Book Talk Tuesday: Hid From Our Eyes

It’s been a long time since we visited with Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne in Millers Kill, New York.

But the wait is worth it!

HidFromOurEyesHid From Our Eyes has three time lines with characters appearing in both the present and past. Spencer-Fleming handles this plot device well and I wasn’t confused about where (or when) we were.

The three time frames have a death in common: a young woman, clothed in a new “party” dress, without a purse, identification, or shoes and no visible wounds or way to tell how she died, or how to identify her. Of course, medical science has come a long way and the present day crime scene and body yields more answers than those in the past.

 

And Russ just happened to be a suspect in one of those past murders.

As usual with this series, the murder-solving is only part of the story. Clare and Russ are new parents, adjusting to their baby. Clare is fretting that her drug and alcohol abuse before she knew she was pregnant may have impacted the child. There’s a referendum coming before the township that may put Russ out of a job. Hadley Knox’s ex is bringing a lawsuit against the town, claiming that former officer (and Hadley’s former on-again/off-again boyfriend/lover), Kevin Flynn, planted drugs that got the ex arrested. Flynn left Millers Kill to take a job with the Syracuse PD and he’s working undercover in Millers Kill.

So there’s plenty in this story to keep you turning the pages.

The solution is neat and makes sense, even if you don’t see it coming. Hid From Our Eyes is an excellent mystery in the “Fair Play” tradition of Margaret Maron and Louise Penny.

I hated waiting over six years for it (and hope I don’t have to wait another six years for the next installment), but I loved the story. I highly recommend it! Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a little longer. I got an advance copy. The book won’t be available until April. 😦


I received a free Advanced Reader Copy of this book via NetGalley. It did not induce me to review it either negatively or positively.

Book Talk Tuesday on a Thursday: Courageous World Changers

Courageous World Changers: 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God

I could not love this book more!

CWCEach profile is short and easily read in a few minutes. It has enough information to make the person come alive in my mind. There’s a nice variety of historical and contemporary figures. There are women from all walks of life and all ethnicities, proving that being a Christian isn’t exclusive to middle class white Americans.

I’m going to gift this copy to my two 3rd grade granddaughters. It’s perfect for them. The illustrations capture the essence of the story and the person. The vocabulary will be just challenging enough to encourage them to think about what they’re reading without being so far above them that they’ll lose interest.

The back cover says it’s for ages 8-11, but it could be read aloud to younger girls. I’m quite a bit older than 11 and I learned a lot and loved it.

I’m excited to share this book with others!
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. It did not influence nor induce me to review it.

Book Talk Tuesday: Fatal Flashback

I love well-written suspense and Kellie Van Horn’s Fatal Flashback did not disappoint. The suspense is tight, the characters are real, the romance is sweet, and the setting is unusual but felt just right.

FFAshley is reporting for duty as a ranger at Big Bend National Park in Texas when she finds herself in deep water–literally. She’s been thrown into the Rio Grande with no memory of who did it or why.

Logan Everett is a ranger, still reeling from the death of a trainee ranger three months ago and the abandonment of his almost-fiancee five years ago. He fights his attraction to Ashley, especially since she’s clearly hiding something.

As Ashley’s memory creeps back, she and Logan search for a crime ring operating inside the park. They don’t know who they can trust, except for each other. Logan also trusts God, but Ashley doesn’t. She can’t remember why, but she knows God abandoned her.

I loved this fast-paced story. Ashley’s memories returned at a realistic pace, just as they would to someone with a head injury. The clues were doled out fairly. The romantic tension built organically, just the way I like it.

I highly recommend this book!


I received a free copy of this book from the author. This did not influence my review, nor did it induce me to review the book.

Book Talk Tuesday: Meant to be Yours

It’s no secret I love Susan Mallery’s books. I love her women’s fiction. I love her Fool’s Gold series. And I love her Happily Inc stories, too. This is book #5 set in Happily Inc, a wedding destination town in the California desert.

MtbYRenee has been working for Pallas at Weddings out of the Box for a while now. We haven’t gotten to know her very well in previous books. Same with Jasper Dembenski, a veteran with PTSD and a bestselling thriller writer. Neither is looking for a relationship, so it seems perfect for them to agree to a “friends with benefits,” arrangement. Especially since Jasper needs helping writing a feminine point of view for his newest book.
Of course, this is a romance, so it isn’t long before feelings get tangled up. Mallery does a great job dropping hints about Renee’s past hurts and struggles without making us wait toooooo long for the details.

