As Patricia Bradley’s compelling A Promise to Protect opens, small-town Mississippi Sheriff Ben Logan has just discoveredpromise his ex-girlfriend’s bAs Patricia Bradley’s compelling A Promise to Protect opens, small-town Mississippi Sheriff Ben Logan has just discoveredpromise his ex-girlfriend’s brother, Tony Jackson, dying of multiple gunshot wounds on the floor of a Memphis hotel room. Tony quickly shares a series of cryptic clues to the identify of his attacker, secures Ben’s promise to protect his sister’s life and passes on.
It isn’t long before the reader learns that Ben has a real problem on his hands: He and Leigh, the deceased’s sister, haven’t been on speaking terms since Leigh disappeared from his life during a burgeoning summer romance ten years before. She never explained why she left, and he–in the throes of heartbreak–never asked. How on Earth will he convince her to accept his help and protection from an unknown foe today?
Leigh Somerall, now a widowed medical doctor and the mother of a young son, fled fictional Logan Point, Mississippi for reasons that still haunt her ten years later. She’s only been back in town for four weeks when she learns of her brother’s untimely demise. Shaken with grief and tormented by past mistakes, Leigh is loathe to accept Ben’s protection or advice in the wake of her brother’s death–especially when the irksome sheriff plies her for information about an attack that left his father disabled and a missing flash drive she knows nothing about. She wants out of Logan Point and away from Ben at all costs, but a year-long commitment to a local hospital makes that an impossibility.
When a series of mysterious attacks drive Ben and Leigh in ever closer proximity to one another–while their own doubts, anxieties and secrets threaten to drive them further apart–will they find the faith and courage to regain what was lost? To forgive what transpired? To defeat the enemy that threatens them both?
In A Promise to Protect, the second installment of Patricia Bradley’s intriguing Logan Point series, the author ushers the reader into a splintered, complex southern community where the relentless heat and the constant threat of encroaching storms underscore the instability of the society in which the main characters reside. For every character embracing the value, sanctity and importance of family and the serenity born of a life of faith, there’s another long on finger-pointing and recrimination and short on forgiveness and absolution. And, on a purely psychological level, the hero and heroine of the story are harder on themselves than anyone.
In Ben and Leigh, Ms. Bradley has drawn a pair of sympathetic, believably conflicted characters. Both are anxious to do the right thing–for themselves and for those around them. But they’ve also endured intermittent trials, pain and heartache in the ten years since they last encountered one another. Strong but vulnerable Ben could use a good, swift kick in the pants from someone who recognizes and cherishes his innate heroism and sensitivity. Stubborn but compassionate Leigh needs a break from–well–everything. She’s a classic “A” type–determined to be the perfect mother, the perfect doctor, the perfect example. The effect created by all of that palpable angst and percolating emotion is galvanizing: Almost from the book’s inception, the reader yearns to see these two together. Happy. Fulfilled. Married.
But, well, wasn’t it Shakespeare who wrote, “The course of true love never did run smooth”?
Plot happens. And Patricia Bradley crafts a formidable tale of danger, mystery and intrigue for this unsuspecting couple-in-waiting. Prepare yourself for a tense, bumpy, breakneck gallop through the final quarter of this sensational inspirational romantic suspense novel.
I give this thrilling book 4 out of 5 stars!...more
It’s 1815, and the threat of another divisive war against Napoleon Bonaparte, the recently exiled emperor of France, hangs over the British Isles andIt’s 1815, and the threat of another divisive war against Napoleon Bonaparte, the recently exiled emperor of France, hangs over the British Isles and its European Allies. Jessamine Barry, a twenty-year-old vicar’s daughter from a small village in West Sussex, has just arrived in London for her first social season as a marriageable gentlewoman. She’s also heartbroken, having been cast aside by her best friend’s brother–now a successful diplomat and confidant of the Duke of Wellington–for a wealthy earl’s beautiful young widow. Jessamine’s self-prescribed cure for a broken heart? To throw caution to the wind and capture the attentions of the most eligible bachelors in London’s exclusive upper classes, of course.
