Sins of the Past – The Cost of Betrayal

It’s a two-for-one deal today…or really…a six-for-one because I’m featuring two novella collections that have made it on Hubs Hot list. Make sure to scroll down to see hubs thoughts as well as mine.

The Cost of Betrayal

In Dee Henderson’s novella “Betrayed,” Janelle Roberts is freed–thanks to people she doesn’t know–after serving six years of a twenty-year sentence for a murder she did not commit. But a murderer is still at large, and Janelle needs to be somewhere safe with someone she can trust. She may not survive another betrayal.

In Dani Pettrey’s “Deadly Isle,” Tennyson Kent is trapped on the isolated island of her childhood by a storm surge, and she is shocked when the typically idyllic community turns into the hunting grounds of a murderer. Cut off from any help from the mainland, will she and first love Callen Frost be able to identify and stop a killer bent on betrayal before they become the next victims?

In Lynette Eason’s “Code of Ethics,” trauma surgeon Ruthie St. John saves the life of Detective Isaac Martinez. After a betrayal leads to him getting shot and then attacked while in recovery, Isaac is now a key witness determined to testify. But someone is intent on silencing him–and those around him–forever. Together, Ruthie and Isaac go on the run, desperate to escape the killers hunting him. 

Our Thoughts

After reading Sins of the Past, I knew these three authors teaming up would mean another great collection. Plus, that cover!

Dee’s story in this one features a couple whose story is told in Full Disclosure. After hubs and I finished the novella, I tracked down the ebook and promptly purchased it as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I do hope someday I get to know more of Janelle’s story as well. I learned so much about the pardon process as my compassion for Janelle increased.

Dani’s was a fascinating story about a small island community based in the Chesapeake Bay (home turf!). I’ve always wanted to know more about these small communities and Dani brings one to life with a murderer on the loose. Having lived through several nor’easters, I never want to experience one on the islands. Perfect backdrop.

Lynette’s story continues the St. Johns series with the “odd ball” Ruthie. I liked her from the start for being brave enough to be different in a
law-enforcement family. This gives her a good background to think on her feet and believe the crazy guy (Isaac) who says someone is trying to kill him. Their relationship is a slow build with a satisfying ending.

Hubs: Riveting. I liked all three, but the one that stood out the most was Betrayed. It was interesting reading from the perspective of a crime that had already been committed rather than in the process of being committed as the story unfolds. The beautiful language of walking though a story of redemption and forgiveness drew me in, showing that through space, time, and God’s help, true healing can occur.


Sins of the Past

In Dee Henderson’s Missing, a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.

Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with Shadowed, introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.

Lynette Eason’s Blackout delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found–but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?

Our Thoughts

I picked up this collection right off the bat as I was excited to see what Dani and Lynette would come up with, especially since at that point I felt victorious getting hubs to read both author’s books. Dee was new to me, but I knew her excellent reputation and was looking forward to getting a taste of her writing.

All three novellas were exciting and well paced. My favorite was Dani’s because of getting to know the story of the McKenna parents felt like reconnecting with a favorite series.

Hubs: Compelling. I liked learning about the McKenna’s origin story. And it’s 10 pm and his words have run out. 🙂

Hubs: Riveting. I liked all three, but the one that stood out the most was Betrayed. It was interesting reading from the perspective of a crime that had already been committed rather than in the process of being committed as the story unfolds. The beautiful language of walking though a story of redemption and forgiveness drew me in, showing that through space, time, and God’s help, true healing can occur.

Literarily For Keeps AND Freedom’s Kiss

Sarah Monzon kept me company on my travels last week with both Literarily for Keeps and Freedom’s Kiss. I only had one problem: I wanted to read both at the same time and didn’t want to put either down to read the other. It’s tough wanting to read ALL THE BOOKS.

About the Book: Literarily for Keeps

literarily for keepsShe only has to pretend to be married for five days. What’s the worst that could happen? 

Literature professor Ashleigh Darmody never imagined her life would turn into a classic trope, but that’s exactly what happens when her sister Claire calls with a bizarre request–quickly find a fake husband. Backstory is a powerful thing, and Ashleigh’s has plenty of shadows, but is her past so shady that it requires an elaborate scheme to ensure Claire’s prospective father-in-law, renowned TV evangelist Ken Abrams, will give her his blessing to marry his son? 
Already divorced from a man who turned out to be other than he claimed, Ashleigh now has to pretend to be blissfully married to a stranger for the next five days. But when the lines of fiction and reality blur with each tick of the clock, could a temporary deal turn into something for keeps?

About the Book: Freedom’s Kiss

Freedoms kissThey were both prisoners of their past. Could legacy be the key to setting them free? 

Olivia Arroyo knows who she is and where she’s going—her sense of family responsibility a stepping stone to her dream of becoming a chef. When her employer refuses her the chance to move from server to the kitchen, she makes another opportunity for herself with the owner of a new food truck. But her life derails when a hidden piece of her past suddenly comes to light, and she discovers everything she thought she knew about herself has been a lie. 

