Thin Ice by Irene Hannon

  
Whew!  What a roller coaster ride that was!  I had so much trouble putting this book down the few nights it took to read it because of the suspense and fast-paced action.  Even after I closed the book and turned off the light, my mind was spinning with the plot twists and characters’ actions.  I haven’t read a book this suspenseful in months.

Lance McGregor is a rookie FBI agent, but he has plenty of experience as a Delta Force operator.  When he receives a call about a possible kidnapping, he jumps at the chance to get away from the old case files on his desk.

Christy Reed, a former champion figure skater, lost her sister two months ago in a house fire, but she just received a letter addressed in her sister’s handwriting from a kidnapper.  She isn’t supposed to involve law enforcement, but she covertly contacts the FBI and puts her trust in agent Lance McGregor.

As the case heats up, the chemistry between Lance and Christy ignites as well.  Lance’s self-control is put to the test as he refuses to mix business and pleasure.  If he doesn’t solve this case quickly, there may not be a chance for pleasure later because this kidnapper has a deadly intent.  

Thin Ice is the second book in Hannon’s Men of Valor series, which focuses on a trio of brothers.  I am planning to read Buried Secrets (the first in the series) and would recommend reading them in order because Mac’s story continues in Thin Ice. This series reminds me somewhat of Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series, and I am looking forward to the next installment.  

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  These thoughts are my own. 

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

 
With Christmastime approaching, eighty-five year old Joy Jorgenson ran a contest on her website to see who was most lacking in joy this season.   Joy loves Christmas and plans to take a grand trip to spread Christmas joy to some very deserving people.  What she has planned for them is nothing short of spectacular!

Joy’s young neighbor and friend, Miranda, decides to accompany her because she is worried about Joy driving her motor home across the country by herself.  Miranda has no husband, no job, and is about to lose her house, so she has nothing better to do than tag along with Joy on her crazy adventure.

An unlikely pair of friends, Joy and Miranda complement each other and make a great team.  At first, Joy’s generosity and cheerfulness stand in stark contrast to Miranda’s debt and despair, but a little Christmas joy may be just what Miranda needs this holiday season.  Follow along as Joy and Miranda spread Christmas cheer and generosity!

The Christmas Joy Ride is a delightful story with meaningful touches and a few twists from time to time.  

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  These are my personal opinions.  

Every Girl Gets Confused by Janice Thompson

  
Janice Thompson writes light-hearted, romantic comedies for women and uses her experience as a wedding planner to fashion stories around the wedding business.  Every Girl Gets Confused is the second book in the Brides with Style series but the first I have read by this author.  Since I missed the first novel in the series, I felt that I missed some of the main character’s history, but I was able to figure out the gist of what happened in the first book.  Of course, this book would be best read as part of a series, but it worked fine as a stand-alone novel.

Katie Fisher is happily working in a bridal shop in Dallas and dating a basketball player when her ex-boyfriend (the one she thought she would marry) starts calling her and acting interested in her again.  She must return to her small hometown for events related to her grandmother’s upcoming wedding, which  puts her in close proximity to her ex and his family.  With all the wedding activities and memories, Katie gets a little confused.  It doesn’t help that her new boyfriend is sullen and adding to her confusion.

As this story unfolds, there are a few surprises, but this is mostly just a humorous romance–the kind that you will want to read when you want to be entertained and not have to think too much.  Every Girl Gets Confused is sweet without being sappy, and there are characters for women of all ages.  It was a delight to read. 

I received this book from Revell books for free in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions here are all my own. 

One Enchanted Christmas by Melissa Tagg

Back in May, I read Three Little Words and From the Start by Melissa Tagg and enjoyed her writing so much that I signed up to receive email updates from her, which are just as humorous as her books.  Because of those emails, I was able to download One Enchanted Christmas, an e-novella by Melissa Tagg, on the day it released, which was just two days ago.   I finished reading this humorous and romantic story last night and wanted to let you know that you too can download it for only 99 cents right now on Amazon.  The entertainment is definitely worth a dollar!