When Lancelot Marfleet, the ginger-haired, bespectacled second son of a baronet, engages Jessamine in conversation at an elegant dinner party, will she respond to his attentions in kind? Or will she spurn the awkward young vicar–recently returned from a harrowing, life-altering mission trip to India–for the imperious first sons, and heirs-in-waiting, of ”the ton” (i.e., British aristocracy)? Ahh, the perplexing dilemmas of Nineteenth Century youth …
Author Ruth Axtell imbues “A Heart’s Rebellion”, an inspirational historical romance novel, with the distinctive light, colors, textures and fragrances of Regency England. Nothing in this astounding work rings false. The writer demonstrates an encyclopedic knowledge of the opulent fashions, conveyances and interior design and architecture of the period. The sights, sounds and ethereal beauty of Hyde Park and Kew Gardens literally leap from the book’s pages, sprinkled judiciously with lush period detail. And the inner workings of a society in which connections to the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the landed gentry alternately elevate and dash the hopes, dreams and ambitions of the members of a burgeoning middle class spring candidly to life.
The sumptuous riches of “A Heart’s Rebellion” don’t end there, however. The author weaves a plot every bit as intricate and intense as the colorful threads woven into the fabric of the luxurious gowns Jessamine wears to elaborate balls and society events throughout the novel. Ms. Axtell paints convincing, sometimes heartbreaking, portraits of the flawed, multi-faceted lead and secondary characters who populate the work. When the antagonists behave inappropriately–and the protagonists make associated errors in judgment–the reader easily comprehends the goals and motivations that prompt the characters into action. The author also uses the prospect of war with France’s displaced emperor to enrich an important secondary plot that culminates with a moment of revelation for one of the main protagonists toward the end of the novel. “A Heart’s Rebellion” is a five-star read. Don’t miss it! ...more
Maggie K. Black’s “Killer Assignment” offers a no-holds-barred, rollercoaster ride into the wilds of northern Ontario, Canada’s Kapuskasing area. TheMaggie K. Black’s “Killer Assignment” offers a no-holds-barred, rollercoaster ride into the wilds of northern Ontario, Canada’s Kapuskasing area. The city is home to dense, colorful forests, plentiful rivers and–if Ms. Black’s premise is to be believed–high-stakes adventure and gut-wrenching romance. The topography surrounding the community proves as much a character in the novel as the main protagonists themselves, ambitious tabloid journalist Katie Todd and philanthropic adventurer/engineer Mark Armor.
Ms. Black weaves a first-rate plot. As the novel opens, Katie’s been dispatched to cover the social event of the year, an invitation-only party at the northern Ontario home of a wealthy land developer with a heart of stone. As Katie disembarks from a train in the town of Cobalt, she spots a menacing stranger in the shadows. Moments later, a couple of wild-eyed teens accost the bewildered journalist and launch a violent attempt to kidnap her.
When a handsome stranger rescues Katie from the clutches of her sadistic would-be abductors, she’s cautiously grateful. A difficult past has taught her to be distrustful of most men–no matter how irrational the fear. Could Mark Armor prove a man worthy of her trust?
Little does Katie realize that her inventive rescuer harbors a few conflicting secrets and motivations of his own. After Mark attends to Katie’s immediate welfare, he can’t quite release her entirely. What if the kidnappers return? When the bad guys make the inevitable ominous attempt at contact with the beautiful, but vulnerable, journalist, Mark decides to stick close by–all the way to the perilous environs of Kapuskasing.
Ms. Black crafts likeable, multi-layered characters in the persons of Katie Todd and Mark Armor. As the couple encounters various forms of opposition, they draw plausible conclusions and make reasonable decisions consistent with their circumstances. The author does a tremendous job of acquainting the reader with the main characters of her novel in a gradual, natural manner. So their fears, their concerns, their desires and their goals become those of the reader.
If you’re a fan of inspirational romantic suspense novels, READ THIS BOOK!!! ...more
Primarily set amidst the majestic cliffs of Cornwall, UK, Julie Klassen’s “The Tutor’s Daughter” recounts the engaging Regency-era tale of bright, midPrimarily set amidst the majestic cliffs of Cornwall, UK, Julie Klassen’s “The Tutor’s Daughter” recounts the engaging Regency-era tale of bright, middle-class Emma Smallwood and irksome Henry Weston, son of a baronet.
