Friday, October 31, 2008

All’s Fair by Julie Coulter Bellon

All’s Fair by Julie Coulter Bellon

Kristen Shepherd’s wedding day falls apart when she finds out that her fiancée tried to transfer funds from her bank account without her knowing, and she breaks things off until she can get some answers from him. Things get more awkward when she has to work with him to win a political campaign for her company. They used to work well together, but Kristen isn’t sure if she can believe her fiancées stories, especially when they include involvement in a possible terrorist group in the Middle East.

Ryan Jameson helps her when she arrives at her family cabin to get herself back together. Kristen tires to hide her old feelings for him since he has proven in the past that she can’t trust him. Besides, he’s now working on the staff of her client’s political opponent. Then terrorist forces capture her brother Brandon, who is serving as a doctor in Iraq. Brandon has to make a decision between following his morals, or potentially betraying his loyalty to his country.

Kristen uses all her contacts to organize a rescue operation for her brother, and explores the link between her former fiancée and his Middle East connections to see if they have any answers.

Sorry for lack of posts. I’ve been working 50 hour plus weeks for the last three weeks. I’m way behind on reviews of books I’ve read. This newest release from Julie Bellon is a fast-paced suspense that has clever plot twists and an enjoyable story. The characters were decent, but ultimately they kind of fell a bit flat for me. I liked them, and wanted to read their story, but I kind of wished for a little bit more depth and emotional complexity from the type of situations they were put in. I felt like Brandon decided far too quickly and easily how he was going to react to his ethical situation. The internal conflict there could have been more intense, and as a result more powerful. Still, an interesting read with a look into the war in Iraq, with a strong quick paced plot with two romance threads woven throughout. I think a broad audience of people will enjoy this one.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Widow's Revenge by K.L. Fogg

Widow’s Revenge by K.L. Fogg

Wesley Mackey should be the luckiest boy ever. His father is the Snake Stalker on a famous television show, but that doesn’t make his life easier. Instead it makes him the target for bullies, and when he decides to fight back he gets suspended from school. So, Wesley is paired up with a geeky tutor, who used to be a Navy SEAL. Then his baby sister goes missing and it looks like his former “mom” is behind it. Imogene wants to make a swap--Wesley for his baby sister Emily. Being kidnapped is no picnic, but with the help of his parents and friends they may be able to bring the evil Imogene down for good. I’m very happy to report that this is an awesome sequel to the first book in the series. I didn’t like it as much as the first one, but still really enjoyed it. I liked how she developed new characters in the series, and developed stock characters from the first book into more fleshed out characters. The plot is adventure filled, and yet takes time to focus on character development, a combination I adore! I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series; the ending left me wondering exactly what will happen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Her Good Name by Josi Kilpack

Her Good Name by Josi S. Kilpack

Chrissy tries her best to be a good member of the church, a kind sister, and a hard working employee, and an honest person. So it doesn’t make sense when she doesn’t pass a background check for new employment, and suddenly has a fair credit score when trying to buy a new dishwasher. Chrissy is starting to get a clue that her identity has been stolen. Yet, this identity theft isn’t only looking for a quick buck, and Chrissy watches as her carefully constructed life begins to fracture apart piece by piece.

Micah, a man that she met during an awkward blind date, has also had his identity stolen, and when they find similarities between their cases they decided to work together to solve this crisis. Taking a piece of Micah’s advice to heart Chrissy decides to set out, and restore her good name.

I’ve been a fan of Josi Kilpack’s for a two years or so now. I love how all the main characters of her novels are so diverse and have such unique, yet realistic, worldviews from each other. I know I’m always going to get a taste of something new and unique whenever I pick up one of her books. Chrissy’s character does not disappoint in this newest novel, she is a strong, vivacious, single, Mexican-American woman, who doesn’t give up when the hard times hit. I had a hard time putting this book down when I had tons of stuff to do. The suspense of finding her identity “double” is intense, as Chrissy never imagined her identity stolen by such an evil woman, who was part of a violent and dangerous liberation movement in Guatemala. Yet, this villain has realistic motivations, and a goal that the readers can easily identify with. I thought it was a bit far-fetched that Chrissy would go so far to hunt down and break into the places that her identity double had been frequenting, but it was really fun to read anyway. This really is a fantastic book, and I would recommend it to all. The ending leaves enough loose ends that a sequel is very possible (and I sort of want one), but still has a satisfying ending.

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