Saturday, August 19, 2017

My Review: Chasing Secrets

"So I had to let it go.  It wasn't easy.  It was definitely a daily thing and sometimes an hourly thing, but eventually, it got easier.  And then one day I realized that I had truly release the hate and he had no more power over me."  - Haley Callaghan

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit

About the Author:
Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, and Moving Target in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

My Review: 4.5 stars
Chasing Secrets is the fourth book in the Elite Guardiansseries and one I have been anxiously awaiting since meeting Haley in the very first book!  I can very happily say that I was not disappointed in the least!  I was drawn in from the first page and hated to put it down - I just had to know what would happen next!  

As always, Ms. Eason kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover and begging the clock for just a few more minutesof reading time.  I love her writing style, how her words breathe life into characters and their story, making them seem real and like dear friends by the time the final page is turned.  I never want her books to end, despite dying to know if Im right about whodunit.”  I loved the suspense that kept ratcheting higher and higher, causing me to race toward the ending, regardless of my intention to savor this last book in the series.  My only negativecomment is that I found the first few chapters a bit discombobulating, as things happened very quickly and were spread across multiple view points that seemed disconnected.  It smoothed out once I caught up and figured out what was going on, but the time line tripped me up a bit, at first.  

Of course, I loved the characters, too!  I so enjoy how every book in this series stays connected with the same characters.  The ladies from the Elite Guardians and their significant others continue to step in and out of each others lives, offering friendship and help along the way.  So though this is Haley Callaghans story (at last!), I was also kept up to date on the couples from the previous books, as well.  And I so adored Haleys character!  She is strong and bold, with a killer Irish accent, and a heart that pours into others.  I loved her compassion and desire to reach out to the hurting around her, even when her efforts were rebuffed.  She isnt perfect, but her heart shines on these pages.  

Steven Rothwell is one of those heroes that makes me smile - from his rapport with Quinn (from Moving Target [click the title to read my review]) to his desire to care for Haley, to his strength under pressure.  He is determined to watch over Haley and anyone around her, while she focuses on caring for others and tries to figure out her past.  I loved his support of her, being her sounding board and anchor in a world whirling out of their control.  He is driven and stubborn, struggling to accept events in his life, and holding on to bitterness from his past.  I appreciated the conversations between Steven and Haley, some revolving around forgiveness and the pain of the past.  I saved several quotes from those pages, needing the reminders they held.  

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense!

Thanks again for taking the time to stop by!  As always, links are below!
 Have a fantastic day! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Review: Just Look Up

"It won't change anything for me to worry about it.  We'll do what we can do, and it will be enough." - Ryan Brooks

After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back homea quaint tourist town full of memories she'd just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on worksomething her eclectic family doesn't understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren't ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can't find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he's found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all alongif only she'd just look up.

About the Author:
Courtney Walsh is a novelist, artist, theater director, and playwright. Change of Heart is her fifth novel and is set in the same town as Paper Hearts. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, hit the New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller lists and was a Carol Award finalist in the debut author category.

My Review: 5 stars!
As this is my first book by Courtney Walsh, I wasnt sure what to expect.  I knew it was contemporary romance, but would I like her style?  Would it be a new take, or the same old thing?  Id heard so many excellent things and one of my friends very highly recommended it, so I decided to give it a go.  And Im so glad that I did!  I immediately found myself drawn into this story, pulled into these characterslives and wishing I could take a trip to Harbor Pointe, MI.  I have definitely found another favorite author, whose books will be finding a home on my keeper shelves.

The story line itself, intrigued me.  A character that hides behind her phone, keeping it as a shield between herself and the world.  It is so fitting for the time, where electronic devices are everywhere and so many seem so attached to them.  I was curious to see how Ms. Walsh would tackle this subject and I have to say that I think she did an excellent job!  I felt as though every time someone admonished Lane Kelley to look up,they were also speaking to me, challenging me to pay attention to the world around me.  I loved that!  I found this story to be a journey, both for the characters and myself.  The further I read, the more I found myself pausing to really see the people around me, wondering what Id been missing.  I also loved how Ms. Walsh took care to describe the world around Lane, placing emphasis on the things she was missing by always running, going full speed ahead.  
I have to confess, when I first met Lane Kelley, she didnt impress me.  She seemed selfish and stubborn, unwilling to bend.  But, as I got to know her and saw beyond the cool facade she showed everyone, I found someone I would love to have as a friend.  Shes spent most of her life feeling as though she doesnt belong, doesnt measure up.  My heart broke for her, for the lies shes believed, for how hard shes worked to attain something that was always right in front of her.  I loved watching the transformation her character goes through, learning to love and allow herself to be loved in return.

What do I say about Ryan Brooks?  So many things . . . . first, he is SO swoony!  Not only is he nice to look at, but hes got a great sense of humor, doesnt always take life too seriously, knows how to have fun, focuses on the important things in life, and is willing to drop everything for a friend in need.  Oh, and he has a chivalrous streak a mile wide, which just adds to the swoony-ness.  I loved getting to know him and seeing his heart for Lane, despite her standoffish behavior and sometimes cranky attitude.  And their romance was so sweet!  There were definitely several *sigh* worthy moments, a couple where I just wanted to Gibbs slapthem, and the great just have to smileending.

Overall, I would highly recommend reading this book, whether romance is your genre of choice, or not.  I loved being challenged by the message with this story and would happily give it more than 5 stars, were that an option.  

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to read my review!  There's a chance that while you were reading this, I was at the Christian Fiction Reader's Retreat in Cincinnati, OH!  I might do a blog post with some photos and stories about the awesome people I'm hoping to harass while I'm there!  I haven't decided, yet, but I am super excited about it!

Anyway, hope you have a wonderful day!  As always, purchase links are below, and I really hope you'll check out this book!