As the book opens, the reader finds Emma and her father on the brink of complete financial ruin–a crisis Emma is desperately striving to avert. The author postpones the ”present-day” encounter between the hero and heroine of the story for several chapters, but she reveals the underlying conflict between the protagonists through a series of brief flashbacks. Emma loathes Henry, who attended her father’s boarding school in adolescence, because he subjected her to mean-spirited pranks.
When the Westons invite the Smallwoods to tutor Henry’s younger brothers at Ebbington Manor, their sprawling Cornwall estate, Emma is understandably conflicted. Because her father insists he’d relish the change of scenery–and accepting the offer would address their financial woes for a time, however–Emma acquiesces. Little does she realize that residency at Ebbington will be fraught with physical, mental and emotional challenges she can’t even begin to imagine–the awkward encounters with Henry least among them.
Though she writes inspirational historical romances, Ms. Klassen’s writing style prompts inevitable comparisons to the works of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. The author never stoops to mere imitation of her brilliant Regency-era predecessors, however. Instead, she pays respectful and–dare I say–reverent homage to the indisputable masters of the genre.
“The Tutor’s Daughter” is a five-star read. It stands on its own as a remarkable achievement in romance fiction. Ms. Klassen paints flawed, interesting, and multidimensional characters. She writes intricately woven primary and secondary plots and conveys the goals, motivations and internal and external conflicts of even lesser characters in a convincing, absorbing manner. The author also maintains a heightened level of tension throughout what might easily have become a plodding four-hundred-page read. Above all, however, Ms. Klassen demonstrates an uncanny ability to elicit a profound emotional response from the reader. (One of the most poignant scenes in “The Tutor’s Daughter” literally reduced me to tears: I’ve rarely had such an experience while reading a work of fiction.) I highly recommend this book to fans of inspirational romance. ...more
In Lynette Eason's "A Silent Terror," Marianna Santino, a beautiful, hearing-impaired teacher of the deaf, finds her roommate murdered upon returningIn Lynette Eason's "A Silent Terror," Marianna Santino, a beautiful, hearing-impaired teacher of the deaf, finds her roommate murdered upon returning home from work one day. Ethan O'Hara, a ruggedly-handsome police officer,is dispatched to investigate the homicide. When it becomes increasingly clear that Marianna's life is in danger, Ethan is assigned to solve her roommate's murder and the string of seemingly unrelated follow-up crimes that occur soon thereafter.
Though attracted to one another, fiercely independent Marianna and grief-stricken Ethan struggle to trust God's will and their own emotions as they tumble toward an inevitable clash with the sinister villain of the piece. In this compelling, heart-pounding read, the question is clear: Can the pair forego their stubborn tendency toward self-reliance to submit themselves entirely to God's protection and direction?
Ms. Eason writes masterfully in the inspirational romantic suspense genre. The term "page turner" aptly describes the plot, pacing and intricate character development she employs in "A Silent Terror" and in the growing body of work she's published since 2010. A prolific author, Ms. Eason has produced over two dozen novels in that time. I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read more....more
Cara Putman's "Trial By Fire" is an engrossing, thought-provoking novel. Protagonists Tricia Jamison, a prosecutor, and Noah Brust, a firefighter, shaCara Putman's "Trial By Fire" is an engrossing, thought-provoking novel. Protagonists Tricia Jamison, a prosecutor, and Noah Brust, a firefighter, share a complicated history. They become reacquainted as a series of mysterious fires in Nebraska hit increasingly close to home. The external dangers they encounter, however, pale in comparison with the personal and internal turmoil they experience over the course of the book. I especially enjoyed Ms. Putman's tactful approach to certain issues of a sensitive nature in the story.
Like the author of "Trial By Fire," I am an attorney. Since I aspire to publication in the Christian romantic suspense genre, I was drawn to Ms. Putman's work both as a reader and as a writer. I wasn't disappointed and highly recommend this work to those who enjoy a clean, fast, rollicking read....more