Thursday, December 12, 2013


An intriguing tease...the music is especially fitting...draws
you in and makes you want to know the story.

 Romantic, mysterious, sure to please!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

THREAD OF SUSPICION The Justice Agency by Susan Sleeman

4th in the Justice series about adopted siblings who become a force for good after the murder of their adoptive parents. Dani, twin to Derrick Justice, finds herself called in to investigate software up for bid for a government contract--that apparently has been compromised. Chief suspect, Luke Baldwin owner of the company manufacturing the software, and former Navy Seal who requests to hire Dani to clear his name.

From the opening scene, this story grabs my interest, as Luke awakens in his wrecked vehicle realizing he is running late for a very important presentation. After desperate measures pay off, he finds himself in the middle of a situation--worse case scenario, he could be arrested for treason.

Sparks fly between Dani and Luke from the beginning. She finds herself intrigued wanting to find this man innocent. She agrees to do a preliminary look at his computer. Naturally, things get complicated and the whole Justice Team gets involved. Dani discovers an even more scary threat--the mastermind behind the software sabotage is an old enemy. One who wants her dead.

I really enjoy this series especially the give and take between the siblings. This one was really fun because Dani's twin brother Derrick challenges Luke at every turn wanting to be sure his sister doesn't get hurt. Luke, having a sister, actually is able to understand and empathize with Derrick's feelings. Twists and turns lead to the climatic ending with the revelation of the killer.
If you are in to suspense and romance, this series should make your keeper shelf. Thread of Suspicion can stand alone, however.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

LOVE BY THE LETTER Novella by Melissa Jagears

Dex Stanton has struggled with dyslexia since he was a child. Using humor to get by and then leaving school early to help his ailing Dad with the farm. Now that his Dad has past and his younger brother has married and needs the farm for a home, he plans to move westward and startover.
But the dyslexia presents a big problem when Dex attempts to acquire a mail order bride to partner him on the journey. His letter is returned making fun of his poor vocabulary and spelling. He finds he needs the assistance of a tutor and that tutor is Rachel Oliver perhaps the smartest person in town. Dex doesn't even consider Rachel for wife material because he feels once she knows his secret she would realize how inferior he would be for her husband.
Rachel, however, has waited years for Dex to notice her. She plans to go off to college but has delayed as long as she can in case Dex looks her way. She can't believe it when he asks for her help for the purpose of securing a mail order bride.
Her mother gets in the way at a critical juncture by not giving her a message from Dex. The story tugs at your heart and is told through the eyes of both hero and heroine. Dex finds a unique way to communicate to Rachel in the end about his true feelings.
This is a must have for your keeper shelf and a great foreshadowing of her full length novel A Bride for Keeps due out soon featuring one of the characters from this story. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013


Shattered Silence: Men of the Texas Rangers by Margaret Daley

Awesome series, Men of the Texas Rangers by Margaret Daley. Ms. Daley is not afraid to deal with Controversial and difficult topics. In Shattered Silence she deals not only with a serial killer but prejudice, bullying single parenting, spousal and child abuse.

Cody Jackson moves to Durango Texas following the death of his exwife to get his son away from the influence of a stepdad parleying prejudice and hate. Kyle, Cody's son, finds himself and a new friend the target of bullys. In the meantime, Cody steps immediately in the middle of a complicated and time consuming case of multiple murders. His new partner, latino Detective Liliana Rodriquez is dealing with problems of her own--her sister's being abused. She and her sister grew up children of an abuser.

Cody and Liliana, both dedicated and good at what they do find themselves mutually attracted to each other. I enjoyed the author's detailed descriptions of the day to day leg work of the police to solve crimes. You find yourself holding your breath in another well written scene where Kyle walks in to find his Dad, Cody, fighting for his life against a knife wielding assailant. An interesting twist are scenes where the story is being tolded through the eyes of the serial killer. The killer could be several of any suspects so the mystery keeps you reading.

A thrilling read with just enough romance to keep you satisfied, I highly recommend Shattered Silence! 



The Rancher's Second Chance by Davalynn Spencer

I love a sweet romance with some edginess and I especially love one that brings childhood sweethearts back together for their happily ever after. From the beginning you are hooked by the mysterious cowboy with a limp and an eye patch coming to the rescue of a young lady in high heels struggling to pull up a for sale sign out of a pasture.

Laura Beth, our heroine, has returned home following the death of her mother and the betrayal of her fiancee. She finds that her childhood friend, Eli Hawthorne has already returned with war injuries that have left him battle scarred inside and out. They meet again under an Old Oak that has special significance from their childhood and will represent something even more important in the story.

While, Eli battles, cattle rustlers, Laura deals with a peeping Tom. She reaches out to Eli and Garcia, his long time friend and Ranch partner ministering with food and caring; while Eli, secretly harboring deeper feelings, can't help but appoint himself her protector.