A single decision can have innumerable consequences—a truth that has changed Adam Carrington’s life. A criminal defense attorney turned food truck owner, he is haunted by his role in an unpardonable act and driven by his need to make restitution. Unexpected help comes in the form of a feisty, raven-haired beauty, but she soon begins challenging his kitchen as well as his heart. 

Florida, 1816 
Propelled by a fleeting hope of freedom, Winnie and her family escape slavery and find refuge and new life with the Seminole Indians of Florida. But their future is still uncertain as threats of war, a return to slavery, and removal to the west shake their tentative grasp on freedom. Will they ever step out of the shadow of fear to leave a legacy of deliverance?

My Thoughts

I’ve yet to meet a Sarah Monzon book I haven’t liked and these two add to the count. I’ve had Freedom’s Kiss patiently waiting for me for awhile, and Literarily for Keeps just came out. I thought it’d be fun to focus on one author while traveling and so loaded both on my ereader (and on the Ipad, and the phone, because, you know, things happen and you don’t want to be BOOKLESS).

The books share some similarities: solid characters, contemporary settings, toe curling romance, and tough topics. Both stories deal with sexual abuse, so trigger warning for some. Personally, I think Sarah did great job of lending gravity and the seriousness the situations without requiring a box of Kleenex, breaking the tension with well placed levity. I also appreciate her note at the end of Freedom’s Kiss. Throughout both stories, Sarah weaves faith in naturally, never getting preachy while incorporating solid Biblical truths. Her characters aren’t perfect and have made mistakes, but all learn that God takes us as we are, not where we think we should be.

Literarily for KeepsThis is a quick fun read perfect for passing a Sunday afternoon. But don’t think it’s too sweet. It’s a first person narrative (which I usually avoid, but guys, it’s Sarah Monzon, so I couldn’t not read it) with an internal monologe that I related to so often, I wondered if Sarah had tapped into my own head. Granted, I don’t have quite as many literary reference bobbing around, but I think most will relate to the rambling monologue that frequently occurs in those 5 seconds before you make a decision but if you wrote it all down would take 3 pages.

Freedom’s Kiss: I’m a Carrington family fan for sure; weekly game night sounds ideal. For the first two books we see Adam as a secondary character, but I kept wondering what was going on with him and what his story was; now I know. I was a little surprised at how quickly the romance developed, but it made such a great platform for romantic tension for the rest of the story and allowed some toe curls. When I think about, Adam is such a passionate and compassionate man, he couldn’t help but jump in with his whole heart right away- he’s all or nothing.

I appreciated getting to know a slice of history I wasn’t familiar with and ended up with some time on Google reading up, so I know Sarah was trying to fit a long timeline in, but I found the secondary historic story a little jumpy at times. Being light skin, it will always be hard to understand the struggles that can come with dark, but I feel that I gained some understanding, especially of the Native American culture of that area. The book opened up a conversation for me with a Native American friend where we could talk points of spirituality. As she’s not a believer, I was happy to have some thoughtful questions I could ask as a result about the culture she was raised in and share a bit of my faith with her.

I received a copy of Freedom’s Kiss from the author. I was not required to post a review. These opinions are my own.

First Line Fridays – A Vast and Gracious Tide

A Vast and Gracious Tide Blog and Review Tour

Welcome to the blog tour and giveaway for A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. Today’s first line is from:

Vast GraciousTide

A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

“Sergeant First Class Caden Wallis grinned as his CO whistled – perhaps the fifteenth time today – that same tune again.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Award-winning author Lisa Carter describes her Southern suspense novels as “sweet tea with a slice of murder.” She is the bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels, four historical novellas, and a contemporary Coast Guard series. Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball.

CONNECT WITH LISA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest


AVGT giveaway

Don’t miss your chance to enter this great giveaway prize pack! One winner (US only) will receive:

Print copy of A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter
Sea glass jewelry set (see here)

First Line Fridays – Hearts Entwined

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. This is a collection of novellas written by some favorite authors including Karen Witemeyer’s “The Love Knot,” Mary Connealy’s “The Tangled Ties That Bind.”  Regina Jennings offers “Bound and Determined,” and Melissa Jagears’ “Tied and True.” 

Hearts entwined

The Love Knot by Karen Witemeyer

“Claire Nevin frowned at the cheerful white clouds frolicking across the blue sky and tried to close her ears against the chipper melodies the birds insisted on singing in response to the deceptively fine morning. Ignorant creatures. Could they not sense that this day held no cause for celebration?”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.

First Line Fridays – One Enchanted Noël

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays, hosted by Hoarding Books. This is book #3 in Melissa Tagg’s novella Christmas series. While you can read this one independently, I encourage you to pick up the first two as well. Now all three are also available in one set.

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One Enchanted Noël by Melissa Tagg

“Usually on nights like this – with snowfall glimmering under the hazy glow of lamplight, a peaceful hush hovering over the town square – Leigh Renwyecke could almost forget.”

So, grab the book nearest you and comment what your first line is (with title and author, of course!) and then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the other books/blogs featured today.