And of course, we know, just like one of the characters tells him, Jasper isn’t nearly as broken as he thinks he is.

I loved how both Jasper and Renee had to learn some things about themselves and each other as they traveled the road to happily ever after.
I’m already looking forward to the next installment in Happily Inc!


I received a copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, just give my opinion. Which I gladly did.

Book Talk Tuesday: An Everyday Hero

There are so many good things to say about An Everyday Hero, Laura Trentham’s latest in her Heart of a Hero series. The story pulled me in from the first page. The characters are believable and I cared about them. The peeks inside the psyche of a soldier and survivor are realistic.
EHGreer Hadley has moved back to Madison, Tennessee after failing to make it in Nashville. She’s drifting and wondering what to do next. Ally Martinez is a grieving and angry teenager matched with Greer for some court-ordered music therapy. Emmett Lawson is a grieving and angry veteran. He lost more than a leg overseas.
Greer has no intentions of getting involved with Ally nor Emmett, but she can’t let either one drown in their grief.
Emmett is struggling with a heavy dose of survivor’s guilt and isn’t interested in letting anyone get close enough to help. But somehow Greer sees past his anger, calls him on his attitude, and stirs him off the front porch.
I love how Greer and Emmett are almost mirror images of each other. Greer is afraid of failing again, so she solves that by determining never to perform. Emmett is afraid to feel any emotion and is intent on keeping everyone, even his parents, angry at him, as if that is his just penance. Greer and Emmett can see the other’s issues and point them out, but then realize their own shortcomings.

Greer is also making progress of a two-steps-forward-one-step-back sort with Ally. But when Ally has a crisis, it takes Greer and Emmett together to help her.

I loved this story and highly recommend it!

It will be released Feb. 4, 2020, but is available for pre-order now.


I received an advance copy of this novel through NetGalley for review purposes.

Book Talk Tuesday: THE UNLIKELY LIFE OF MAISIE MEADOWS

I spotted this book on NetGalley, the website that makes advance copies of books available to reviewers. The title and the description captured me and even though I was drowning in books to read for contests and reviews, I clicked to request it. My request was granted and I’m so glad. Jenni Keer’s second novel, THE UNLIKELY LIFE OF MAISIE MEADOWS is a charmer.

maisieMaisie Meadows, the youngest in her family, is a bit OCD, a bit in love with her boss, and a bit obsessed with reuniting her far-flung and feuding family.

By the end of Chapter Two, Maisie has a new job, new bosses, and no boyfriend. And she’s grateful her two new bosses are a couple so she won’t be tempted to date either of them, in spite of the fact that her pulse seems to ratchet up whenever she sees or touches one of them.

There’s a touch of magic in the story. And it aligns with Maisie’s desire to get her family–if not reunited–at least speaking to each other, and/or in the same room, at the same time.

To say any more about Maisie’s job, the magic that follows her, her relationships with all her co-workers would give away too much of the story.

Keer created fully realized characters who could be my friends. Or my daughters’ friends. 🙂 The story is well crafted, although readers will know well before Maisie figures it out, the truth about her bosses and co-workers. But that’s easily forgiven, given the fun story.

I enjoyed this book a lot and highly recommend it!


I received a free advanced review copy of this book via NetGalley.

Book Talk Tuesday: A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR

I love romantic comedy. I love Scotland. So A Highlander Walks Into A Bar had me at its name. And it did not disappoint.

HighlanderIsabel Buchanan is surprised at the souvenir her mother, Rose, brings home from Scotland: a tall, estate manager with a brogue. Except he’s not really the estate manager, he’s the ninth earl of Cairndow, hiding his true name and identity. Soon, his nephew, slated to become the tenth earl, though hopefully not for a long time, follows him to Highland, Georgia.

Alasdair Blackmoor is concerned about the American woman who convinced his uncle to leave Scotland and Cairndow, so he detours from his business in New York to find out what’s what. Instead of the scheming fortune-hunter ensnaring his uncle whom he expected, he meets Izzy.

Their attraction is immediate. The sparks fly off the page. Their banter is witty and fun.

Alasdair unwittingly sets in motion a complication that he knows and the reader knows will end badly for all. I loved how Trentham resolved that.

A Highlander Walks Into a Bar is a fun and perfect summer rom com and I highly recommend it!

This book will be available July 30, but I suggest you pre-order it now so you can read it ASAP!

–For my friends and readers who prefer their reads to be sweet like their desserts, there is one sex scene.


I received a free advance copy of this book through NetGalley.