Ms. Spencer took every day things and spun her story around them. For example, Laura Bell adopts kittens and then a dog. Many of us pet owners can identify. Eli takes Laura to the local feed store and then out to a local burger place to eat. The author's descriptions and dialog are simple but real making you feel a part of the characters and their story. Another example, when Eli can't think for obsessing over Laura Beth, he turns in his bed looking out the window in time to catch a glimpse of someone sneaking around outside Laura's residence--believable because most of us obsess over the one we think is the one and find ourselves striving for just a glimpse of them.

Because the hero and heroine had a history, you can believe that in a few months they could come to love each other. My most favorite part is the anticipation as Laura Beth watches for a letter in her mailbox. I kept wanting to see her find a letter in the mailbox...something we all can relate, the letter that never comes or the letter that surprises us. Well done, Ms. Spencer, you can be sure I will look forward to more by this author.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013




Cooper Creek Series takes place in Dawson, Oklahoma and centers around the Coopers--a family of natural and adopted siblings. Cruising through the country side, cattle and horses dotting fenced pastures, wild flowers in abundance, stopping at the Mad Cow Cafe and stepping out of your car, meeting cowboy gentlemen who take their hats off in respect and still open doors for you--takes a traditional woman back to a time and place that hardly exist anymore.

I love to open one of these stories--the plot is usually compelling and the characters, though flawed, are believable. Their struggle with spiritual conflicts or physical disabilities remind us of ourselves--not perfect, but creations of the one God who remains God Alone.

In the Cowboy Lawman, we meet Mia Cooper, an adopted sibling with South American roots. Immediately, we find she is struggling with a lingering disability from an undercover operation gone wrong, in which her partner died. Quickly, we are introduced to the hero, Slade McKennon, local law enforcement and childhood friend. Once married to Mia's best friend, who he lost tragically in a car accident, he is raising his son as a single father.

Mutually attracted to each other, Mia and Slade allow grief and guilt to color their responses. Mia's life remains endangered from those who injured her and killed her partner so she needs Slade's protection whether she likes it or not. Slade's mother, and baby sitter, sufferes a heart attack and he needs someone to look out for his 5 year old son. From here on out, the fireworks literally sparkle.

Moving on after tragedy is hard for any of us. Forgiving ourselves is even harder. Trusting in God's all comforting and powerful hands is harder yet. I assume, if you stopped by this site, you appreciate the spiritual insight a good christian author lends to a story.

Ms. Minton uses family, friends, and situations well to share her themes with us. She paints a picture that draws us in but then allows us to feel the turmoil in her characters. In "The Cowboy Lawman" you feel Mia's sorrow as she grieves over the loss of her friend and realizes she can't fill her shoes as a Mother figure. Slade and others try to help her see that she has her own shoes to fill. As for Slade, we feel his pain and frustration as Mia refuses to let him help her and as he realizes he needs to move on from the loss of his wife and that his son needs a mother.

A poignant moment arises when Mia tries to keep a promise to her dead partner and protect his wife and children but finds herself unable to use her firearm. In the meantime, Slade arrives just in time risking his life to save hers.

This story is loaded with action, twists and turns of plot, sweet moments, and a satisfying end. This one's a keeper!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

NO WAY OUT By Susan Sleeman

The Justice Agency Series

Beginning with a heart-stopping chase on the beach, this suspenseful read almost has you smelling the salt water and hearing the waves crashing. Alyssa Wells, a widow with twins, overhears her deceased husband's partner in the local police force threatening another cop and admitting his involvement in the murder of her husband. In her haste to get away, she makes enough noise to be detected and the chase is on! Racing through a raging storm she struggles up a slippery slope where she literally ends up at the feet of Cole Justice, a man tortured by his own inner demons since serving two tours in Iraq. Having law enforcement experience and army training, Cole quickly assesses the situation and determines Alyssa needs his help.

He willingly offers his service and those of his siblings, all members of the Justice Agency, in investigating and protecting Alyssa from Nolan Saunders, her husband's former partner. Believing her husband died a "dirty cop", she finds that may not be the case and that the man she has allowed to care for her children may be a murderer. Now, she doesn't know who to trust.

From the beginning, Cole and Alyssa's interest in each other is obvious. But Alyssa's mistrust of men, especially those in law enforcement, remains an obstacle to having another man in her life; while Cole continues to struggle with survivor's guilt from the loss of his best friend in Iraq. Add children to the mix and things get even more complicated. Even so, Cole's interaction with Alyssa's children is sweet and poignant.

Tension builds as Alyssa receives warning notes, rocks are thrown through windows, and a house explosion nearly kills both her and Cole while causing Cole to have a flashback to Iraq.

Through it all, both Alyssa and Cole learn that some burdens are too heavy for human effort and must be left to God. So the author's Theme Verse aptly applies: Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You." Many times in my own life, I have drawn strength and peace from these words.

