“Imperfect Justice” by Cara Putman

“Imperfect Justice” by Cara Putman is a legal thriller.  Emilie Wesley is a lawyer for Haven, which is an organization that helps abused women and children find the courage and the means to leave their abusers.  Kaylene Adams is ready to leave her sadistic husband and make a new life for her and her two daughters.  The night before she is to leave, a terrible tragedy occurs at the Adams house.  Kaylene is dead, one daughter, Kaydence is dead, and one daughter, Kinley is critically wounded.  The police are calling it a murder, suicide with Kaylene as the perpetrator.

Emilie cannot reconcile that Kaylene, who was so focused on leaving with her girls would all of a sudden turn violent.  Kaylene’s brother Reid also cannot believe that his older sister would do such a thing.  When he finds a hidden letter asking him to care for her girls in case something happened to her, his suspicions are heightened.  He and Emilie work to disabuse the police’s theory.  At least one detective is on their wavelength and helps with the investigation.  Reid is suing Robert Adams for custody of his only remaining daughter, Kinley.  Reid and Emilie fear that Kinley is the only one who can tell what happened that fateful night and that her father may have been the guilty party.  If that is so, then Kinley is not safe with her father.

I thought this story was well thought out and serves to bring us all to awareness, that in some families, all is not what it seems.  The characters are very believable, as is the story line.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from LitFuse.com in return for posing a review.

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“Seeds of Hope” by Barbara Cameron

In “Seeds of Hope”, Barbara Cameron story is one of conflicting life styles.  Miriam Troyer is a young Amish woman who has had a crush on Mark Byler since they were children.  Mark is English since his father left the Amish and brought him up in the English world.  However, Mark is very attached to his Amish grandfather and spends quite a bit of time helping on the farm when on vacation.  John Byler wants his grandson to take over the farm for him to keep it in the family.  Miriam has looked after John for a number of years, seeing that he has food and that he is well.

When Mark finds himself out of a job because of some adverse publicity, he joins his grandfather at harvest time and helps with the harvest and daily chores.  Miriam continues to bring food and to make sure that John and Mark are doing well.  It is no secret that she has eyes only for Mark and has spurned many other Amish suitors because of her love for him.  Mark, however, is deeply entrenched in the English world.  He is a successful lawyer for a prestigious firm, engaged to a socialite, owns a great condo, and drives a BMW.  While he is with his grandfather and living the Amish life, he has time to consider what God has intended for him.  It would be a tremendous upheaval to leave the English world to become Amish.

Ms. Cameron does a wonderful job of comparing the two life styles during the course of the novel.  Can Miriam’s devotion to Mark and his grandfather spur something in Mark that will make him take heed of what God has provided?  “Seeds of Hope” is a very compelling novel.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from LitFusePublicity.com in return for my honest review.

“Dangerous Illusiions” by Irene Hannon

Trish Baily has just found her mother dead in her bed.  While it looks like death from natural causes, Trish’s accountant has planted a seed of doubt with the local police.  He intimates that Trish has been extremely stressed caring for her mother and may have inadvertently given her mother an overdose.  The detective leading the case, Colin Flynn, is not convinced.  But why would Matt Parker plant that seed?  He has seemed interested in Trish in a romantic way although she does not return his feelings.  As time and investigation go on, disturbing and dangerous things start happening to Trish.  Colin has taken more than a little interest in her and is doing everything he can to make sure she is safe.  This novel, “Dangerous Illusiions” by Irene Hannon, is rife with twists and turns and keeps the reader on edge of the seat throughout.

I enjoyed this book and it was one that I could not put down.  The storyline was just too interesting to forget.  Ms. Hannon always delivers fine writing and intriguing plots.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Revell publishers and was under no obligation to post review.

“Plain Jeopardy” by Alison Stone

“Plain Jeopardy” by Alison Stone is a short novel full of suspense and mystery.  Why would a wholesome young man like Jason suddenly ingest drugs and drive, having an accident, killing himself and seriously injuring a young girl?  While recovering from an operation at her sister’s bed and breakfast, Grace Miller, a travelling journalist, decides to write an article about the event and investigates rumors of drinking and drug parties among the Amish and English youth.  While looking into this scenario, she and the local deputy, Conner, lock horns.  Jason is a relative of the deputy and he is trying to shield his mother from further sadness.  Conner is also the son of the retired man who was sheriff when her mother was brutally murdered.  That is now a cold case.  No leads were found and the result of this crime is that Grace, her father and two sisters moved away from the community and left the Amish community.  Now one investigation causes another to begin again.  Grace is prodded to look into her mother’s murder.  The murderer has gotten away with it for over 30 years and is not about to get caught at this late date.  He is bound to get rid of Grace just like he did with her mother.  Together she and Conner solve both mysteries and in the process find each other.

