paced and enjoyable novel.

I did receive a free copy in exchange for my honest review.


Dangerous Passage

Lisa Harris is a popular romantic suspense author.  Years ago, I read Blood Ransom and reviewed it here.  I was really looking forward to this one.  Dangerous Passage centers around Avery North, Atlanta detective, and Jackson Bryant, medical examiner.  They are investigating the murder of two Jane Does with two many similarities to ignore.

The characters were likable with real motivation.  The backstory is interesting and adds to the plot; however, I found the book to move a little slowly.  It was easy to put down, at least in the beginning.  It did pick up some as the story continued, and overall, it was pretty good.  I will look for the next one in the series!


Memory's Door

A little less than a year ago, I had high praise to give Soul's Gate, book one of the Well Spring Novels.  My review is here.  Memory's Door is the second book in this series, continuing the story of Reece, Dana, Brandon and Marcus.  The Warriors Riding are growing in strength and numbers.  They are delivering people from strongholds and teaching freedom to Christ followers; but the battle is about to get more difficult.  The enemy makes subtle attempts to thwart each member of the group, and in the end there is a major battle.  
Each character continues to have real struggles and occasionally makes mistakes; however, they seek the Holy Spirit's guidance in finding the next step.  Memory's Door is filled with high-paced action, suspense and a little bit of mystery.  James L. Rupart weaves truth into these speculative fiction novels with skill.  While remembering that they are fiction, both books in this series have drawn me to the Lord and His Word.  I want more of Him, His love and His power.  This is the highest praise that I can give a fiction novel--to say that it brings me closer to the Lord!  
I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  


The Promise: Book 2 in The Restoration Series by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

Combining the literary talents of Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of Gary Smalley, The Restoration Series pulls back the curtain of a family that has laid their foundation on shifting sand, but is slowly rediscovering genuine love and the power of forgiveness.

For the last five months, Tom Anderson has been without a job, a fact he's been hiding from his wife Jean--and everyone else. He leaves each morning, pretending nothing has changed, and spends his disheartening day rotating through two coffee shops and the library, using their wi-fi to search for a job on the internet. The stress of keeping this secret is beginning to put serious strain on his marriage and it looks like the legacy that began with his father is still at work, slowly destroying the bond between Tom and Jean. Can their mutual trust--and love--be restored?

While this is the second book in a series, you do not lose too much if you have missed the first one.  I did not read The Dance and was able to follow this just fine.  The characters and relationships in the book are definitely the strong point.  They are real,down-to-earth struggling people with real, everyday problems. The problems are extreme though, and the conflict in the plot is strong.  The resolution was slightly fast, but overall a good plot with a clear Christian standpoint.  

I did receive this book free in exchange for this honest review.


Trapped by Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon's romantic suspense novels are always page turners.  Trapped is book 2 in the Private Justice Series.  The first book is called Vanished.  My review is here.  This one centers around another member of the Phoenix private investigation firm, James Devlin.  Otherwise known as Dev, he is hired by Laura Griffiths to locate her half-sister.  Darcy had runaway after living with Laura for the short time since her father died.  Dev knows the faster they find her the better because time on the street is hard, and it is easy to fall in with the wrong crowd.  Meanwhile, Darcy thinks she has found some good friends.  People are not always as they first appear.

This is a fast read that kept me fully engaged.  I do feel that the general plot of these books is always the same; they are still fun to read.  Filled with suspense, mystery, and romance, there is a small element of faith included; although at times, it feels a little forced.  The characters are very well developed, and I enjoy the backstory shared through conversation and memories.  It adds to the overall affect of the novel.

I did receive a free copy in exchange for this honest review.