Friday, August 16, 2019

Review ~ Underestimating Miss Cecilia (Regency Brides: Daughters of Aynsley #2) by Carolyn Miller

Paperback352 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Kregel Publications
Shy, sweet Cecilia Hatherleigh has always been in love with Edward Amherst, the boy next door. Yet he’s never seen her as anything but the quiet girl in the background as he flirts with the other vivacious women of the ton. 

When a near tragedy brings Edward’s attention to his family duties, this prodigal son decides he needs to settle down with a proper wife. Cecilia hopes to convince him to choose her—but God may want her to forget the wayward nobleman and put her future in His hands alone. 

These two try to find their way toward happiness, but prejudice, political riots, and the changing face of England’s societal structures begin to block them at every turn. Can their struggles turn to triumph—or will their paths permanently diverge? 

My Review
4 STARS!!!

Underestimating Miss Cecilia is classic Regency with engaging characters, clever conversation, and sweet romance.
While Cecilia Hatherleigh may seem complicit to her family and peers, she is a young woman who feels deeply and passionately toward social issues of her time. She’s also fancied herself in love with her childhood friend, Edward, but he doesn’t seem to feel the same way. Cecilia writes passionately in her journal all that is in her heart and when she has an ah-ha moment of realizing she has put her love for Edward before her love for God, it touched me deeply. 
Edward is clueless about Cecilia’s feelings but of course, through various events and challenges, he comes to realize he loves Cecilia. At a pivotal and tension-filled moment in the story, his declaration is one of the most heartfelt and moving I’ve read in a long time. 
There is much more to this story but I was absorbed with the unrequited love and how that was going to play out. The character growth in both Edward and Cecilia was satisfying to me. I'm looking forward to the next novel highlighting Verity Hatherleigh. She is a pistol. 
Miller has proven she is a student of the Regency period and writes it well. Genuine expression graces the pages and effortlessly brings to life the language and attire of the day. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

If you've read any of Carolyn Miller's books, please share in the comments which one is your favorite. If not, recommend a book!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Review ~ The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians 1) by Dani Pettrey

Paperback352 pages
Published August 6th 2019 by Bethany House Publishers

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, CGIS special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous and volatile crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer's adrift cutter, and the direction the clues point will test him and the guard to their limits.

Complicating matters further is the arrival of investigative reporter Harper Grace. An unrelenting journalist who was nearly killed as the result of her last expose, Harper has been sent to Wilmington on the hunch of her boss that the Coast Guard is stonewalling the truth about the officers. An interview with the dead victim's wife convinces her there's a story worth uncovering, even if it means risking her life again.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Harper can't ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them, but will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer before they become his next mark?

Purchase link:

Purchase links are for softcover but The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians 1) is also available in hard cover, e-book, and audio. I am in no way affiliated with any vendors. Links are provided as a courtesy only.

My Review
3.5 Stars

The Killing Tide has an amazing cover and it’s even better in print. I’m visual, so I base whether or not I want to read a book on the cover first and the blurb second. Both of these things made me anticipate the release of The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians 1). The mystery and suspense is good too. Anyone who has read a Pettrey book knows she is one of the “big fish in the sea” when it comes to writing compelling stories.

So this was how she was going to die…

Quite a first line, huh? Waves of intrigue crash onto the page right from the beginning. The plot is believable as far as the Coastal Guardians go with their extensive training and investigative techniques.

Gabby, the heroine, is an investigative reporter with a back story involving Finn, our hero. While Gabby is not afraid of danger, many of her attitudes and actions seemed irresponsible and bratty to me. She’s constantly going against wise counsel where her safety is concerned. I just couldn’t connect with her character. And I would have found her inclusion in every aspect of the CGIS case more plausible if she had been introduced as official support personnel.

Regardless of my disconnect with Gabby, I still liked the story and I learned a lot about the United States Coast Guard while reading The Killing Tide. I’m anticipating book two highlighting more of our brave Coastal Guardians.

I recommend this book to fans of contemporary romantic suspense interlaced with strong faith. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

If you've read any of Dani Pettrey's books, please share in the comments which one is your favorite. If not, recommend a book!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Rebecca Reviews ~ Storm Rising (The Book of the Wars 1) by Ronie Kendig

Paperback382 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Bethany House Publishers 
Once lost to history, the Book of the Wars has resurfaced, and its pages hold ancient secrets and dangers. Former Navy SEAL Leif Metcalfe has been tasked with capturing the ancient text, but a Bulgarian operative snatches it, determined to secure her freedom. When a series of strange storms erupt, they must form an alliance to thwart impending disaster.

Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"She has picked you -whether for trust or target, we don't know. Until we do, stick close and see if you can turn her."

There's a lot he doesn't know . . . . when Special Warfare Operator Leif "Runt" Metcalfe unexpectedly meets his match, in the form of a highly trained Bulgarian operative. At the end of a tunnel; she bests him by hang gliding off a cliff, deftly absconding with an historic scroll; the famed Book of Wars. Simply put, Iskra "Viorica" Tonorova is known worldwide as an assassin. . . . . and yet, she just took (without mortally wounding him) something that Lief wants; not wants exactly, but has been commanded to retrieve. And in order to accomplish that mission, Lief's intentions have become inextricably tangled with hers. He can be just as determined as she is, he just never expected to care. 

"There. . . . . . There was the thing that wouldn't let him walk away when common sense said it was the smartest thing to do. Sometimes smart wasn't right. It was thinking with the head, not with the heart."

Filled to the brim with accelerated scene sequences, high octane military engagements, enemies with surreal weaponry and indescribable brutality,"Storm Rising" rushes to thwart the beginning of the end of all nations, as its characters set an elaborate stage with an impressive cast of heroes. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

Senior Reviewer, Rebecca Maney

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education, and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With over 30 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".