  

Maren Grant is an author who is infatuated with her main character and then gets to meet the cover model for her book, who looks amazingly like the character she had created in her mind/book.  What happens a year after their “enchanted” night out takes Maren on an unexpected journey that is both humorous and heartwarming. This is a wonderful book to read during this Christmas season.  

Melissa Tagg is a “total Iowa girl”, according to her bio, and most of her books are set in Iowa.  If you are from Iowa or live there now, you’ll definitely enjoy Tagg’s books. 

Vendetta by Lisa Harris

  

I used to read every novel in a series of FBI thrillers by a certain author, and I really enjoyed peeking into the lives of FBI agents, even if they were fictional characters.  The suspense and action kept me enthralled while the humor and romance entertained me.  Unfortunately, the author started adding supernatural elements to her plots, and I prefer more realistic fiction.  I had not found anything close to that series until I read Vendetta this week.

Vendetta is the first novel in the Nikki Boyd Files by Lisa Harris.  This fast-paced mystery is filled with action, adventure, suspense, humor, and romance, but the author also addresses grief and a faltering faith in response to the death of a loved one.  While there is some discussion of faith and God, it is not enough to turn off those who are not Christians.  Lisa Harris does not shy away from the tough questions but allows her characters to work through their doubts in their own way.

Nikki Boyd is an agent with the newly-formed Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force.  In Vendetta, Nikki works with state and local authorities to hunt down an abductor before it’s too late.  The race to find the missing person kept me reading late into the night.  This is an exciting mystery, full of plot twists, set in a majestic area.  The characters are likeable and well-developed, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. 

I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  

Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart 

  This is the first installment in Gabhart’s Hidden Springs Mysteries series, which is set in a small town in Kentucky.  Michael Keane is a competent sheriff’s deputy who must investigate a murder committed on the courthouse steps.  His investigation leads to many surprises and prompts more questions. 

The author certainly captured the small-town nuances in this novel and introduced many unique, but familiar, characters.  The plot twisted and thickened repeatedly throughout the book, which made for good reading.  The setting was perfect for introducing this series. 

I have been reading mainly Christian fiction lately, but this book is not classified as Christian.  It is a clean story without foul language or sex scenes, and there are characters who are Christians, but they are not spiritual advisors to other characters.  They just play their part as another small-town character.

This book is full of humor and suspense.  It even contains a little romance.  I stayed up late the last few nights reading this because it was hard to put down.  After I finished the book last night, it took me awhile to process it before I could go to sleep.  There are many layers to the story.

I received this book free from Revell Books in exchange for an honest review.  These opinions are my own. 

Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas

  
About a year ago, I had the pleasure of reading the lovely novella Appalachian Serenade by Sarah Loudin Thomas in anticipation of reading her first full-length novel, Miracle in a Dry Seasonlater that summer.  I am pleased to announce that her next book has been released and is just as delightful as her first two stories.  Until the Harvest jumps ahead a generation, but there are appearances from many of the characters of the previous book.  I always enjoy reading about familiar characters and seeing how their story ends or continues.  I was disappointed at the early demise of a main character from the previous book, but his death served as the catalyst for much of the conflict in Until the Harvest. 

Henry Phillips is a college student who makes several foolish decisions following the death of his father.  He gets tangled up in a couple of serious situations before seeking wise council.  

Margaret enjoys working for Henry’s grandmother, but Margaret’s mother thinks the position is too menial for her daughter.  Margaret finds a way to leave home and take her little sister with her, away from her selfish, inattentive parents. 

Initially, Henry and Margaret dislike each other, but they have two common interests who continually draw them together:  Margaret’s sister Mayfair and Henry’s grandmother Emily.  Over time, Henry and Margaret find they have much more in common than family and friends.  

This story is set in the mid-1970’s, but some aspects seem further back in history due to the slower pace in Appalachia.  I enjoyed reading about life on the farm and women living independently.  I learned a few things while enjoying a good read.  

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.