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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NO ONE TO TRUST by Lynette Eason

Marji Laine reviews.
Lynette Eason crafts an amazing suspense as her first book in the Hidden Identity series. Non-stop action peppered with a tender romance, betrayal, and forgiveness. Oh, and did I mention action?

Kyle Abernathy has a secret. Well, a lot of secrets. And enemies. But he's successfully avoided them for over a year. Entrenched in a modest home with a wife and a good cover, why should he expect anyone to come after him now?

Summer Abernathy wakes to a gun in her face, a threat on her life and that of her husband, and the revelation that her entire marriage and current life are made up of nothing but lies. Her search for her missing husband only begins this fast-paced journey into organized crime and the presence of men who will stop at nothing to get away with their wicked actions.

What an well-crafted story. I'm truly in awe of Lynette Eason's talent! This plot never let me go.

The heroine, Summer, as an attorney focused on helping battered women and their children, is a NURTURER. She has the type of personality who will insists on helping and has trouble being out of the loop. Her husband is a WARRIOR, loyal and used to being in motion for a good cause. Yet he has been forced into a benign life. Well, until page 1!

While the two mains dealt with active character arcs, Eason didn't leave out a grand supporting cast, some of them with personal growth as well. I have to say my favorite character was the antagonist. So evil, and yet had such a tenderness toward his pets. The man truly doted on them, and he needed them to keep him calm. Really, it was creepy, but made the character so layered.

The plot blended perfectly. Not only with the hero and heroine, but the six or so other contributing characters that made the story work. Complicated, yet not contrived. With the perfect balance of reason and logic to make the novel flow with authenticity.

The best news is Book #2 of the Hidden Identity series comes out in a few weeks. And YES you'll hear about the story right here! I'm hoping this second book, Nowhere to Turn, delves into the lives of some of the supporting characters. Particularly, a few of the men would make excellent heroes in the next story!

But, we'll have to wait and find out!


Reviewer: Marji Laine

Marji Laine is a collaborator in three novellas with short stories published in both books and magazines. A homeschooling mom or four, two of which are graduates, she is married to a wonderful business analyst who keeps her grounded in reality. Her blog, Faith Driven Fiction, posts reader and writer focused articles as well as analysis of popular movies with a Biblical World view. Find her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or Google+.

DEADLY DEVOTIONS by Sandra Orchard

Marji Laine revews:
Having trust issues can be a good thing when they protect from pain and hazard. But Kate Adams has a different problem. She trusts far too easily. Especially when her mentor/best friend is dead from an "accidental" dose of poisonous tea. Daisy would never have made that mistake. An expert at botany and as strong in her faith as she was in her skill with the chemical properties of plants, she'd never have killed herself either.

But when Kate expounds on that point, to Detective Tom Parker, the majority of the officers in the station, and a good piece of the population of the small town, she scares someone. Or someones. A person or persons who doesn't want her rant to uncover things that Daisy's death seals.

And though Tom knows the dangers, he feels pulled to help this woman. Even though assisting her against his chief's wishes might very well cost him his job. But that isn't his worst risk. His trust issues stem from old disasters. He dare not put his faith in the woman. Not if he wants to survive.

Sandra Orchard casts a delicious mystery in a picturesque town just north of the Canadian border. Port Aster is the quaint tourist village expected from travel magazines. But like the dilapidated buildings covered by the street-front facades, there's a lot more going on there than visitors can see. Things aren't always what they seem to be. A theme that echoes throughout this story.

Full of twisted sub-plots and unexpected laughs, the story baffles, as a good mystery should. Tom and Kate waffle between possible scenarios and suspects, carrying the reader along. With a number of reasonable killers, good motives, and plenty of secrets that draw attention, the constant mind-changing actually makes perfect sense.

The story sets followups, too. Little details are left unresolved, ready to explode into new plots. And then there's the budding romance. Bud is as far as the romance goes, even though the feelings seem intense. Left me quite giddy! I'm looking forward to seeing it build!

The good news is, Book 2 in the Port Aster Series came out in June of 2014. Yea! Book 3 follows soon!

Reviewer: Marji Laine

Marji Laine is a collaborator in three novellas with short stories published in both books and magazines. A homeschooling mom or four, two of which are graduates, she is married to a wonderful business analyst who keeps her grounded in reality. Her blog, Faith Driven Fiction, posts reader and writer focused articles as well as analysis of popular movies with a Biblical World view. Find her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or Google+.

SHADOWS OF THE PAST by Patricia Bradley

Marji Laine reveiws:
Cover of Shadows of the Past with a buy link.
Patricia Bradley shows a vast talent in this, her debut publication. Tweet This!

Shadows of the Past offers the perfect read for a summer weekend. Tweet This!

Dr. Taylor Martin, professor of psychology and criminal profiler, often helps local police solve difficult cases. So why can't she solve her own personal mystery—where is her father? The tragedies surrounding not-so-successful investigations and pressures from her family compel her to return home to Logan Point, Mississippi. Determined this time to find her missing father, she encounters resistance from the most surprising sources.

Nick Sinclair, novelist and New York Times bestseller, first encounters the beautiful profiler on a search for his runaway brother. Though the murder of his wife still haunts him, he can't get Taylor out of his mind. Which is probably a good thing, since their paths continue to cross.

These characters have such depth, they seem real. Both Christians, I could practically guess their Spiritual gifts and even their love languages.

Nick is a PROFESSOR with a desire for peace: home, family, kids. (Okay, maybe not so much peace with the kids ...) He excels in research and writing. Focused on the Lord's work, he also has a passion for inner-city children and hopes someday to open a camp for them. He doesn't understand Taylor's penchant for police work.

Taylor has a cop's heart. Not like the CRUSADER flinging herself in harm's way—that would be her best friend, Livy. Taylor has a longing to solve crimes and unravel puzzles. She's a LIBRARIAN. With her, it's all about the information, uncovering key data and crafting psychologically reasonable conclusions.

Patricia Bradford pens an exciting story, one with the atmosphere and feel of an all-time favorite author, Phyllis A. Whitney.
  • The multiple twists of the mystery delighted. While I did figure out the answers before the halfway mark, the ending entirely satisfied. 
  • The intensity of the suspense gripped. More than once, my chin dropped. And at one point, I called out loud, "Oh no you did not." My children, thankfully are used to such outbursts. :)
  • The passion found depths well beyond her beautiful eyes and his broad shoulders. I love a romance where the attractions stem from the characters hopes, fears, and dreams. From their essences. 
This story soars toward those at the top of my list! I highly recommend it for lovers of mystery, intrigue, and a satisfying romance.  The best news is, Shadows of the Past is Book 1 of the Patricia Bradley's Logan Point series. Book #2 comes out this fall. I'm on it!

Reviewer: Marji Laine

Marji Laine is a collaborator in three novellas with short stories published in both books and magazines. A homeschooling mom or four, two of which are graduates, she is married to a wonderful business analyst who keeps her grounded in reality. Her blog, Faith Driven Fiction, posts reader and writer focused articles as well as analysis of popular movies with a Biblical World view. Find her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or Google+.