Monday, November 22, 2021

Rebecca Reviews ~ After She Falls by Carmen Schober

Paperback368 pages
Published November 2nd 2021 by Bethany House Publishers

Strong-willed Adri Rivera always dreamed of becoming a professional mixed martial artist, but then she fell in love with a man who smashed everything to pieces. When their tumultuous relationship finally comes to a head, Adri flees with their young daughter to her small hometown in the mountains of Pennsylvania. There, she must face the people she left behind and put her broken life back together as a single mother.

Adri struggles to regain her independence after so many years under the oppressive influence of her ex, but a job opportunity at a local gym gives her hope that she'll be able to stand on her own two feet. The one problem? The man who offers it to her is the handsome but hardened Max Lyons--her former best friend and training partner, whom she left heartbroken years before.

As Adri dares to pursue her dream again, training for a big tournament, can she confront her weakness and avoid the past defining her future?

Rebecca's Review 4.5 STARS!!!

"God, help him forgive you . . . Help him understand . . .Help him trust you . . Help him be free."

Adri Rivera has returned to her hometown as a broken shadow of herself, carrying only a few possessions, a beautiful daughter and very few explanations. She had to leave him. She simply couldn't survive another round. However, when she comes face to face with the man she left behind, life becomes even more complicated. Then an opportunity to fight again presents itself; an answer to prayer or a fast flight to disaster . . . time always tells.

Famed title fighter Max Lyons has been out of the limelight since his father died, managing an upscale training center in Sparta, Pennsylvania and living under the radar. Seeing Adri Rivera again was a shock to his senses, one that he could have certainly lived the rest of his life without. Once considered among the most talented mixed martial arts fighters in the country . . . . and she gave it up for what? Or perhaps it was who. Personal history aside, Adri needs a job, Max needs another trainer, and the fact that she's married should keep their high octane emotions in check. Easier said than done . . . for admittedly, Adri has always been Max's weakness.

So much rumbles beneath the surface of amazing debut; raw, authentic tidal waves of double shot intensity work their way into conversations and inter-actions, driving the characters both towards and away from an outcome that Max and Adri so desperately want, but don't know how to achieve. Enter the Holy Spirit, . . . that still small voice who loves to lead a troubled soul away from self-destruction and into peaceful valleys. Becoming a new creation takes time, patience, and an hefty amount of forgiveness. Thankfully these two are ready to fight all three rounds for the victory!

Note: Due to the nature of this story, there is a certain level of violent behavior within several scenes. Alcohol also flows freely, it would be more surprising if it didn't; remembering that "greater is He that is in you, than he who is in the world".

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


I am so excited to read this book, Y'all!!! If you've followed Rebecca's reviews for long, you know she doesn't rate books this high often, especially a debut novel!! The grittiness might be a bit hard to read but I trust Rebecca when she says I will like a book. :-)

Have any of you read this debut novel yet? Would you be interested in reading it? Why or why not? Leave a comment and let's chat a little. ~Anne

Friday, November 12, 2021

Rebecca Reviews ~ Lights Out (The SNAP Agency, #1) by Natalie Walters

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.
Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn't at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It's hard to trust a woman who's already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning--the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn't trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world--and their hearts--hangs in the balance.

Rebecca's Review 4 STARS

"I'm not willing to risk my team on someone who can't be trusted, and I don't trust her."

Great. Just great. Judging by the flash of hurt that crossed her face, she'd no doubt heard his words. "She", being Brynn Taylor; Jack Hudson had gone through CIA training with her, and had subsequently been left behind when Brynn was accepted into the agency and he wasn't. Pushed aside . . . was more like it. . . apparently Brynn had moved on in her career, never giving their burgeoning relationship a second glance. But now she was in his territory with her own reputation on the line. An Egyptian intelligence agent had gone missing after attending Brynn's multi-national symposium on combating global terrorism and Jack's agency, S.N.A.P., the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency, had just been put in charge of finding him.

After overcoming her shock over seeing Jack again, Brynn put on her brave face and drilled herself into focus; "Do not panic. Do not panic. DO NOT PANIC." He didn't trust her, of course he didn't, she had never told him the entire story. Personal history aside, she had a job to do, and if working with Jack's team accomplished the objective, so be it, regardless of the cost to her heart.

As the body count rises and terrorist threats loom like a specter on the horizon, Jack and Brynn have little time to concentrate on anything else but national security, exploring the feelings that continue to rumble just beneath the surface will just have to wait. Or can they? . . . "love is many things, none of them logical".

An excellent story! Writing a fast paced romantic suspense without leaving the audience in the proverbial "dust". . . . . or compromising the character development that readers so desperately crave, demands a delicate balance. This book has accomplishes both, proving that the author has really "upped her game" and I, for one, can't wait to continue reading the series.

"It's our faith in the hard times that keeps us anchored in the hope that God will restore order . . . Choose fear or faith, but only one choice will bring peace."

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