With a surprise twist and a satisfying epilogue, "No Way Out" is an excellent treat from the pen of Susan Sleeman. The third book in a series about a group of adoptive siblings involved in law enforcement, it stands alone. However, I recommend reading the entire series. I enjoyed the interaction between the siblings and want to know more of their stories. In addition, if you like series books, I highly recommend another of Susan Sleeman's series about the Morgan Brothers.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

SIXTY ACRES AND A BRIDE by Regina Jennings

A first novel by this author but a tremendous start. I loved this book because it's based on my favorite story in the Bible, Ruth. If you haven't read Ruth, you should as a preliminary to reading this book. It is only 4 chapters long but has some of the most romantic verses in the Bible.

In Regina's story, we meet Rosa who has traveled from Mexico with her mother-in-law, both recently widowed. They have come to live with a relative in Prairie Lea, Texas. Soon, Rosa is introduced to Weston Garner, Louise, her mother-in-law's, nephew. He becomes a protector and advisor for the women.

As the story progresses, many humorous situations occur that make you laugh. Rosa is learning more of the English language and American customs and needing them explained. It makes for some hilarious reading as you imagine what she is thinking.

Besides the humor, I really enjoyed the romantic foundation built between Rosa and Weston by this author. A most steamy part occurs when she dances la mariposa, the butterfly dance. A very descriptive narrative follows--and you can almost hear the strumming of the guitar and visualize bare feet stomping in the dirt while colorful skirts flare around the legs of the male partners. Ms. Jennings writes a very sexy but clean read. It gets even better when Weston tries to teach Rosa a more proper Two Step, hmmm.

There is a very scary antagonist who seems to be stalking Rosa throughout; and of course, the ladies are in danger of losing their home.

What will Weston do and does Rosa have the courage to follow Louise's instructions, trusting God for her future, and what does her heart say? Intriguing questions that I would like to tell you are well worth this read to find the answers.

Not only was this book full of edgy romance and sterling suspense but it was simply a fun read!

Friday, April 12, 2013

THE INHERITANCE by Tamera Alexander

This book deserves to be Numero Uno among my reviews. It has it all. From the first sentence and paragraph you are drawn into the story as you walk the dusty streets of Copper Creek, Colorado with McKenna Ashford. Boy, does the hero make an entrance! After, McKenna is almost run down by an outlaw on horseback, her hero, Wyatt (aptly named) rides in and around out of sight but not of earshot and you hear a rifle shot reverberate. Then, he slams into the Doctor's office behind her slinging his quarry onto a table and enlisting her in sewing up his prisoner.

You meet many interesting characters in this book. After, the unceremonious meeting between McKenna and Wyatt you find yourself drawn into the various conflicts that develop early on with glimpses into their painful pasts...and from the crucible of these fires the characters and their relationships are forged.

McKenna has a gift for stitching saddles. Actually, it is her craft taught by her father but it is considered a man's trade. Wyatt is a U.S. Marshall and very good at what he does. In the middle is Robert, McKenna's teenage brother, and her responsibility. He is also the antagonist between McKenna and Wyatt.

McKenna and Wyatt are drawn to each other but remain reserved at sharing the most tender parts of themselves. Their disagreements over the disciplining of Robert lead to the inevitable misunderstandings in their budding relationship. They need each other but won't allow themselves to reach for the other.

However, I find myself agreeing with one reviewer regarding the prayer of Wyatt "break him, Lord". The humility of his prayer, especially when you know he prays sincerely from the depths of his own experience, tugs at your spiritual heart strings.

Ms. Alexander has the gift I cherish most in my Christian Romance reads--an ability to take the suspense, romance, and faith threads and weave them together in a beautiful and unforgettable story tapestry. For me, the story is empty without a motivation in the lives of the characters that only comes from believing in the one who is greater than themselves and is revealed in the lessons learned through redemption, forgiveness, faith, and sacrificial love.

How my Blog Began

To get started I will say I am going to review books that are on my "keeper shelf" and tell you why they made it there. Then, I am going to review some books by some of my favorite authors and tell you why I am considering them for my keeper shelf.

Having said the above, let me say this about kindles. They cut down on the clutter of having stacks of books to store or sell in yard sales. I had a problem of knowing which among my many books were ones I especially adored and would read again; and how to find them again. I set up my own system of putting a star rating inside the front cover; but still, which ones would I actually read and reread again. I mean so many times when you first put a book down--you say to your self, "ahhh, how romantic". But, later, would you take the time to read it again, probably not.

Now, with the kindle, if I find myself rereading a book, I know it is a candidate for my keeper shelf--and that is especially true if it has a beautiful or intriguing cover.

What makes you want to put a book on your "keeper shelf". I welcome your comments!!!

Blogging about Christian Romance

I love to read; thus this blog. My favorite genre is Christian Romance specifically, Historical, Suspense, and Contemporary in that order. This place bears my humble opinion. I welcome your insights. Mainly, I hope to encourage my favorite authors with input on the hard work they do and the spiritual lessons they teach us through the joy of reading. Most importantly, I "count it all Joy" to know my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and He is my best friend through all circumstances. My hope is that you know Him or desire to know Him through the exploits shared by hero and heroine splashed across romantic inspirational pages including His Book.