Though the novel was very short, I thought Ms. Stone packed a lot of mystery and intrigue in those few pages.  I enjoyed reading the novel.

I received a complimentary Kindle review copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for posting a review.

“Christmas at Grey Sage” Phyllis Clark Nichols

I love a good Christmas story.  It doesn’t have to be a long one, or have a pithy statement, but it does need to be a peaceful, gentle reminder of the reason for celebrating Christmas.

In “Christmas at Grey Sage” Phyllis Clark Nichols presents us with such a story.  After over twenty years of avoiding a Christmas in their home, Silas and Maude are persuaded to host a friend’s group of travelling companions for a few days before Christmas.  Their home has become an inn catering to writing and artistic retreats throughout the year.  Silas and Maude are scheduled to fly to Curaçao to celebrate Christmas.  Their trek to other climes is the usual way that they spend Christmas ever since the death of their beloved son many years ago.  However, the “Unlikely Christmas Party” of misfits that Lily brings to them changes things for all.  This group of mis-matched people is also escaping celebrating Christmas in the traditional way by travelling to New Mexico to experience an artistic jaunt.

Mother Nature has a way of changing peoples’ plans to suit herself though.  Finding themselves in the midst of a blizzard, all are unable to leave according to their plans.  The “Unlikely Christmas Party” is stranded as are Silas and Maude and a few neighbors at the Grey Sage Inn.  Things could be worse…the food is wonderful, the company comes around to bonding and Christmas is spent the way it should be, with good people sharing food and fellowship and just enjoying the reason for the season.

I really enjoyed reading gentle reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be.  Even in our sorrows we can count on the Babe to restore us to wholeness again.  Ms. Nichols captured this very nicely in this book.  The characters were varied enough that it was a joy to read about others’ escapades.  I thought that it was a good seasonal read.

I received a complimentary print review copy of this book from Gilead publishers and LitFusePublicity.com in return for posting a review.

“Until We Find Home” by Cathy Gohlke

I love reading books by Cathy Gohlke.  “Until We Find Home” is her latest novel and again is set during WW II.  Claire Stewart, an American, has joined the French Resistance and helps transport French Jewish children to England.  This is a clandestine enterprise, as smuggling refugees into Britain is illegal.   Planning to join the man she loves, who is also in the Resistance, before sailing to England, she is terrified to learn that he is not coming and that she is in charge of the five children during the channel crossing and in England.  She knows no one in Britain, but does remember an estranged aunt who may help her.  She and the children find their way to the estate in the Lake District, and she persuades her Aunt Miranda to take them in.  However her aunt agrees only if Claire stays to help with them.  Because most Brits have been pressed into service to billet war workers and refugee children, a fellow American border, David Campbell also stays at the estate.  He becomes the voice of reason in a tumultuous time.

I recommend this book highly.  I loved reading about the life of the citizens of Britain before the Americans stepped up to join the war.  Americans were not looked upon with favor during this time because the British thought that the United States was deserting them.  My only criticism of this book is the character of Claire.  I was ready to smack her a few times because she seemed to be self-absorbed.  During the course of the novel, however, I saw her growth in spirit and compassion and that was her redeeming quality.

NetGalley.com and Tyndale publishers provided me a complimentary Kindle advance reading copy in return for my honest review of this book.

“The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn

My most favorite novels are those which are set in the 1930’s and 1940’s before, during and right after the Second World War.  I enjoy reading everything about that era in history and so was drawn to read “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn.  This novel is a fictional account of an actual British spy ring in Paris during the Great War, and the consequences that occurred both during and after the Second Great War.

Charlie St. Clair is a young girl who is unmarried, pregnant, and hounded by her parents to “take care of the situation”.  Instead, Charlie takes off by herself with only one note that may lead her to her beloved cousin Rose, who is presumed dead.  Charlie thinks that Rose was involved with the Resistance in France during WW II and is not ready to give her up for dead.  She finds Eve Gardiner, a mouthy, drunken old woman, who may have information about Rose.  Eve Gardiner was recruited to be a spy in France during the First Great War.  She and two other women gave valuable information to the British about German troop movements and artillery.  Something happened to her during that time, something that made her live a life of drunkenness and seclusion.  When these two women join forces to find the truth, this is the story.

I thought this novel was very well researched and written and could not put the book down.  The intrigue, suffering and patriotism of the female espionage agents during both wars were painfully shown.  I applaud the author for bringing to light the escapades of our brave women who may have turned the tide of the war.