Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Harm’s Way
Hannon, Irene
Heroes of Quantico, 3
April 2010

Rachel Sutton, an artist and a pianist, never expected that a Raggedy Ann doll would change her life, but that is what it did. On a cold winter day, she finds a doll under a pile of garbage. She picks it up planning to return it to the nearby restaurant incase someone comes looking for it. But as soon as she picks up that doll, unspeakable terror flows through her until she drops the doll. Against her better judgment, she goes to the FBI with her story.

On a Friday afternoon, with no one else in the office, it falls to FBI agent Nick Bradley to listen to Rachel Sutton’s story. She seems like a normal lady with all her faculties in working order. So he is extremely surprised with the story that she produces. Nick cannot believe the story that she is saying, until he actually sees her reaction to the doll. With extreme skepticism he agrees to look into it. He is surprised when finds out that the Raggedy Ann doll is connected to a kidnapping case. Will he be able to protect Rachel and find the kidnapper on time?

The final installment in the Heroes of Quantico series was a treat. I extremely enjoyed it. Since the last Dee Henderson book came out, I have been looking for an author who wrote the same story line. And I believe I have found that in Irene Hannon’s series. The twist and turns were very interesting and Rachel’s past was very surprising. I enjoyed the chemistry between Nick and Rachel. It was also nice to catch up with the couples from the previous books in the series. I would highly recommend this book and series to anyone. And the good thing about it is that each book can be read as a stand-alone novel. I am eagerly looking forward to Ms. Hannon’s next book/series!
Too Close to Home
Eason, Lynette
Women of Justice, 1
April 2010

Samantha Cash is a computer geek. She can follow and unearth any trail on the computer. She is an FBI consultant and has helped the bureau solve numerous cases. Then she is called in to help find the stalker/murderer that is murdering teenage girls by luring them to a bogus modeling agency. To accomplish this task she is paired with detective Connor Wolfe.

Connor Wolfe finds himself at a bad place in life. Having lost his wife couple of years ago, he is fighting to get back his relationship with his teenage daughter who happens to blame him for her mother’s death. On top of that he notices a pattern developing with the teenage girls that are being killed in his town: all the girls have signs of pregnancy but no baby. Since they were hitting a brick wall with the investigation, the FBI sends Samantha Cash. Will they be able to find the killer on time before Connor’s own daughter becomes a victim?

Debut author Lynette Eason has written a strong first novel. Filled the suspense and danger it is a series with a strong beginning. The characters are three dimensional and they do change dramatically at the end of the novel. The only part of the novel that I did not enjoy was the pace. Initially, it took time for the investigation to jump start and for the characters to be introduced. However, the novel had an unusually slow pace in the beginning. So it was a bit difficult to get into the novel. However, the pace, the suspense and the danger picked up dramatically towards the latter part of the novel. The other thing I enjoyed was that I was not able to identify who the stalker/killer was until the very end. Ms. Eason did an excellent job of providing that cover for them so that the readers would be surprised. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in the series!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Scattered Petals
Texas Dream, 2
Cabot, Amanda
March 2010

Priscilla Morton very strongly encouraged her parents to head to Texas from Boston, looking for adventure. However, along the way Priscilla’s dreams of adventure is dashed as tragedy strikes and her parents are killed. Broken in spirit and hoping for a fresh start she continues her journey to Texas to meet her brother-in-law and his future wife. Once she reaches Texas, she resolves to leave out her life isolated, trying to find peace. But after the horrendous attack will she be able to recover, especially since there is Zachary Webster who won’t let her forget?
Zachary Webster is a loner and a drifter. When he meets Priscilla Morton, he knows that she feels uncomfortable with him. So he goes out of his way to avoid her. But God has other plans for them. When circumstances ensue that could lead to Priscilla’s reputation being tarnished, Zachary steps up and offers to marry her and she agrees. Will they be able to translate their mutual understanding and respect into love, before it is too late? And can Zachary keep the woman he married safe?
I enjoyed reading about Priscilla and Zach. This is my first novel my Ms. Cabot and I liked the way she introduced her character and the Texas frontier. She gives depth to both characters and she provides a lot of reality in the novel. The story is fast-paced and it takes both Priscilla and Zachary time to form a relationship. There are two things that I would have changed. One if the fact that Priscilla never seems to be able to dodge trouble. I almost felt like she was portrayed as Job in the Bible. Even though she marries Zach, instead of one climax there are multiple climaxes. The second thing is the fact that there are a lot of distracters in the novel. There are certain scenes and characters in the novel that are not necessarily needed to continue the storyline. But I suppose they can be considered background for the next installment. Also, I would encourage readers to start reading this series from the first installment. Being the second book in this series, I felt a bit lost when I started this one since it takes a while to place all the characters and their connection to each other. Otherwise, this is a great book and for historical fans this will be a treat!
Wings of Glory, 1
Sundin, Sarah
March 2010

Allie Miller is set. She has gone to college and come back and is now expected to marry her long-time boyfriend and settle down raising children as her husband takes over her father’s company. But a short trip for a friend’s wedding changes her life: she meets fun-loving Walter Novak. Her week with Walter and his friends forces her to look into the emptiness of her own life. As t they part both of them agree to write.
Walter Novak has always had trouble with women, especially pretty women. He can barely string along words together, flushes red and can’t seem to swallow the big lump in his throat when he meets one. But meeting Allie is different. He is comfortable with her, enjoys talking to her and seeing her green eyes brighten. He is encouraged by the week they spent together. But his hopes for a future with her are dashed when he discovers the Allie is pledged to another. Despite this setback, they agree to write to each other as Walter heads to fight for his country during World War II. The letters fly back and forth filled with hidden meanings and longings. Will be they able to share what is in their hearts before it is too late, or will they let pride and lies rip them apart?
While a fan of historical fiction, I am not a big fan of World War II stories. Even before I read the novel, I can see mental images of devastation and destruction. Hence, when I got this book I pushed it to the back of my TBR (To Be Read) pile. A few days later, while clearing my desk, I came across this book again and decided to give it a chance. And boy am I glad I did! The last time I enjoyed a good World War II novel was a long time ago. Debut author Sarah Sundin knows how to flush her characters out. Initially, I thought Walter was a good-two-shoe, shy and inhibited. But as the novel progresses, you see his fun-loving character, his integrity, and his faults and how he comes to the place where God intended for him. The other aspect of Ms. Sundin’s writing that I enjoyed was the fact that she is not afraid to introduce sadness, heartache and everyday reality to her characters. Many authors, especially inspirational authors, love to tie up all the ends in a neat package with all the answers. But that was not the case with this book. This brings back the point that the characters in this book are extremely human. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series and I have added Ms. Sundin to my personal author watch list. Wings of Glory is a must-read debut novel!